More modern chemical techniques

The materials we take for granted for life in the modern world of the 21st century are subject to rigorous checks during production, whether they be foodstuffs, medicines, polymers, petrochemicals or the waste products of our use of these materials. it is difficult to think of a single product, by-product or waste product that is not chemically analysed during its lifetime.

This book, along with its companion volume, Modern Chemical Techniques, attempts to inform and update teachers and others on analytical techniques in a wide variety of chemical science applications. The techniques show how minute amounts of material can be separated and identified and how automation can be used to determine the constituents of extremely large molecular systems. The sequencing of the Human Genome and the move into proteomics is at one end of the scale, whilst the ability to separate and detect atto (10_18) quantities of material is at the other.

It is hoped that the book will inform teachers so that they can communicate a flavour of modern analytical methods to their students and support curriculum development so the science curriculum is an evolving organism. This book was produced as part of the Royal Society of Chemistry's programme for the support of education in the field of the chemical sciences. Analytical techniques are powerful tools in a chemist's armoury.

Spectroscopic data and chemical information are used routinely in laboratories to follow a chemical reaction or elucidate a chemical structure. However, the sophistication of the analytical techniques used changes rapidly, hence the routinely used method of today can all too readily be superseded by the new technology of tomorrow. More Modern Chemical Techniques identifies some applications of the important chemical techniques in use today that are less well known in schools and colleges and which illustrate how chemistry is using state-of-the-art technology to push back the frontiers of the subject. Examples include: elemental analysis such as atomic absorption spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma techniques; separations including electrophoresis, structure determination (eg x-ray diffraction and optical microscopy); and sampling and sample preparation.

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Author(s)Ralph Levinson
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