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Book Review Chemistry of Iron. Edited by J. Silver

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discussed. with no mention of the electrochemical method for forming C-C
bonds, of which there have been numerous reports since 1989.
To summarize. a critical reader with
lots of patience and tenacity can extract
some interesting information and many
useful ideas from this book. Despite the
wide-ranging importance of carbon dioxide chemistry that is referred to in the
preface, the editors have produced a book
that is mainly of interest to the specialist
or to the newcomer who is concerned with
a relatively narrow, although important.
specialized area. However, the main quality that such readers expect from a nionograph is up-to-dateness. The contents of
this book and the amount of care taken in
its preparation seem inadequate to justify
the price.
Wulfer Leitnrr
Arbeitsgruppe CO,-Chemie
der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
an drr Universitiit Jena (FRG)
Chemistry of Iron. Edited by J. Silver.
BlackieiChapman & Hall, London,
1993. X, 306 pp., hardcover E 69.00.ISBN 0-7514-0062-9
It is not without some initial bias that
one approaches a book of a mere 300 pages
on the chemistry of iron. One inevitably
thinks of the monograph on ruthenium by
Seddon and Seddon. which is at least
1000 pages longer. The editor must have
anticipated such a reaction. since he states
in the preface that “[The book] is not designed to be a dictionary of iron compounds.” Nevertheless, it is not exactly reassuring to discover that the book consists
of eight articles of greatly differing lengths,
from ten pages to about a hundred. This is
not to say that a book suffers from having
many authors, but it is generally recognized that it is difficult under such circumstances to produce a work that is a unified
whole. The combination of differences in
form and common subject areas means
that overlapping is often unavoidable.
After these prejudiced remarks we return to the book itself. The introductory
article. written by the editor J. Silver, is a
brief (25 pp.) survey of the chemistry of
iron. with examples corresponding to the
different oxidation states. Many aspects
are only briefly touched on, and thus the
level does not extend beyond that of a standard textbook. The rather glib statement
that iron occurs in oxidation states up to
+ X is. fortunately, qualified a few pages
later. The literature references, numbering
more than 120, are certainly useful. On
the next 1.5 pages F. J. Berry sets out to
introduce the reader to the industrial
chemistry of iron. This topic is better covered in “Greenwood and Earnshaw”, and
no more need be said about this chapter.
In the next article E. Sinn has attempted
to treat the inorganic chemistry of iron in
a mere 25 pages. The lack of success is not
entirely due to the shortness of the chapter.
The treatment is very superficial. I have
rarely come across a text containing so
many errors and inaccuracies. The olivine
and perovskite structures are confused,
FeCI, is claimed to crystallize in the rutile
structure, the “typical” spin state of iron(111) is given as S = 3/2, [Fe(CN,I4- is described as the “ferrocyanide” ion. the author persists in writing “marcosite”, and so
on. Many compounds are simply ignored:
the section on binary halides contains no
mention of the fluorides nor of FeI,. Also
the treatment of the subject matter is not
balanced; the reason for this becomes obvious on looking through the literature citations.
The longest article (about 90 pp.) is that
by P. L. Pauson on organoiron compounds. More than 300 compounds are
described under clearly arranged headings,
with brief notes on reaction pathways and
properties. A further positive feature is the
bibliography of over 400 references, including some from 1992. One may question
whether a book such as this should contain
a separate chapter on spectroscopic methods. However, as there is one (10 pp., B. W.
Fitzsimmons), it should certainly have included a few key results obtained by Mossbauer spectroscopy to emphasize the importance of this method, especially for
iron studies. The next two articles (“Biological Iron”, by J. G. Leigh, G. R. Moore,
and M. T. Wilson, 55 pp., and “Models
for Iron Biomolecules,” by A. K. Powell,
25 pp.) illustrate the fact that in such a
collection some overlapping is virtually
unavoidable. Apart from that. the two articles together give a very up-to-date survey of the bioinorganic chemistry of iron.
The last article by R. C. Hider and S.
Singh on iron chelates of clinical importance is peripheral to the book’s theme, but
nevertheless interesting. The authors describe various multidentate ligands of
importance in therapy based on iron
chelates, together with their applications,
effectiveness, and side effects.
Who ought to buy this book? Although
the preface mentions advanced students
of all related scientific disciplines, it is too
expensive to be recommended for these in
its present form. Some of the articles make
the book a useful addition for libraries to
extend and update their coverage, but here
too there is cost-cutting. I regret to say
that, despite its attractive silver binding,
this book is unlikely to have a glittering
future.
Siegjricd Pohl
Fachbereich Chemie
der Universitiit Oldenburg (FRG)
Photodissociation Dynamics. (Series:
Cambridge Monographs on Atomic,
Molecular and Chemical Physics,
Vol. 1. By R. Schinke. Cambridge
University Press, Cambridge, 1993.
417 pp., hardcover f SO.OO.---ISBN
0-521 -38368-4
This book is concerned with the dynamics of photochemical processes, an
area ofphysical chemistry which is of very
wide interest. It has undergone rapid development in recent years, owing to the
availability of ever more powerful laser
systems, new experimental techniques,
and new advances in theoretical chemistry. Schinke has written a book which
succeeds well in every respect. It is intended not only for specialists with experience
in this area but also for advanced students
interested in this topic, who will find in i t
a wealth of relevant information. However. the author’s aim is not to give detailed accounts of new experimental methods and results; instead the emphasis is on
applying the methods of theoretical chemistry to describe photochemical dissociation processes.
Mathematical equations are limited to
those that are absolutely essential, and
this will undoubtedly make it much easier
for many readers to digest the book. Another positive feature is that instead of
reviewing all the reported work on a particular topic, the discussion of experimental and theoretical results is almost always
based on a few small model systems ( H 2 0 ,
H,O,, H,S, CINO, and CH,ONO). It is
entirely sensible and justifiable to limit the
discussion to these model systems, especially as many of the processes described
apply equally to larger systems. On the
other hand. the bibliography is very extensive (over 7.50 references), affording
easy access to the original publications.
The structure of the book is briefly as
follows. A detailed introduction emphasizing the practical questions that need to
be addressed is followed by a chapter on
light absorption and photodissociation.
The next two chapters deal with time-independent and time-dependent quantum
mechanical methods, then in Chapter 5
the author turns to the classical description of photodissociation. There then
follow chapters on direct and indirect
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