These volumes are a contribution to assist readers in their understanding of chemistry and chemical ideas and concepts. The 509 articles have been carefully chosen to provide basic information on a broad range of topics. For those readers who desire to expand their knowledge of a topic, we have included bibliographic references to readily accessible sources.
The continual evolution of the discipline of chemistry is reflected in our treatment of the elements. The careful reader will note that we have included articles for the first 104 elements; the remainder of the elements are "recently" discovered or exist only as short-lived species and, accordingly, are not readily available for the usual chemical studies that reveal, for example, their bulk properties or reactivity and much of the "standard chemistry" that is of interest. Much of what little we know about the elements beyond 104 permits us to place these elements in their appropriate places in the periodic table, which nevertheless still turns out to be quite insightful from a chemical point of view.
Entries in the Encyclopedia are in alphabetic sequence. Cross-references appear in small capitals at the ends of the articles to help readers locate related discussions. Articles range from brief, but concise, definitions to extensive overviews that treat key concepts in larger contexts. A list of common abbreviations and symbols, and a list of the known elements, as well as a modern version of the periodic table are included in the For Your Reference section at the beginning of each volume. A glossary and a comprehensive index appear at the end of each volume.
September 13, 2010