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SUBJECT: Grenfell PSA: Environmental chemistry prof releases fifth edition of popular textbook
DATE: Feb. 15, 2010

          Dr. Geoff Rayner-Canham’s textbook, Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry, has reached its fifth edition.

          The book is a bestseller in its field both in North America and worldwide and it has been translated so far into four other languages. Dr. Rayner-Canham attributes its continuing success mainly to its logical flow of content, readability and interweaving of applications with the theory.

          “Each new edition is a challenge,” said Dr. Rayner-Canham. “There has to be new and innovative changes from the previous editions.”

          In the fifth edition, he has written a completely new chapter which focuses on the heavy metals, such as tungsten, platinum, and gold. In addition, there are new sections on the latest discoveries in inorganic chemistry, such as the study of very small particles of chemical elements and compounds, a subject called nanochemistry.

          In the revising, he has the collaboration of a colleague from the University of Hull in England, Dr. Tina Overton, who has an extensive knowledge of organometallic chemistry, the subject of one of the chapters.

          One unique challenge for this book is that each edition has a different version of the Periodic Table, the basis of chemistry, on its cover. For the fifth edition, Dr. Rayner-Canham revised and updated a novel circular version devised by Mohammed Abubakr of Hydrabad, India

          Dr. Rayner-Canham derives the greatest satisfaction from the e-mails he receives from chemistry professors from Australia to Sweden to Cambodia expressing their delight with having a text that is so student friendly and comprehensive in its coverage. In addition, he receives e-mails from students commenting how inorganic chemistry is now their favourite subject after having been taught from the text.

           “Of course, the downside of success is that Tina and I must now start making plans for the sixth edition!” said Dr. Rayner-Canham.

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