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Book Review Air Chemistry and Radioactivity. By C. E. Junge. International Geophysis Series Vol. 4 edited by J

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cyanide as early as 1782 and even tested its “unusual odor and
taste” in complete unawareness of the toxicity of the compound. However, Scheele’s name will remain famous mainly
because of his discovery of oxygen around 1771, i.e. before the work of Priestley in 1774, although Scheele did not
publish his findings until later in his book “Chemische Abhandlung von der Luft und dem Feuer” (Chemical Discourse
on Air and Fire) in 1777. According to J. R . Partingtan a report on Scheele’s work had actually been published beforehand in 1775 by Bergman. “There can hardly be another
scientist”, writes Zekert, “who, within the brief span of only
two decades, has created something so meaningful and of lasting value as has Scheele”, and hence it now seems almost
incredible that all his scientific work was carried out within
the confines of a laboratory attached to his pharmacy.
The volume closes with a table giving a synopsis of the important dates in Scheele’s life in relation to world events of
that time. This book will perhaps induce its readers to interest
themselves further in this fascinating scientist and in the effects of his work on the development o f organic chemistry.
W. Ruske [NB 25711 15 IE]
Mass Spectrometry of Organic Ions. Edited by F. W. McLafferty. Academic Press Inc., New York-London 1963. 1st
Edit., xii f 730 pp., numerous illustrations and tables,
linen, $24.00.
In recent years mass spectrometry has assumed an important
position in chemical research. In this collective volume several
authors review their particular fields. The topics dealt with
are intended for chemists and physicochemists and include
both theoretical and practical aspects of mass spectrometry.
The result is a multifarious treatment that will be inspiring
and useful to all interested in the subject.
The sections on the quasi-equilibrium theory and appearance
potentials are written clearly and with discerning criticism.
Several instructive chapters are devoted to the application of
mass spectrometry to the study of ion-molecule reactions,
free radicals, electrical discharges, and flames, and abundant
data are given on experimental techniques, equipment, and
previous results. A section on the mass spectra of negative
ions is also included.
The second part of the book, which is dedicated to the correlation of mass spectra with molecular structure, will undoubtedly be of greatest interest to the organic chemist. A
brief but excellent recapitulation of the general principles involved is followed by chapters in which the techniques
and results of mass spectrometry are illustrated by way of
examples. Investigations of numerous fatty esters made it
possible to detect the fragmentation paths and to elucidate the
structures of some natural products. Extensive studies of alkylbenzenes revealed very surprising information about the
structures of some ions. Both chapters distinguish in exemplary
fashion between proven and postulated fragmentations.
The next section (on the elucidation of the structures of amino
acids and alkaloids) illustrates how complicated natural
materials can be successfully investigated by combining chemical and mass-spectroscopic results. The success in studying
complex mixtures of similar compounds is demonstrated by
taking petroleum as a n example. A section o n high-resolution
spectrometers indicates the vast potentials of this method.
The chapter o n terpenes is unfortunately not satisfactory. In
contrast to the rest of the book, here the individual compounds are dealt with too summarily; the fragmentations are
few and are all unproved. In addition, there are several errors
here, e . g . the fragmentation of myrcene o n page 653.
On the whole, however, the book is to be highly recommended.
Its individual articles are excellent and describe the whole field
of mass spectrometry; repetitions have been almost invariably
avoided. The literature has generally been evaluated till spring
1962. All results and findings have been critically reviewed;
this and the abundant use of tables and illustrations deserve
particular praise.
W. Benz [NB 254/112 IE]
Air Chemistry and Radioactivity. By C. E. Junge. International
Geophysics Series, Vol. 4, edited by J. van Mieglienz. Academic Press, New York-London 1963. 1st Edit., xii +
382 pp., 83 figs., 66 tables, linen $ 13.50.
Publications o n the chemistry of the atmosphere are scattered
throughout many scientific journals. The author is therefore
to be highly commended for this survey of the present state
of research on this subject, which is now developing rapidly.
The concentrations of oxygen, nitrogen, and most of the inert
gases in the atmosphere can be regarded as being constant
with respect to space and time, and hence are not dealt with
in the book. The distributions with space and time of the
other gaseous components of the atmosphere - over a dozen
are known - are described (Chapter 1). These data are important not only because of their influence on organic life
(e.g. owing t o their absorption of sunlight), but also for the
investigation of atmospheric circulation and exchange processes. In the second chapter, the physical and chemical properties of aerosols are discussed, together with their distribution in the troposphere and stratosphere. Aerosols have the
property of concentrating material from their environment in
various ways, and so their structure and composition are continuously changing; they are largely responsible for atmospheric static, atmospheric optics, cloud formation, and the
chemistry of the atmosphere.
The most important rainfall processes, which are responsible
for the clearing of the atmosphere, are nucleation within
clouds and scrubbing by rainfall underneath the clouds. There
are also numerous other processes by which materials can be
removed from the atmosphere: sedimentation, fixation by
objects o n the earth‘s surface, adsorption of gases, chemical
reactions, and escape into outer space. General rules for these
processes are derived here from a large number of observations (Chapter 4). The most important topic in this connection is the chemical composition of rainfall.
Impurities in the air are mainly due to industrial factories and
roadway traffic. I n the fifth chapter, a general discussion on
the composition of these impurities, their distribution, and
their removal from the atmosphere is given. Atmospheric
radioactivity is discussed in the third chapter; this arises from
three sources: the natural radioactivity of the earth’s crust,
which leads to the emanation of radon and thoron, the radioactive isotopes produced in the upper troposphere and lower
stratosphere by cosmic rays (of these, 14C and 3H have acquired particular importance), and the nuclides formed by
nuclear explosions, which are now of general interest because
of the danger of radiation damage due to radioactive fall-out.
Much attention is given to a description of the distribution
of these isotopes in the atmosphere and of their importance
for studying circulatory and separatory processes.
This book by Jirnge links together chemistry, nuclear chemistry, and meteorology. It will provide a valuable aid to all
scientists interested i n problems associated in the widest sense
with the atmosphere.
W. Groth [NB 260/118 IE]
Anorganische Chemie (Inorganic Chemistry), Volume 111. By
I . Naray-Szabd. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin and Verlag der
Ungarischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Budapest
1963. 1st Edit., pp. 669, 21 illustr., 4 tabl., linen D M 48.(about $12.00).
With this third and last volume, the German edition of “Anorganische Chemie” is now completed. The first three chapters deal with the metals and compounds of the copper, zinc,
and gallium groups and the fourth, very extensive chapter is
devoted to the chemistry of the iron and platinum groups of
metals. In addition, the rare gases are discussed, and the rare
gas fluorides and oxygen-containing xenon compounds discovered during the last two years are mentioned. A comprehensive account of the properties of the elements and a short
section o n geochemistry and cosmic chemistry complete this
Angew. Cfieni.internot. Edit. / V d . 4 (1965)
1 No. 2
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