Tuesday, January 21, 2014

On Irving-Williams Series

If you take Inorganic Chemistry, you are very likely to learn Irving-Williams Series. Even if you don't learn it in the class, you will have to learn the series by yourself. Because, it shows up almost everywhere! Simply, the series is about the stability of complex ions and it is extremely important (at least that's what I think now). Anyway, my purpose in writing this post is not to give a lecture on the series. 

Although I define myself as a "curious" person, I have never wondered why the series was named so. I bought Advances in Inorganic Chemistry (Volume 36) long time ago and I have just started to read it.  This volume was dedicated to R.J.P. Williams and it has an introduction by A.G.Sykes. 

So, I started to read the introduction and learned that Prof.Williams is recognized as the "founder" of bioinorganic chemistry. He was very interested in the inorganic elements in biology and as an undergrad he worked with Prof.Irving on a project that would lead to the Irving-Williams Series. This must have been one of the best moments in his career. What a start! Now I know why the series was named after those two names. I hope you too.


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