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International Tables, Volume C, Second Edition

[Edward Prince]The publication, in June, 1999, of the second edition of Volume C of the International Tables for Crystallography was a major milestone in a project that has been under way for nearly 20 years. This volume, subtitled Mathematical, Physical, and Chemical Tables, was originally conceived of as a consolidation and revision of the materials in Volumes II, III, and IV of the previous series of the International Tables, but it was evident almost at the beginning that a useful volume would have to include extensive new material. When the first edition, edited by A. J. C. Wilson, was published in 1992, it contained a lot of outdated information. For example, the table of the wavelengths of the Xray emission lines and absorption edges was a photocopy of the table that was published in Volume III, which appeared in 1962, and which in turn contained information dating back to the 1930s. Professor Wilson's death in 1995 left the task of preparing a second edition that would fill all of the gaps unfinished, and the Executive Committee appointed me to the editorship to complete it.

[geometry of detector] Geometrical principles of recording the pattern on a cylindrical detector.
During the time when material for the first edition was being assembled, the revolution in the technology of publication had not reached the point where word-processor files could be reliably imported into typesetting programs, so that, although authors were invited to supply machine readable files, and many of them did, the volume ultimately had to be typeset by hand. One unfortunate result was that there were no useful files that could be used for the second edition, and disappointingly few of the authors had retained any of their original files. Those chapters and sections that were unchanged or needed only minor corrections had to be typeset by hand all over again. On the other hand, many authors were able to supply files of numerical data, all of the new or extensively revised text was provided in some machine-readable form, and importation of these files into the typesetters' system was generally successful. One way or another, all of the second edition of Volume C now exists in electronic form, which will make future reprints, corrections, and revision much easier and less expensive.

Of the chapters in the first edition that were carried over from the earlier series, only one, an editorial condensation by A. J. C. Wilson of the chapter on measurement of refractive index by E. S. Larsen and R. Meyerowitz, remains. There are completely new chapters on neutron diffraction topography by M. Schlenker and J. Baruchel and on neutron reflectometry by G. S. Smith and C. F. Majkrzak. Other replaced or extensively revised chapters and sections include an updated section on X-ray wavelengths by R. D. Deslattes, E. J. Kessler Jr, P. Indelicato, and E. Lindroth, sections on filters and monochromators, for X-rays by D. C. Creagh and for neutrons by I. S. Anderson and O. Scharpf, and chapters on crystal growth, mounting, and orientation by P. F. Lindley. A major effort was made to include the current state of the art in all aspects of experimental crystallography.

For additional information, including ordering information and a table of contents, see the IUCr home page at

Edward Prince