Inorganic chemistry in aqueous solution

Inorganic chemistry in aqueous solution
Jack Barrett
Cambridge, UK: RSC 2004 | Pp viii + 184 | 14.95 (SB) | ISBN 085404471X
Reviewed by Paul Walton

Few books take an integrated view of inorganic aqueous chemistry. Inorganic Chemistry in Aqueous Solution is, therefore, a useful addition to the chemical educational literature.

The text necessarily begins with a description of the principal physical and chemical properties of water. The format of the chapter sets the tone for the rest of the book; the readability is enhanced by exercises, margin notes, tables and explanatory boxes. The principles of ion hydration, acids, bases, electrochemical potentials and solubilities are all covered. The reader requires a good grounding in the basics of thermodynamics and physical chemistry to make progress here, but is helped along the way with good use of additional explanations. The most notable feature of these early chapters is that the reader practises and reinforces the associated thermodynamic arguments. There is a valuable introduction to Frost and Latimer diagrams, which are often omitted in standard texts, and it is a real bonus to see them described properly here. The remaining chapters see the principles established in the first part of the text put into practice. The whole periodic table is covered; a student who works through these chapters is likely to have exercised all of the aqueous inorganic chemistry concepts that he/she would encounter on an undergraduate chemistry course.

From a content point of view, the text offers very good value; it is written both authoritatively and accurately. Its treatment of the thermodynamic aspects of inorganic aqueous chemistry is very good indeed. Scrupulous adherence to IUPAC nomenclature and units is pleasing to see. In addition to its explanations and descriptions, the text is packed with data and information that will act as a useful reference source throughout a student’s course and beyond.