In 1984 physicists discovered a monster in the world of crystallography, a structure that appeared to contain five-fold symmetry axes, which cannot exist in strictly periodic structures. Such quasi-periodic structures became known as quasicrystals. A previously formulated theory in terms of higher dimensional space groups was applied to them and new alloy phases were prepared which exhibited the properties expected from this model more closely. Thus many of the early controversies were dissolved.
In 2011, the Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to Dan Shechtman for the discovery of quasicrystals.
This primer provides a descriptive approach to the subject for those coming to it for the first time. The various practical, experimental, and theoretical topics are dealt with in an accessible style. The book is completed by problem sets and there is a computer program that generates a Penrose lattice.