Generalizing crystallography: a tribute to Alan L. Mackay at 90

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Alan L. Mackay, one of the rare generalists of our time, was a disciple and follower of J. Desmond Bernal. Mackay has contributed decisively to the development of the science of structures and taught generations to look at the broader picture when determining crystal and molecular structures. He was constantly seeking coherence and regularities in observations and in thought experiments and was aiming at creating concepts on the basis of those regularities. His inquiries prompted him to predict the existence of regular but not periodic crystal structures that are known today as quasicrystals.

Original languageEnglish
JournalStructural Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2017



  • Alan L. Mackay
  • Birkbeck College
  • Generalized crystallography
  • J. Desmond Bernal
  • Mackay icosahedron
  • Quasicrystals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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