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Book Review Comprehensive Polymer Science The Synthesis Characterization Reactions and Applications of Polymers. 7 volumes. Edited by G. Allen and J. C

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are not included here, as they are less amenable to force field
calculations, having conjugated double bonds. Apart from
this omission, a remarkably wide variety of interesting
strained hydrocarbons is covered, all of which indeed fit into
the subject. This may help to allay doubts about the justification to publish this book as a whole, originating from its
rather narrow scope. Chapter 7 is supplemented by an appendix, which gives a brief outline of force field methods. In
fact. this appendix appears more or less superfluous. The
material is presented very loosely and seems to stem from a
casual seminar talk rather than rigorous planning; literature
citations in the text are almost nil. The eighth and last chapter is on a topic that one would not expect in this book. As
it concerns structure-bioactivity relationships of hydroaromatic metabolites of carcinogenic hydrocarbons, its topicality is obvious and reflected by many very recent literature
citations (Table 1). A prominent feature is the discussion of
NMR spectroscopic results, including many from the author’s own laboratory.
As already mentioned, the book as a whole raises the
question of whether the narrowly defined subject matter really justifies a monograph to itself. Further doubt is nourished by the notion that a “nugget” of the book (Chapter 8)
might more appropriately have been published elsewhere.
Clearly, specialization is inevitable in view of the ever increasing tide of new scientific knowledge, but is it really
necessary to take this as far as has been done here? The book
can be recommended to a limited number of experts; it is
unlikely to reach a large readership, also in view of the frustrations ensuing from its high price.
Otto Ermer [NB 1024 IE]
Institut fur Organische Chemie
der Universitat Koln (FRG)
partly successful. However, it is doubtful whether it is actually possible to cover these four aspects of such an extensive
area of knowledge equally well in a single work, even in a
multi-volume compendium such as this.
“Comprehensive Polymer Science” should be regarded as
a valuable addition to the already existing encyclopedias and
handbooks in the polymer field, and it also succeeds as a
comprehensive textbook presenting the latest state of knowledge. It is recommended for readers wishing to familiarize
themselves with specific areas of polymer research, including
especially synthesis, characterization and reactions. In many
of the chapters this objective is particularly helped by the
manner of presentation, with numerous tables summarizing
the information and thus making the reader’s task easier.
Also the bibliographies, extending partly up to 1988, give
comprehensive access to the original literature.
Some defects need to be remedied in a future edition of the
work. The contributions vary greatly in the amount of detail
covered, and some of them only deal with selected aspects; in
a few cases the format is merely that of an expanded synopsis. Also the balance between scientific and practically orientated information varies greatly. It would also be highly
desirable to have a consistent nomenclature and terminology. Lastly, cross-references within the individual contributions and between them would be very useful.
Ludwig Bohm, Hurald Cherdron, Manfred Fleissner,
Willi Kreuder, Arnold Schneller [NB 1019 IE]
Hoechst AG
Frankfurt/Main (FRG)
Spectroelectrochemistry. Edited by R. J. Gale. Plenum,
New York 1988. 450 pp., hardcover, $85.00.---ISBN
0-306-42855-5
Comprehensive Polymer Science: The Synthesis, Characterization, Reactions and Applications of Polymers. 7 volumes.
Edited by G. Allen and J. C. Bevington. Pergamon Press,
Oxford 1989. 5367 pp., hardcover, $1995.00.-ISBN
0-08-032516-5
Volume 1 of this work contains a comprehensive review of
“Polymer Characterization”, and Volume 2 deals with
“Polymer Properties”. In the latter volume a somewhat more
detailed treatment of high temperature polymers and liquid
crystal polymers would have been desirable. Polymer synthesis is treated in volumes 3 to 5 , under “Chain Polymerization” (Volumes 3 and 4) and “Step Polymerization” (Volume
5). The contributions vary from very detailed and comprehensive to very brief, and cover all aspects, usually with the
main emphasis on scientific problems.
Volume 6 is concerned with reactions involving macromolecules. The chapter on “Thermal Degradation” neglects
to cover aromatic polymers. Volume 7, “Specialty Polymers
and Polymer Processing”, is by the nature of the subject
heterogeneous. The chapter on “Polymer Blends” is very
good as regards the theoretical part, but a section on methods of production and on polymer blends of technological
importance would have been a welcome addition. The least
satisfactory part is that on “Polymer Processing” (230 pp.).
The editors and the authors (of whom there are 250 from
20 different countries!) have set out to produce “a milestone
in the literature of polymer science”, covering the fields of
synthesis, characterization, reactions and applications. Have
they succeeded in fulfilling this ambitious self-proclaimed
promise? In the opinion of the reviewers, they have only been
Angru. (%iwi.I n t . Ed. Engl. 29 (1990) No. 6
$9
Spectroelectrochemistry-the application of spectroscopic methods to solving electrochemical problems-is currently the fastest growing branch of electrochemistry. The numerous results that it has produced have in many cases lent
further support to conclusions reached from classical electrochemical studies, and in a few cases have refuted them.
Often spectroscopic methods have for the first time opened
up the way to obtaining a detailed picture, on a microscopic
scale, of the mechanism of an electrochemical reaction and
of the structure of the electrochemical double layer. Therefore, despite the fact that in journals and monographs there
are review articles covering nearly all the different methods
of spectroelectrochemistry with varying degrees of depth and
completeness, the idea of publishing a book which gives a
comprehensive and coherent description of all the in situ
methods is to be welcomed. The deliberate restriction to in
situ methods, thereby avoiding the potential sources of error
involved in transferring electrodes from the electrochemical
sampling cell to the analytical instrument, is also sensible.
However, the exclusion (which is presumably intentional) of
methods whose main strength lies in identifying and quantifying species in solution as opposed to those on the electrode surfaces is incomprehensible and disappointing.
A short introductory chapter by the editor is followed by
seven chapters on methods that are in situ in nature and
essentially surface specific (although there is some doubt as
to whether the second of these criteria applies to electrochemical ESR spectroscopy). The seven chapters deal with :
X-ray spectroscopy, photoemission measurements, UV-VIS
reflection spectroscopy, IR reflection spectroscopy, surface-
VCH Vrrlugs~rsellsrhafimbH, 0-6940 Weinheim, 1990
0S70-0833j90j0606-0699S03.50f .2Sl0
699
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