1. Editorial

The red hot news this issue is that your elderly Editor has busted his left leg! He is VERY hurt because everyone laughs. I know you won’t believe it, but I was doing some gardening – very odd in a way because I hate gardening and almost never do it –[and odd as you’d spent the last three weeks fixing the roof and not even broken a fingernail! Louise] fell and finished up in hospital. As I write, the plaster comes off in 12 days and 2 hours! Phew!

In this issue, we explore gases and vapours. Very few infrared people record spectra of gases, but a small group do nothing but gases so I thought it would be an idea to produce an edition to bring the non-users up-to-speed.

We kick off with an introductory piece by yours truly covering most of the field [I hope it doesn’t read like one of those undergraduate lectures you quickly learn to fall asleep in!] and then go on to an article by Peter Middleton of Servomex. His company makes gas analysers and he kindly responded to my recent ‘cris-de coeur’ about our urgent need for copy. Tom Klapötke did the same (see his paper on the gases generated by explosive reactions in Section 3) [Comment: Some people do make life difficult for themselves. Fancy making a career out of blowing up the kit!!] and so I changed our plans and decided to go for a gas phase edition.

We have been promised other papers in this field including results on a fascinating study of pollution in city streets. I hope we can publish this very soon.

One of the areas where Raman is making progress is in the analysis identification and dating of ancient artefacts [do you mean you? – Louise]. This fascinating field is being covered in a special one day meeting organised by an old friend [the youthful] Prof Howell Edwards at Bradford University. I plan to attend make notes and report my impressions to you in the next edition to follow the meeting. For details see Announcements.

In the submitted section of this edition, we have Tom Klapötke’s paper on gases resulting from explosions preceded by an unusual piece from Simona Badelescu entitled ‘Scanning Electron Microscopy & FTIR spectroscopy characterization of Polystyrene Colloidal Crystals on various substrates’. Have a look at it – very interesting indeed. I’m sure some of you will comment about the diagrams in my pieces. Humble apologies but travel is very tricky and I live several miles from the office. So – I drew the figures on tracing paper – sent them to Louise by fax and she scanned them and so that’s what you get.