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MHS Alum donates science handbooks
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Dr. William “Mickey” Haynes, editor-in-chief of “The CRC Handbook of Chemistry & Physics,” presents donated copies of the book in hardcopy and electronic format to Martinsville High School chemistry teacher Rob Tolbut and Principal Aji Dixon for use in Martinsville science classes. (Contributed photo)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

By KIM BUCK - Special to the Bulletin

A Martinsville High School (MHS) graduate who is editor-in-chief of one of the most accessed and respected scientific reference books in the world recently donated books to the MHS library.

Experimental physicist Dr. William “Mickey” Haynes donated two hardbound copies of the latest edition of “The CRC Handbook of Chemistry & Physics,” and three electronic copies for use in Martinsville High School’s chemistry and physics classes.

“We’re very thankful for it,” MHS Principal Aji Dixon said of the book donation. “It’s another example of people from this community who are willing to contribute in some way to help the young people of Martinsville. I know students will find it useful.”

The handbook is the premier reference guide in those fields for college students and scientists alike, according to chemistry teacher Rob Tolbut.

“This book is definitely going to be a real asset for our students, especially our upper-level and AP chemistry and physics classes,” he said. “It will let students get a feel for going into these majors in college.”

He added that “it’s a perfect addition with us having the new science classrooms,” referring to the renovations at Martinsville High School, which include updated 21st century science lab facilities.

Haynes is only the fifth editor-in-chief of the handbook since it began publication a century ago, and he is the first physicist. Previous editors have been chemists, he said. The first edition of the manual started in 1913 with 113 pages, and it has grown to more than 2,800 pages and a weight of 7.5 pounds. Haynes became editor-in-chief in 2009, starting with the 91st edition, and is currently working on the 94th edition, which will be released in June 2013. The current edition was the first to be made available as an ebook.

Haynes, a former Martinsville basketball player, graduated from MHS in 1961 and went on to earn a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Virginia. He joined the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Colorado in 1970, conducting research on the thermophysical properties of fluids. He retired as chief of NIST’s Physical and Chemical Properties Division in 2003.

Haynes also has served as editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Thermophysics since 1997 and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He is a scientist emeritus for NIST and lives in Colorado.


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