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A Little Dictionary of Crystallography

Editors: André Authier and Gervais Chapuis
Publication date: 16 July 2014
Pages: xiv + 238


The lack of a compendium of crystallographic terms and the many questions related to matters of definitions and nomenclature led André Authier, Chair of the IUCr Commission on Crystallographic Nomenclature, to put forward the idea of an Online Dictionary of Crystallographic Terms at the 20th IUCr Congress in Florence (August 2005). The idea was received enthusiastically by the IUCr Executive Committee, and the website was soon established as a collaborative WiKi, using the same software that powers Wikipedia. Under the continuing guidance of its Editor-in-Chief, Gervais Chapuis, the system remains open to bona fide crystallographers wishing to correct or modify existing definitions, or to introduce new ones. The Nomenclature Commission carries collective responsibility for ensuring the quality of the definitions.

This special publication is a printed snapshot of the contents of the Online Dictionary of Crystallography. It was produced by the IUCr Commission on Crystallographic Nomenclature as a contribution to the educational outreach activities of IYCr2014.

Its dissemination in a handy pocket-sized format will encourage wide circulation and may be useful in classrooms and public libraries, as well as in laboratories and on individual scientists' book shelves.

The most up-to-date version of the definitions in this book can be found at

The book is available for online purchase at Order your copy now to take advantage of the special IYCr2014 discount: USD 13.80/EUR 11.00/GBP 9.00 + postage & packing (price from January 2015: USD 23.00/EUR 18.50/GBP 15.00 + postage & packing).