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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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Crystal systematics

Crystal systematics

(p.58) 3 Crystal systematics
Crystals, X-rays and Proteins

Dennis Sherwood

Jon Cooper

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the nature of the crystalline state and introduces the concepts of the motif and symmetry — an understanding of both is very important in analysing the molecular structure of crystals. It discusses the unit cell and crystal lattice, and methods for defining directions and lattice planes within the crystal. It then outlines the essential nature of the various symmetry operations relating molecules within crystals and the manner in which these operations give rise to repeating three-dimensional arrangements of the motif (known as space groups) is described. The inherent limitations on the space groups which are available to protein crystals are also explained.

Keywords:   symmetry, lattice, unit cell, lattice vector, motif, crystal directions, lattice planes, symmetry operations, symmetry elements

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