Inorganic chemistry, as the authors define it, is the chemistry of all elements except carbon: a broad subject covered by many textbooks, targeting audiences with varied chemical backgrounds. This is a first edition in its current format under the dual authorship of Catherine Housecroft and Alan Sharpe, which has evolved from three earlier editions by Sharpe. The level and breadth of coverage provides textbook support for a three-year chemistry degree, presenting a thorough course in inorganic chemistry in a good sequence, and not simply a reference text. The attractive two-colour grey and blue format brings chemistry to life.
Background concepts of symmetry, bonding, the ionic model and solution properties precede the chemistry of the main groups and transition metals, while the final topical chapters present reaction mechanisms, catalysis, solid state and bio-inorganic chemistry. Each chapter opens by drawing attention to relevant topics covered earlier, and concludes with a summary, a bibliography of textbooks and primary literature, and a problems section.
Selected solutions are provided; the remainder are in an accompanying solutions manual. A companion website contains selected figures, molecular structures and online multiple-choice quizzes. There are also suggestions on incorporation into lecture courses. The pages are sprinkled with boxes presenting some fashionable applications, theoretical background and the biological and environmental contexts of modern inorganic chemistry.
Molecular orbital theory is extensively employed, although the approach makes little use of helpful, but challenging, group theory. Valence bond, hybrid orbital and crystal field theories have been retained where appropriate, presenting a refreshing smorgasbord of modern treatments and the qualitative aspects of more mature ones.
I enjoyed the style of the earlier single-authored editions, with a compact balance of theory, trends and facts. This style has been updated and enhanced in this readable, fair-priced text.
Andrew Hughes is lecturer in chemistry, University of Durham.
Inorganic Chemistry. First edition
Author - Catherine E. Housecroft and Alan G. Sharpe
ISBN - 0 582 31080 6
Publisher - Prentice Hall
Price - £32.99
Pages - 808