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Book Review Chemistry and Technology of Water-Soluble Polymers. Edited by C. A. Finch

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BOOK R E V I E W S
Chemistry and Technology of Water-Soluble Polymers.
Edited by C. A . Finch. Plenum Press, New York 1984.
xvi, 358 pp., bound $ 55.00.-ISBN 0-306-41251-9
According to the editor the aim of this book is to provide insight into the relationship between theoretical investigations into water-soluble polymers and the industrial
application of these products and to close the gap between
empirical knowledge and theoretical background. It is
based on the manuscripts of the speakers at a seminar,
which took place in Cambridge in 1981.
Some defects in the external form are a consequence of
this. Diagrams, tables and formulas are heterogeneous in
execution. A range of printing errors has crept into the
text. Nor are the formulas free from errors. However, these
formal defects are not so extensive that they impede the
comprehension of the contents.
This book provides a diversified account in 19 chapters
of the state of knowledge in the field of water-soluble polymers, whereby natural polymers are only treated peripherally. Alongside two review articles covering the chemistry and application and the preparation of the polymers,
there are four contributions concerned with individual areas of application-medicine, flocculating agents, crude
oil production, stabilization of dispersions. Contributions
concerned with theoretical aspects are in the majority. The
main emphasis is on the description of the polymers in solution, with contributions concerned with thermodynamics, rheology, interactions with solvents, with small molecules (salts, surfactants) and with polymers. A large
amount of space is given to cross-linked systems which are
no longer water-soluble in the true sense of the word, being merely able to swell in water. A separate chapter is devoted to their preparation by the cross-linking of soluble
starting compounds, whereas unfortunately the other polymer-analogous reactions are practically ignored. There is a
detailed treatment of the behavior of water-soluble polymers at the interface between water and dispersed solids
and as protective colloids in emulsion and suspension polymerization.
With its copious literature citations this book stimulates
to an enriching occupation with the primary literature and
opens up a rapid access to the chemistry and technology of
water-soluble polymers even for the non-specialist. All in
all a volume worth recommending.
Hans-Helmut Giirtz, Jurgen Hartmann [ N B 684 IE]
BASF AG, Ludwigshafen (FRG)
Solid State Chemistry and its Applications. By A . R. West.
Wiley, Chichester 1984, 734 pp., hardback, X 37.00.ISBN 0-471-90377-9 (U. S.)
The author attempts to cover in around 700 pages that
which is currently embraced by the concept of solid state
chemistry. To define those aspects of the interdisciplinary
field of solid state research which are of interest to chemists and principally dealt with by them is not an easy undertaking. In this the author succeeds remarkably well. In
21 chapters varying in length between 1 1 and 72 pages the
following subjects are dealt with: preparative methods of
solid state chemistry (reactions in the solid state, chemical
transpolt, the use of pressure, hydrothermal synthesis,
A n y e n . Chmn I n t . Ed. Engl. 24 11985) No. I2
crystal growth), physical methods for characterizing materials (divided into the subsections: diffraction techniques,
microscopic techniques and spectroscopic techniquesseparate chapters are devoted to thermal analysis and Xray diffraction), principles of crystallography and crystal
chemistry, the defect structure of crystalline solids, state
diagrams, phase transformations and, finally, selected
solid state properties that are of interest for practical application. This book is indeed the first that deserves the description “Textbook of Solid State Chemistry”. The textbook character is emphasized not only by the selection of
material but also by the manner of its presentation. Patterns of regular behavior, methods of investigation and
general perspectives of solid state chemistry are handled to
a large extent by means of examples in a clear form which
is also comprehensible to non-specialists. The necessary
simplifications are justifiable apart from some exceptions.
One such exception, for example, is the treatment of phase
transformations. Even at the qualitative level, a discussion
which does not take account of the concept of “other parameters” as introduced by Landau seems inadequate. The
contents overlap considerably with monographs already
available. This is inevitable, given the aims and layout of
the book, but by no means problematic since the sources of
information complement one another due to their different
degrees of detail. At the end of each section is a compilation of carefully selected references to further literature
which make it easier for the reader to investigate particular
areas in more depth.
There are only a few printing errors. In some cases, however, they distort the meaning and could mislead the beginner. The typeface is clear and the diagrams are comprehensible without being used to excess.
The book may be recommended without reservation as a
text for university teaching, though its high price may
stand in the way of a larger readership.
Martin Jansen [NB 687 IE]
Institut fur Anorganische Chemie
der Universitat Hannover (FRG)
Amorphe und glasartige Festkorper. By A . Feltz. AkademieVerlag, Berlin 1983. xix, 460 pp., bound, ca. DM 85.00.Order No. 7630341 (6654).
This book is a very important contribution to a field
much neglected in the minds of chemists: namely the study
of amorphous and glass-like substances. This can be explained by the fact that the field lies between those of molecules and crystalline solids but does not fit into either.
However, the technical implications of this class of materials are most important. This book will play a key role because the author has succeeded in summarizing and critically representing the present state of practical and theoretical knowledge concerning amorphous and glass-like inorganic materials. The four main sections (the amorphous
and glass-like state, material systems, properties, applications) provide a wealth of information and are clearly arranged. The lucidly formulated text is a witness to the personal experience of the author in this field. This experience has evidently provided the author with the capability
of dealing with the wealth of material and the completely
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