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Can somebody recommend a sweet book on Crystallography?
  
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Andreu




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PostPosted: May 20, 2020 16:18    Post subject: Can somebody recommend a sweet book on Crystallography?  

Hi,

I have been trying to understand the different forms of Crystals several times but without success. I stumble upon two dificulties:

1. Too much Mathematics. I know Crystallography is Mathematics but my years at University are already far away. So I do not want an Algebra book.

2. Separation of theory with real world. I see that that some crystals theoretically are something but in reality I find many varieties of this mineral.

I am looking for a book that is fun reading, a kind of 'Crystallography for Dummies' that has lots of photographs of real crystals in addition to some mathematical foundation.

Does such book exist? I would not mind if it is in Spanish, English, French and Gernan.

Thanks
Andreu
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rweaver




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PostPosted: May 20, 2020 17:33    Post subject: Re: Can somebody recommend a sweet book on Crystallography?  

If you can find them Dana's Textbook of Mineralogy or Systems of Mineralogy, John Sinkankas's Mineralogy for Amateurs and Frederick H Pough's A Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals would give you what you are looking for.
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Peter Megaw
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PostPosted: May 20, 2020 17:46    Post subject: Re: Can somebody recommend a sweet book on Crystallography?  

Andrew, almost all books on crystallography are sweet to us...just as all babies are beautiful to their moms.

Joking aside...I do not know of a book that is laid out like your desire...you may be able to "assemble" it by looking at a lot if pictures on line...sorting mindat by crystal system for example.

But you can ground yourself in the theoretical ideals fairly easily. Most introductory crystallography books and field guides include a non mathematical treatment of the main crystal systems, before they devolve into mathematics...more geometry than algebra, but I get your point.

The basic 6 (or 7 if you separate hexagonal and rhombohedral) classes are pretty simple to understand in terms of axes and angles...it's the forms and habits that get more complicated and are often treated more mathematically or with arcane systems like Miller Indices etc. These are much less daunting if you understand they are modifications on the basic systems. Understanding a cube_octahedron is easier if you get the basic framework and unique symmetry elements of each system.

Many folks find that taking this one step at a time works best...

Remember though that knowing what something should look like as an ideal model may be different from how it actually grows...a brick wall will not look symmetrical if its built faster in some directions than others...and that happens to many crystals. But you can still figure it out if you have an idea what it should look like.

I hope I'm wrong and what you're looking for exists. If it does let me know. I taught morphological crystallography for 3 years and might do so again if I had access to something like that

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Bob Carnein




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PostPosted: May 20, 2020 20:51    Post subject: Re: Can somebody recommend a sweet book on Crystallography?  

Some editions of Dana's Manual of Mineralogy have excellent elementary treatments that are thorough but, with a little work, clear and understandable.
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Pete Richards
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PostPosted: May 20, 2020 20:54    Post subject: Re: Can somebody recommend a sweet book on Crystallography?  

I will jokingly say that the problem is not with the crystallography, but with the crystals. They don't look like they are supposed to!

Peter's comments are quite right and to the point. You have to understand the conceptual framework provided by the crystal systems and their crystal classes.

But then you have to adjust your thinking and perception to the fact that real crystal are never exactly like ideal ones. Your phenakite? is a perfect example. If it is londonite, it is isometric and the form is a dodecahedron; all faces should be the same shape and size. If it is phenakite, it is hexagonal (trigonal) and it should be a short prism with three faces on each end. It is quite possible with crystal drawing software to construct mathematically accurate drawings of each mineral that will look the same to the unexperienced eye. In this case that would be done by shortening the prism until its faces are about the same size as the termination faces.

An important principle is that it is the angles between the faces that are most strongly controlled by the crystal structure of the mineral. A pyrite crystal may not have six equal square faces (or however many are exposed), but unless it is badly distorted all the angles between the faces will be 90° with very little deviation. In the example above, the angles between the dodecahedron of londonite will all be the same, but the angles between faces of a pseudo-dodecahedral phenakite will not all be the same and will all be different from the proper angle for a dodecahedron.

Knowledge of crystallography is a very powerful tool in mineral identification, one not mastered by many collectors. But it should always be used (as you apparently are trying to do) with as many other tools as possible.

You might want to look at some Mindat pages on crystallography at http://www.mindat.org/user-41199.html#5. These are under development and not perfect, but they are attempting to make crystallography accessible in just the way you seem to be looking for.

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hathien1102




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PostPosted: May 20, 2020 21:52    Post subject: Re: Can somebody recommend a sweet book on Crystallography?  

I think books and the fact that they're different are different, the more crystals you have in your hands, the more experience you'll get, go collect them.
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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: May 20, 2020 21:54    Post subject: Re: Can somebody recommend a sweet book on Crystallography?  

I personally would suggest John Sinkankas's Mineralogy for Amateurs, and then move on to more technical books. I have many in my library and many have what you want in the first part of the book, before getting into the math and all the designations of faces and axis terminalogy etc. A special interest of mine are imperfections/inclusions in crystals and what causes them and that is dealt with in some books and not others, There is a very expensive multi-volue gemmology book about inclusions and imperfections - but you might find it in a geology library.
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fena kuiperi




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PostPosted: May 21, 2020 04:17    Post subject: Re: Can somebody recommend a sweet book on Crystallography?  

I do recognize your problem, the breakthrough for me were the books, 3 volumes, by Erich Offermann, Kristalle und ihre Formen, KristalloGrafic Verlag, ISBN 3-00-0081 12-7, especially Band 1: now only on Cd. I post my crystal drawing exercises on my Facebook page Crystal Shapes:
https://www.facebook.com/Crystal-Shapes-354115381336770. I am lucky with the support of Mark Holtkamp, who created the drawing program Smorf:
https://www.smorf.nl/index.php.
(all volunteer work, no commercial interest!) it's such a fascinating world these crystal forms, wish you success!
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John S. White
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PostPosted: May 21, 2020 07:20    Post subject: Re: Can somebody recommend a sweet book on Crystallography?  

I can strongly recommend Dana's Textbook of Mineralogy, but no photos. As mentioned elsewhere there are thousands of photos on-line, especially on Mindat.com.
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Andreu




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PostPosted: May 21, 2020 09:41    Post subject: Re: Can somebody recommend a sweet book on Crystallography?  

Thank you all for your suggestions!

I have been searching all the books you recommend and unfortunately not been able to preview most of them. Regarding the information on Mindat I think it is very good. Probably I will try to gather material from Internet and create my own study material, based on Mindat.

I think I would have really enjoyed the Erich Offermann three books in German. The illustrations look great, but unfortunately it is out of print and I have not been able to find it, even in CD. Here is a preview of this book:

https://docplayer.org/80288370-Erich-offermann-kristalle-und-ihre-formen-band-1-theoretische-kristallmorphologie-leseprobe-s-kristallografik-verlag.html
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Thank you all again!
Andreu
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: May 21, 2020 13:40    Post subject: Re: Can somebody recommend a sweet book on Crystallography?  

Hi Fena and Andreu,

I already normalized your links on both posts:
https://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?p=71901#71901 and https://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?p=71910#71910

The links are allowed in FMF but you should use: Links within the message forum
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: May 21, 2020 13:47    Post subject: Re: Can somebody recommend a sweet book on Crystallography?  

Bob Morgan wrote:

Welcome to the forum Andreu. Your request reminded me that I need to write that book. I'm relatively self taught having found the texts too daunting at first. In my quest with the help of a couple of friends, I've found some techniques that make face identification fairly easy and direct. I've done that for pyrite which is on the Rochester Academy of Science website - RASNY.org/ minerals. It is presented without any drawings, only real crystals.

You started me back to doing the same for other minerals this morning. My aim is to help the novice get started with successes. With that under their belts the other works become less daunting and quite useful.

This project will probably work best on the web with the option of film clips allowing the beginner find the useful angles for viewing. We'll see.

It would probably help if someone holds me accountable to get this done and someone like you tests it for usefulness. I would welcome input on ideas for doing this project, although it seems relatively straight forward to me. Perhaps there is a chosen mineral to investigate.

I'll give my contact information if anyone is interested in talking or emailing about it.


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fena kuiperi




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PostPosted: May 21, 2020 13:57    Post subject: Re: Can somebody recommend a sweet book on Crystallography?  

Thanks Jordy, for explaining links, did not understand why my links were refused...
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: May 21, 2020 14:11    Post subject: Re: Can somebody recommend a sweet book on Crystallography?  

fena kuiperi wrote:
Thanks Jordi, for explaining links, did not understand why my links were refused...

Thanks Fena.

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