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Book Review An Introduction to Polymer Science. By H.-G. Elias

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was no easy task in view of the breadth of easily accessible for ordinary readers. A
the subject and the enormously wide possible improvement to the book would
range of practical applications, and suc- be to introduce each chapter with a short
cess was only made possible through the summary.
Hans-Dieter Dorfler
powerful research resources of the Henkel
Fachrichtung Chemie/Kolloidchemie
der Technischen Universitat Dresden
The monograph consists of 14 chapters.
Chapter 1 reviews the history of the industrial development of APGs and their place
in surfactants chemistry, then Chapter 2
describes the technology of this class of An Introduction to Polymer Science.
compounds and the methods whereby By H.-G. Elias. WILEY-VCH, Weinthey are synthesized, with clearly set out heim, 1997. xxii, 470 pp., hardcover
process schemes which help the reader’s DM 88.00-ISBN 3-527-28790-6
understanding. Chapter 3 describes the
This book is invaluable. It is well writmethods used for the analysis of APGs
(HPLC, chromatography, etc.), enlivened ten, well organized, and captures the mulby many instructive examples. Chapter 4 tidisciplinary nature of the field of polygives a very informative discussion of the mer science. The
physical and chemical properties of book is organized
APGs, including mixtures of two or more into three sections
compounds. Phase diagrams and related with a total of fifaspects are covered, thus providing the teen chapters coverbasis for understanding the later chapters. ing the various asAs well as treating binary and multicom- pects of polymer
ponent systems, this chapter deals with chemistry, polymer
the rheological properties of APGs, inter- physics, and polyfacial phenomena, and phase diagrams mer processing. It
for microemulsions. This treatment pro- starts with a good
vides the first comprehensive picture of introduction giving the reader a history
the properties of APGs in their many as- lesson in the discovery/invention and subpects and variations, especially for multi- sequent development of polymer science.
component systems. Chapter 5 moves on Then the author covers the basics of polyfrom the basic knowledge covered in the mer structure and molecular weight distriprevious chapters by describing the cos- bution. Instead of separating the experimetic and dermatological properties of mental determination of molecular weight
APGs, and Chapter 6 discusses the cleans- distribution from the theoretical aspects
ing effects of APGs on “hard” surfaces. (as commonly done in other textbooks),
Chapter 7 is concerned with the “formula- the author addresses both the theoretical
tion problems” involved in the agricultur- aspect and experimental determination
al uses of APGs. Chapters 8- 10 then deal within the same chapter. This is an imwith synthetic aspects of the new nonion- provement over the way other authors
ics and with their toxicological and der- present the subject. The remaining chapmatological properties. Chapters 11 and ters in the “Chemistry” section cover the
12 are concerned with the environmental gamut of types of polymerization, includaspects of the use of APGs. Chapter 13 ing the usual anionic, cationic, free radicontains valuable information about the cal, and step growth. The chapter on free
patent situation with regard to APGs, and radical copolymerizations and the followlastly Chapter 14 gives a brief survey of ing appendix to Chapter 3 are especially
the position regarding feedstocks for well done. In addition, the chapter on biological polymerizations is helpful with remanufacturing APGs.
This monograph is unique in its treat- spect to natural fiber production.
The next two sections of the book cover
ment of a wide range of properties of
APGs that are relevant to their applica- the physics and physical chemistry of
tions, and thus it is extremely valuable for polymers. The physical chemistry section
the laboratory scientist working in this concentrates on polymer packing, polyfield. As a consequence of the way in mer chain motion, viscosity, and polymer
which the volume has been written, a cer- thermodynamics. There is a strong emtain amount of overlapping is unavoid- phasis on theoretical considerations withable. The individual chapters make effec- in these sections. The section on polymer
tive use of diagrams and schemes to aid physics focuses on bulk properties of
the reader’s understanding. There is a use- polymers. There is a particularly compreful bibliography at the end of each chap- hensive chapter within this section on
ter, although this often includes references polymer transitions and relaxations. Finto company research reports that are not ishing up this section is a chapter on solid
Anxew. Chem. Inr.
Ed. Engl. 1997, 36, No. 22
0 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH, D-69451 Weinheim, 1997
state properties, which covers viscoelastic
concepts, deformation of polymers, and
failure modes of polymers. The last section of the book is entitled “Technology”,
meaning polymer technology. This section covers the pragmatic nuts and bolts
of polymer processing, usage, disposal,
and recycling.
Overall, the book is outstanding in a
number of areas. The author is diligent
and well organized with regard to the references at the end of every chapter, and
general references for more in depth discussion of subject matter are always readily accessible. In addition, a comprehensive table of symbols and succinct appendices round off a truly excellent job of
documentation. As an instructor, I found
that some of the sections and some of the
figures used as examples were more
geared towards an intermediate audience
rather than to beginning students in polymer science. As a reference source for
technicians and scientists in industry who
work in the polymer field, this is a “must
have” book. However, most of the chapters are very well suited to instructing the
novice polymer scientist, and I will use
this book as a supplementary textbook for
my next course.
Mark Soucek
Department of Polymers and Coatings
North Dakota State University
Fargo, ND (USA)
Enzymes. A Practical Introduction to
Structure, Mechanism and Data Analysis. By R.A . Copeland. VCH Publishers, New York, 1996. 322 pp.,
hardcover DM 89.00.-ISBN
This book is intended to serve as an
introduction to working methods in enzymology for beginners. Seven of the eleven
chapters are mainly devoted to a meticulous treatment of kinetic methods and the
analysis of the data obtained.
Chapter 1 presents a short history of
enzymology, which is unfortunately too
brief and contains inaccuracies. Sanger
published the complete sequence of insulin in 1953, not in 1957 as stated here,
and his method did not involve the Edman breakdown reaction (p. 7). Chapter 2
contains a basic summary of the knowledge of general chemistry that should be
familiar to every science student who has
successfully reached the pre-degree year.
Chapter 3, “Structural Components of
Enzymes”, summarizes the standard textbook knowledge concerning protein
structure. The structures of five arbitrarily
chosen cofactors are described; however,
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