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Crystals, X-rays and ProteinsComprehensive Protein Crystallography$
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Dennis Sherwood and Jon Cooper

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199559046

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199559046.001.0001

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The crystalline state and its study

The crystalline state and its study

(p.3) 1 The crystalline state and its study
Crystals, X-rays and Proteins

Dennis Sherwood

Jon Cooper

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an introduction to the fundamental states of matter and the phenomenon of anisotropy which is attributable to the ordered solid state. Solids which possess molecular order over macroscopic distances are referred to as crystals. The remainder of the chapter introduces experimental methods of analysing the structure of crystals at the molecular level. The necessity for using electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength comparable to the dimensions of the molecule under study is explained, as is the need to use diffraction methods rather than microscopy for analysing their structures. The chapter concludes with a brief introduction to the properties of protein crystals, such as their fragility and high solvent content.

Keywords:   states of matter, anisotropy, order, crystals, amorphous solids, crystal defects, analysing molecular structures, X-rays, diffraction, protein crystals

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