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Book Review Die Entwicklung der Chemie in der Neueren Zeit (The Development of Chemistry in Modern Times) By H. Kopp

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Although the most recent knowledge is not considered in all
the chapters, a particular merit of this book is the consistently
brief presentation of the most important results in this field,
a presentation that is based on a n underlying knowledge of
the literature. The book provides a worthwhile foundation
for all who may be occupied with the special questions of the
functions of nerves or brain. Further, the text is everywhere
so richly provided with references that it eases the way to
further information for those interested in greater detail.
H . Wiegundt [NB 661 IE]
Die Entwicklung der Chemie in der neueren Zeit (The Development of Chemistry in Modern Times) by H . Kopp. Geschichte der Wissenschaften in Deutschland, Band X (History of Science in Germany, Vol. 10). Johnson Reprint
Corp., New York. Georg Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, Hildesheim 1966. Reprographic reprint of the 1873 Munich
edition. xx, 854 pp., D M 118.-.
The Development of Chemistry constitutes Volume 10 of the
“Geschichte der Wissenschaften in Deutschland - Neuere
2eit” (History of Science in Germany - Modern Times),
issued by the Historical Commission of the Royal Academy
of Sciences in Munich under the patronage of Maximilian 11,
King of Bavaria. Other volumes included Kurmursch, “The
History of Technology” (Vol. 11, 1872) and Hirsch, “The
History of Medicine” (Vol. 22,1893). This series, to which the
reprint unfortunately makes no reference, was a continuation
of a similarly conceived encyclopedia entitled “A history of
arts and sciences from the Renaissance to the end of the
18th century”, including contributions by J. F. Gmelin on
chemistry (1797-1799), Poppe o n technology (1807-1811),
and Hueser on medicine (1846-1860). These form the subject of an earlier review [I].
The present work, entitled “Development” by the author in
order to “eliminate the possibility of confusion with my
earlier 11843-471 ‘History of Chemistry’ ” is interesting for
two reasons. Shortly after the proclamation of the Empire in
1871, which put a n end to the multiple-state system in Germany, i.e. in a strongly national, even emphatically nationalistic epoch, Kopp wrote in a preface “chemistry belongs . . .
to those branches of knowledge which neither in regard to
the subject matter, nor in the treatment, nor in the form in
which the results obtained are expressed, can be property of a
particular nation”. For this reason “the historian must consider himself as having no particular home, and as a citizen
of no particular country”. In complying with this premise,
Kopp did not write a history which put the development of
chemistry in Germany in the foreground, but one in which
the individual national contributions were given a status
according to their importance. On the other hand, Kopp’s
“Development”, which records the results up to around 1858,
is to a large extent a contemporary account of the origins of
the “knowledge now becoming important”. Although the
author did not himself set out to present this, he had to
report o n its origin. Thus, only about the first 200 pages of
the book lead the reader from the chemical knowledge of
antiquity to the general acceptance of the antiphlogiston
system of Lavoisier. The major part of the book is taken up
by discussion concerning the development of the theoretical
aspects of chemistry, above all progress in organic chemistry
up to about the time of Luurenf, Gerhurdr, and KGlbe; Kekuu ’ s treatise “On the constitution and the metamorphoses of
chemical compounds” 118581 forms the conclusion, because
“these reflections belong to the chemistry of the present . . .
and should not form the subject of a historical essay”.
Both Kopp’s “History” and “Development” are standard
works in the history of chemistry; a reprint of the latter is
therefore very welcome.
W. Ruske
[NB 654 IE]
111 W. Ruske, Angew. Chem. 79, 587 (1967); Angew. Chem.
internat. Edit. 6 , 578 (1967).
Angew. Chem. internut. Edit.
1 VoI. 7 (1968) / No. 3
Actions Chimiques et Biologiques des Radiations. (Chemical
and Biological Action of Radiation.) Edited by M . Huissinsky with contributions by E. J . Hurt, C . Ferrudini, T. J .
Hurdwick, and A . Chapiro. 10th series. Masson & Cie.
Editeurs, Paris 1966. 1st Edit., 324 pp., 78 figures, 49
tables, F 120.-.
This new volume in the series, which is intended as an exchange of information between radiochemists and radiobiologists, again contains four authoritative reviews of the
latest developments in certain fields of radiochemistry.
The first article is on the hydrated electrons formed on
radiolysis of water (E. J. Hurt, English, 88 pp., 150 references). A short introduction o n their discovery is followed by a
description of the experimental methods that are used for
their production and detection. The physical properties and
the structure of the hydrated electrons are then described, as
are their reactions with free radicals and with stable inorganic
and organic substances. The rate constants of the reactions
discussed are tabulated in a 12-page appendix. I t would have
done no harm to mention in connection with the discovery
of hydrated electrons that they were first observed and
identified in irradiated frozen aqueous systems in a German
radiochemical laboratory.
The content of the second article, “Reaction Rates of Free
Radicals in the Radiolysis of Water” (C. Ferrudini, French,
35 pp., 120 references), follows on from that of the first. It
deals with the rates of the reactions of the other radicals OH,
H, HOz, and 00,formed by the action of radiation on water,
with one another and with other inorganic and organic
substances (13 pages of tables giving rate constants).
In the next article, “Radiolysis of Liquid Hydrocarbons”
( T . J. Hurdwick, English, 61 pp., 120 references), a n attempt
is made in the introduction to explain the processes that
precede the actual chemical reactions when ionizing radiation
passes through a liquid system. This is followed by an
outline of the radiolysis of saturated and unsaturated aliphatic
compounds and of aromatic compounds, in which reaction
mechanisms and yields are given and discussed.
The last contribution is devoted to the interesting but as yet
unexplained “Radiation-Induced Polymerization in the Solid
Phase” ( A . Chupiro, French, 125 pp., 230 references). The
author confines his discussion to the polymerization of vinyl
derivatives, a few heterocyclic compounds, and aldehydes
and nitriles. Discussion of the kinetics of the reactions is
deIiberately avoided, but an attempt is made to apply the
general principles of radiochemistry to the reactions.
Since the coverage of the latest literature is very comprehensive, these very readable articles should provide valuable
information for all chemists and biologists working in
U. Schiitdewolf
[NB 684 IE]
related fields.
Polyolefins. Structure and Properties. By H . von Boenig.
Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam-London-New
York 1966. 1st. Edit., ix, 319 pp.. 80 illustrations, 117
tables, Dfl. 47.50.
As can be seen from the subtitle, the author has set himself
the aim of accounting for the properties of the olefins on the
basis of their molecular structure, which immediately determines their crystalline, supermolecular structure (single
crystals, spherolithic aggregates) which in turn plays an
important role in the industrial applications of these compounds. The choice and subdivision of the material, which is
presented in a condensed form, corresponds to this aim.
A short consideration of the historical development in the
first chapter is followed by a treatment of the structure of the
polyolefins in the Chapter 2. The latter deals with the steric
regularity, the helix conforniation, and the connected problem
of crystallization from solution and from the melt.
In the third chapter the author considers in detail the dependence of some properties o n the density; a topic which permits
far-reaching conclusions to be drawn regarding the molec-
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