Although it is now many years since the first edition appeared, I still owe a great debt to my former secretary, Mrs A. Padgett, for her original help in preparing the basis for these further editions. No amount of word processing can replace this painstaking work. In this new edition, I have kept Geoffrey Lyth's original cartoons, which will perhaps lighten the heaviness of the text for those with an artistic bent. The two new authors have revised a number of chapters and their fresh input to an ageing textbook has been essential and much appreciated.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the help and encouragement from Melissa Morton of Springer-Verlag, who has kept the ball bouncing back into my court with great efficiency and thereby played an important part in ensuring the birth of this new edition.

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