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Book Review Chemical Applications of Pattern Recognition. By P. C. Jurs and T. L. Isenhour

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BOOK REVIEWS
Chemical Applications of Pattern Recognition. By P. C. Jurs
and 7: L. Isenhour. John Wiley and Sons, New York-London 1975. 1st Edit., vii, 184 pp., numerous tables, bound,
f 8.25.
The reader of analytical journals will discover that increasing
reference is made to publications in which operational techniques derived from information science are applied. One of
these methods is pattern recognition. The customary application of this procedure in chemistry is for the identification
of substances in a compilation of substance properties (usually
spectroscopic data).
In their book Juvs and Isenhour give a survey of the principles of pattern recognition and how it can be applied in
chemistry. As “chemical criteria” they use, inter alia, mass
spectra, IR spectra, and also electrochemical data, the latter
in some cases in combination with mass spectra, IR spectra,
boiling and melting points, and so on. O n a very extensive
series of substances they demonstrate the results that can
thus be achieved. Each chapter concludes with a literature
review.
It would undoubtedly be very useful for the chemist to
have an intelligible book on pattern recognition tailored to
the chemical mode of thinking, for the analyst at least will
be obliged in the foreseeable future to familiarize himself
with this procedure and its possible applications. However,
the authors have to a very large extent retained the language
of information science, so that the book is very difficult to
read, at least for chemists trained in German-language countries. However, there is also another problem that arises once
again: namely, what was long a simple matter becomes unintelligible when presented in the formalism of information science!
Egon Fahr [NB 299 IE]
Instrumental Methods of Analysis. By H . H . Willard, L. L.
Merritt, Jr., and J . A . Dean. D. van Nostrand Company,
New York-Wokingham
1974. 5th Edit., xix, 860 pp.,
numerous figs., bound, L 8.50.
The question of the extent and method of giving chemists
an insight into the “black box” of an apparatus for instrumental analysis have long been a standard discussion theme for
colloquia and seminars concerned with this field. In the present
book the authors provide the answers in a quite masterly
manner. In 27 chapters they demonstrate, usually starting
from didactically excellent drawings, the general principles
and apparatus for the methods of instrumental analysis (after
two chapters on electronic components: absorption spectroscopy in the UV/visible and IR regions, fluorescence spectroscopy, Raman, NMR, and ESR spectroscopy, X-ray and radiochemical methods, flame photometry, atomic absorption and
emission spectroscopy, refractometry and interferometry,
polarimetric, ORD, and C D methods, mass spectrometry,
thermal analysis, gas chromatography, electrochemical
methods, pH, ion-selective and potentiometric titrations, automated analytical procedures). The individual chapters are sensibly subdivided; they also contain proposals for instrumental
investigations in practice and training exercises (problems),
as well as a bibliography and details of the literature cited.
The book closes with a very extensive subject index (29 pages).
The text is didactically excellent and a wealth of instructive
illustrations is provided. The new and rarer techniques such
as Fourier IR and NMR spectroscopy, ENDOR and ELDOR,
cycloid, ion-cyclotron resonance, quadrupole and monopole
mass spectrometry are also described. Unfortunately, the literature cited also contains references to journals that the German
178
reader will hardly find useful ( e . g . Ind. Eng. Chem., Anal.
Ed.; Off. Dig. Fed. SOC.Paint Technol.).
The book is indeed one of the best in the field of instrumental
analysis and is an extremely useful reference work for all
who are actively teaching this profession and for those who
require information, even on one brief occasion, about a specificmethod-the principles of its apparatus and the possibilities
of its application.
Egon Fahr [NB 301 IE]
Handbook of Chemistty ahd #hnics. Edited by R. C. Weast.
CRC Press, Cleveland (Ohio), 1975, 56th edit., 2361 pp.,
bound, D M 89.-.
The fact that after 57 years of existence a book has gone
through 56 editions, which differ from one another by improvements and modernizations, is probably rare even among handbooks. It indicates not only the usefulness of the book but
also the commitment of the editor and the 131 scientists
named as his “Collaborators and Contributors” and the “Physics Editorial Board”. The word “Chemistry” ist rightly placed
first in the title, for of its 2361 pages, 1497 are devoted to
the three sections “The Elements and Inorganic Compounds”
(421 pp.), “Organic Compounds”(797pp.),and “General Chemical” (279pp.). In addition to this, the book contains mathematical tables (192 pages), a Section called “General Physical
Constants” (253 pages), where many points of importance
and interest to the chemist are to be found, and a “Miscellaneous” chapter (352 pages) which provides much information
useful in practice (densities of various solids and liquids,
hardness tables, surface tensions, viscosities, critical temperatures and pressures, and a long table of “Definitions and
Formulas”, to mention only a few). The book is a mine of
information, all of which is easily retrievable thanks to
a subject index comprising 57 pages. Each table is provided
with all the necessary explanations and is thus completely
self-consistent. The reader is always informed what unit
to assign to a numerical value, although here adherence
to the international conventions would be desirable : an
upper case K for kilo in KeV, or Kcal is simply wrong,
cu.cm instead of cm3 is not much better, and g-mol is today
just as superfluous as g-cal. These, however, are only minor
gripes. For the person who likes to have his private data
bank close to his desk and who wants to find the particular
value he needs with a minimum of searching, there is no
handbook @fkring better value for money.
Helmut Griinewald [NB 305 IE]
Comprehensive Biochemistry. Vol. 29 B : Comparative Biochemistry. Molecular Evolution, Part 2. Edited by M . Florkin and E. H . Stotz. Elsevier Scientific Publication Company,
Amsterdam 1975. 1st Edit., xii, 284 pp., numerous figs.
and tables, bound, % 34.60.
The history of the development of various forms of life
has gained a new dimension by the changeover from descriptive
to quantitative biology. Moreover, refinement of the methods
has made it possible to include molecular structures in the
comparisons of their historical development. Microorganisms
are undoubtedly the earliest inhabitants of the Earth; they
have already survived at least 10l2 generations and have
thus been able to try out innumerable mutations in their
efforts to utilize optimally the living space provided by the
planet. Unlike algae, protozoa, and fungi, during this process
they have not developed morphological variations to the same
extent as their capacity for selective metabolism and biochemical mechanisms.
Angew. Chem. I n t . Ed. Enyl.
/
Vol. 15 (1976) N o . 3
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