On 25 November 2002 Udo Schwertmann celebrated his 75th birthday. Even to those who are in regular contact with him, this is conceivable only with difficulty: every bit as vital as ever, he appears not to have aged at all – either mentally or physically. Following publication of an expanded second edition of the iron oxide ‘recipe’ book in 2000, he has now completed work on the second edition of the comprehensive iron oxide opus (both with Shelley Cornell). This is a momentous task, being more of a new book than an updated version of the first edition, and at...

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