New sciences

Gautam Desiraju of the Indian Institute of Science (but earlier at the University of Hyderabad) along with  J J Vittal of the National University in Singapore and A Ramanan of the IIT Delhi have written the first (and definitive) text on a new field, Crystal Enginnering.

Desiraju is one of the founders of the field, so he is ideally suited to have the first (pedagogic) word as well. This book is important because it is the first textbook in an area that has become very popular in recent times. There are around 250 research groups in crystal engineering worldwide today. The subject has been researched for around 40 years but there is still no textbook at the level of senior undergraduates and beginning PhD students. This book is expected to fill this gap.

The writing style is simple, with an adequate number of exercises and problems, and the diagrams are easy to understand. This book consists major areas of the subject, including organic crystals and co-ordination polymers, and can easily form the basis of a 30 to 40 lecture course for senior undergraduates.

From World Scientific, in our Chemistry Section. In paperback, 232 pages, Rs 895  ISBN: 9789814366861

Another new title, Computational Statistical Physics is the outcome of a Department of Science and Technology Winter School held at the IIT Guwahati,  edited by Sitangshu Santra (IIT-Guwahati) and Purusattam Ray (IMSc, Chennai).

The present book is an outcome of the SERC school on Computational Statistical Physics held at the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, in December 2008. Numerical experimentation has played an extremely important role in statistical physics in recent years. Lectures given at the School covered a large number of topics of current and continuing interest.

Based on lectures by active researchers in the field- Bikas Chakrabarti, S Chaplot, Deepak Dhar, Sanjay Kumar, Prabal Maiti, Sanjay Puri, Purusattam Ray, Sitangshu Santra and Subir Sarkar- the nine chapters comprising the book deal with topics that range from the fundamentals of the field, to problems and questions that are at the very forefront of current research.

This book aims to expose the graduate student to the basic as well as advanced techniques in computational statistical physics. Following a general introduction to statistical mechanics and critical phenomena, the various chapters cover Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulation methodology, along with a variety of applications. These include the study of coarsening phenomena and diffusion in zeolites.

In addition, graphical enumeration techniques are covered in detail with applications to percolation and polymer physics, and methods for optimization are also discussed. Beginning graduate students and young researchers in the area of statistical physics will find the book useful. In addition, this will also be a valuable general reference for students and researchers in other areas of science and engineering.
In our Physics section, in softcover, 298 pages, Rs 450. ISBN: 9789380250151