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Book Review Chemical Speaking Dictionary of Quotations. Edited by Carl C. Gaither and Alma E. Cavazos-Gaither

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coworkers, who were interdisciplinary
pioneers in the field. At the outset the
preface and the systematic arrangement
of the sixteen chapters strongly support
this impression. All aspects of the historical development are described, starting with the chemical building blocks
such as crown ethers, viologens, or
dendrimers, and progressing to controlled translational and rotational movement and artificial photosynthesis. The
clearly written text is illustrated with
beautiful drawings and even a series of
color pictures. This shows the advantage
of a book written entirely by the same
team of authors: the text, graphics,
legends, and literature references are
of a piece, and the reader does not need
to adjust to differing definitions and
styles. It is particularly commendable
that complex formulae and drawings
from the original literature have been
redrawn in the same style throughout.
Photophysical measurements form a
topic that recurs frequently throughout
the book; the authors definitely feel at
home in this area and are able to present
even difficult matter in a very convincing and excellent way.
In accordance with the subtitle “A
Journey into the Nanoworld”, the
reader travels through the realm of
nano-architectures and functions at the
molecular level. The table of contents is
like a map: from general concepts one is
guided to molecular wires, switchable
molecules, light-harvesting antennas,
and the conversion of solar energy in
ways that bypass the usual principles of
electron and energy transfer. The
second challenging, but intellectually
appealing, part of the journey begins
with molecular switches and logic gates
and leads to mechanical movements in
molecules, ion channels, and proton
pumps. Guided by an expert travel
guide, the reader finally reaches the
field of mechanically bound molecules
which perform rotational, translational,
and threading motions controlled by
external stimuli.
The book is of highest quality, not
only with respect to its contents, but also
as far as formal aspects are concerned.
An extensive glossary gives short definitions of terms like supramolecular
approach”, topology, rotaxane, kinesin,
molecular recognition, F)rster mecha-
nism, cucurbituril, allosteric effects, etc.
In addition, a clearly organized table of
contents and a detailed index help the
reader to orientate himself/herself
within the book.
Due to their long experience, the
authors are cautious about using the
somewhat exaggeratory terms such as
molecular machines, molecular motors,
switches, or antennas. These terms are
certainly useful for motivating scientists
and attracting the necessary funding.
However, the aim of developing synthetic molecular motors doing useful
work in analogy to biological motors is
still a challenge. Based on the broad
fundamentals discussed in the book, one
might well expect that these goals can be
achieved within the next few years. It
does not seem overstated to predict that
molecules will literally—even as single
molecules—learn to walk!
The journey is not yet over. It will
need much more creative work, cooperation, and well-focused research to
mimic the functions of biological
machines in all respects. Similarly, the
design and synthesis of novel nanodevices remains a fascinating challenge.
This type of interdisciplinary science
and “molecular technology” depends
on enthusiastic scientists. For these and
many others, this wonderful book is a
must and a motivation at the same time.
Fritz Vgtle, Christoph A. Schalley
Kekulé-Institut fr Organische Chemie
und Biochemie
Universitt Bonn (Germany)
Chemical Speaking
Dictionary of
Edited by Carl C.
Gaither and
Alma E. CavazosGaither. Institute
of Physics Publishing Ltd., Bristol 2002. 583 pp.,
$ 29.00.—ISBN
One3s curiosity is aroused immediately
by the title of this book and by reading
6 2003 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
on the cover that it “... is the largest
compilation of published chemistry quotations available”. What can lie behind
these words? Certainly a lot of diligent
collecting work, as is apparent from the
number of pages. A married couple who
are bibliophiles with scientific interests
have set themselves the task of writing a
series of books of quotations. They are
doing so at a breathtaking pace, having
already dealt with statistics (1996), physics, mathematics, engineering, medicine,
general science, life sciences, and now
(in 2002) chemistry.
The first thoughts that come to mind
on looking at this collection concern the
mechanics of the compilation process.
There are 28 chapters. The bibliography
and index together occupy 124 pages.
Here already the first weaknesses
become apparent. The book does not
give the years of birth and death of the
people quoted, and only literature in the
English language has been covered.
Moreover, some “standard works” such
as those by Isaac Asimov or Alan
Mackay are not mentioned. One is
especially struck by the fact that only a
small proportion of the people quoted
are chemists. Completeness and relevance have apparently not been high in
the editors3 priorities. However, that is
not necessarily a disadvantage, as it is
also interesting to discover how our
discipline appears from the perspective
of other professions and areas of experience. In the individual chapters the
quotations are listed again under the
names of the authors arranged alphabetically. This has some consequences:
the banal appears alongside the important, and trivialities intervene to distract
the reader who may be reflecting about
some profound point. If you enjoy that
kind of variety, you will benefit from this
book. It makes easy and agreeable
reading with its spacious and attractive
layout, and there are a few cartoons
which lighten the book in an unobtrusive way, although of course one3s
appreciation of them is a question of
What should be my recommendation? Anyone who is interested in
quotations cannot do without this
book. It can also be recommended for
those who take pleasure in original
phraseology or in poetry with a scientific
theme. It would be nice to be able to
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2003, 42, 2331 – 2335
recommend it for many of one3s chemical colleagues, but for that it would
need considerable revision by an experienced chemist, and a compendium of
this sort should contain many more
quotations from chemists. The chosen
method is a good one, but the yield
could be better. If the experiment is to
be repeated, one3s hopes are high. This
phenomenon is only too familiar to us as
Hans-J$rgen Quadbeck-Seeger
Bad Drkheim (Germany)
Practical Sonochemistry
Power Ultrasound
Uses and Applications. 2nd edition. By Timothy J.
Mason and Dietmar Peters. Horwood Publishers,
Chichester 2002.
155 pp., hardcover
£ 35.00.—ISBN 1898563-83-7
Like microwave-assisted chemistry,
sonochemistry is attracting considerable
research activity within the synthetic
chemistry community because it offers a
new approach to the preparation of
organic and inorganic compounds.
Therefore a book on the practical
aspects of sonochemistry should be a
valuable asset. The book by Mason and
Peters aims to give an introduction to
ultrasound and its applications, and is
the second edition of a book first
published in 1991, when sonochemistry
as applied to synthesis was really in its
infancy. The first chapter presents a
general introduction to ultrasound and
sonochemistry. The next two chapters
discuss the construction and use of
ultrasound baths and probes respectively. Chapter 4 discusses the types of
equipment that are currently available
for large-scale sonochemistry. The final
chapter consists of a collection of sonochemical experiments with the aim of
acting as guides to correct laboratory
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2003, 42, 2331 – 2335
In their introduction to ultrasound in
chemistry the authors provide an interesting and informative explanation of
the key concepts, including parameters
that affect cavitation and how ultrasound is generated. In addition, they
introduce the idea of sonochemical yield
and highlight the safety aspects of sonochemical equipment. The chapter can at
times be hard going to read, partly
because of the fact that the text is very
small and densely packed onto the
pages. This chapter, together with the
others, is augmented by illustrative
examples in shaded text boxes. These
are as diverse as the verification of the
extreme conditions inside an acoustic
bubble and the use of ultrasound in the
restoration of the Tudor warship Mary
Rose. They certainly add to the general
interest of the book.
In their chapters on the design and
use of ultrasonic apparatus in the laboratory the authors focus on ultrasonic
baths (Chapter 2) and ultrasonic probes
(Chapter 3). Each consists of an introduction into the construction of the
apparatus, its set-up, and how to maximize its efficiency and usefulness. What
I particularly liked was that at the end of
each of the two chapters there is a
summary of the advantages and disadvantages of using that particular apparatus for sonochemistry. Also highlighted in the case of ultrasonic baths
are the problems of reproducibility.
Although ultrasonic baths are cheap
and easy to obtain, a real problem
when trying to reproduce work reported
in the literature is that their operating
frequency and power output depends on
the transducers employed, and the
geometry is specific to the particular
manufacturer. This also makes it difficult to directly compare studies performed using ultrasound baths from
different manufacturers or even with
different models. It seems that these
problems have been overcome to some
extent by the development of the ultrasonic probe, which is more efficient and
controllable. There is a direct similarity
between microwave chemistry and
sonochemistry in this regard. Before
the development of new-generation scientific microwave apparatus, chemists
were using conventional domestic
microwave ovens. That led to reproducibility problems when performing
chemistry, as well as being somewhat
unsafe. With scientific microwave systems many of these problems have been
overcome, and considering how these
have taken off in popularity, one can
imagine that in the future sonochemical
probes will become more and more the
apparatus of choice. As the authors say,
further development will be needed so
that, for example, the probes can be
used in reactions involving the need for
reflux, an inert atmosphere, or pressures
above or below atmospheric.
In the next chapter the challenges of
scale-up are outlined and the solutions
discussed. This again is an issue facing
chemists using both microwave and
sonochemical apparatus. Making milligrams or a few grams of a compound is
one thing, but preparing kilograms is a
different matter. The authors address
the issue well, and what is particularly
interesting is the three-page text box
which compares the results of sonication
of a Michael addition reaction with a
probe, a cup-horn, and a hexagonal
cross-section sonicator. In the case of
the latter, the reaction was performed
on a 1-mole scale, representing about
200 g of each of the two substrates. They
also discuss the problems of scale-up
and the issues that need to be addressed
in the future.
In the final chapter a number of
sonochemical experiments are outlined.
The first examples are there to demonstrate the effects of ultrasound, before
moving on to a range of laboratory
experiments using ultrasonic baths and
probes. The experiments are described
in detail so that they could in theory be
used as undergraduate practicals. Those
focused on demonstrating the effects of
ultrasound are good, and can certainly
be used as teaching aids. I particularly
like the sonochemically enhanced chemiluminescence experiment. When it
comes to the chemistry practicals, I am
not so happy with the choice of reactions
nor with their applicability. Although a
range of different reactions are presented, some of them look decidedly less
trivial than the text suggests. In addition,
many of them involve fairly elaborate
starting materials, or need inert atmospheres and anhydrous solvents, as they
involve the use of alkali metals. This
makes them somewhat less useful as
undergraduate experiments in terms of
6 2003 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
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