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Book Review Atomic and Molecular Clusters. Edited by E. R. Bernstein

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use of proline-derived chiral auxiliaries for the stereoselective reduction of ketones and for the stereoselective addition
of organometallic reagents to carbonyl compounds is yet
another achievement of Mukaiyama’s group.
That the author succeeds in accurately and impartially
describing all these results and many more which have been
accomplished in his laboratories is an astonishing achievement. Personal views intrude only rarely, and the results are
reported in essentially chronological order. Only in the prologue and in the epilogue does Mukaiyama allow himself
some personal remarks. In the first, poetic sentence of his
prologue he proclaims the importance of purely exploratory
experimentation. He advocates the importance of the unpredictable as a tool to achieve major breakthroughs in chemical research. One of the most fascinating parts of his book is
the well-documented change of Mukaiyama’s interest from
mechanistic questions to the development of synthetic methods. A series of unexpected results led him to develop the
oxidation-reduction condensation. In spite of the clear distinction made between the different research projects described in the individual chapters, a Western reader is surprised to find how all the innumerable experimental results
seem to be connected by an invisible network of associations.
The fact that most of Mukaiyama’s inventions of new reactions can be traced to the concept of “dehydration” may be
astonishing for Western chemists, but perhaps reflects some
of the Japanese traditions.
Keeping this in mind, the book is not only a source book
for the synthetic chemist about the results of one of the most
successful research groups in Japan, but also affords some
insights into the Japanese way of doing research.
Reinhard Neier [NB 1163 IE]
Institut fur Organische Chemie
der Universitat Fribourg (Switzerland)
Atomic and Molecular Clusters. Edited by E. R. Bernstein.
Elsevier, Amsterdam 1990. 806 pp., hardcover DFI
495.00.--ISBN 0-444-88193-X
Although research on clusters is still a relatively young
field, its close connections with atomic and molecular
physics, solid state physics, and not least with chemistry,
have resulted in it already becoming an extensive field of
study in its own right. This book does not attempt to present
a superficial review of all the different areas of cluster
physics. Instead some of the most important aspects of cluster physics have been selected and described in detail in eight
independent chapters. Each chapter is carefully constructed
and thoughtfully worked out, presenting valuable information in a clearly comprehensible style.
The first chapter, by R. E. Smalley, gives a comprehensive
62-page review of studies on clusters of carbon atoms. Special attention is devoted to the cluster c,,, which according
to the author will possibly “come to be recognized as one of
the most abundant and most important molecules in the
universe”. If this raises some doubts in the reader’s mind, he
or she will presumably feel a need to read this fascinating
The next chapter is a comprehensive and well-written account of clusters of main group elements. In preparing this
the authors, M . L. Mandich, u! D . Reents, Jr. and V. E.
Bondybey, have performed an important service for the clusters research community. This substantial 290-page review is
packed with useful information, and contains nearly 500
literature references. It is the only such report in the clusters
Ver~Rgsgese#schRflmbH, W-6940 Weinheim, 1991
literature, and is enough in itself to make the book a worthwhile purchase.
Chapter 3 is devoted to a specialist topic, the structures of
weakly bound complexes. In this 34-page article S. E.
Novick, K . R. Leopold, and u! Klemperer have tabulated the
most important properties of 144 complexes.
In Chapter 4 R. 0. Watts reports on recent advances in the
IR spectroscopy of van der Waals clusters. Reducing the
temperature of such clusters by adiabatic expansion and
laser cooling makes it possible to obtain IR spectra of previously unattainable resolution.
The following chapter is also concerned with van der
Waals clusters, though in this case with a special class, namely clusters made up of inert gas atoms and halogen atoms.
K. C. Janda and C. R. Bieler describe how such clusters exhibit a wealth of interesting effects, including the so-called
“rotational rainbows” and quantum interference effects associated with vibrational predissociation.
In Chapter 6 A. W Castlemann, Jr. and R. G. Keese describe a number of important techniques for observing clusters in a cluster beam, together with the interpretation of the
results from such measurements. Special attention is given to
the technique of resonance enhanced multiphoton ionization
of clusters followed by detection in a time-of-flight mass
Chapter 7 represents another substantial contribution by
this book. In this 200-page article the editor, E. R . Bernstein,
describes the properties of a special class of molecular clusters consisting of two or more different molecular species,
usually organic, one of which is spectroscopically active. By
applying absorption and emission spectroscopy to molecular
clusters of this type, together with computer simulations, one
can investigate the ground and excited states.
The eighth and final chapter is a well-written review by
R. L. Whetten and M . I:Hahn of the spectroscopy of large
molecular clusters. It includes discussions of the liquid drop
model, the elementary excitations, and the liquid-solid transition in molecular clusters.
This book succeeds in the aim of filling the gap between
international conference reports and general reviews. The
wealth of information that it contains should make it a welcome addition to the library of every cluster physicist.
Thomas Lunge and T Patrick Martin [NB 1114 IE]
Max-Planck-Institut fur Festkorperforschung,
Stuttgart (FRG)
Quasicrystals, Networks, and Molecules of Fivefold Symmetry. By I. Hargittai. VCH Verlagsgesellschaft, Weinheim/
VCH Publishers, New York 1990. xiii, 314 pp., hardcover,
DM 14%.00.--ISBN 3-527-27927-X/O-89573-723-X
The discovery by Shechtman et al. in 1984 of a material
that exhibited the diffraction properties of an ordinary crystal (Bragg peaks) and yet seemed to display perfect fivefold
rotational symmetry has brought on a surge of activity in
solid state chemistry and physics. The output of the scientific
community in this area has been very large indeed, and the
need for monographs, both as introductions to the field and
as overviews, is obvious. The present book is therefore timely
(although not unique, as a fair number of monographs on
the subject have already appeared).
The book covers an area ranging from pure mathematics
to organic chemistry, thus providing a good overview to
newcomers and experts alike. Like any monograph consisting of a number of papers by different authors, it suffers
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 30 (1991) No. 10
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