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Book Review Die Naturwissenschaftler und ihre PhilosophieЧGeistesgeschichte der Chemie (Scientists and their philosophyЧA Philosophical History of Chemistry). By W. Bfhm

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subdivisions into the analytical schemes, and the large number of valuable individual references, a r e worthy of note.
Because of its practical design and its significantly new approach. this book can be heartily recommended, but with
the one qualification that a rather large number of laboratory
demonstrators must be available for its completely effective
use (a condition which, it is hoped. is becoming easier t o
E. Hajek (NB 880/20 IE]
lntegraltafeln zur Quantenchemie (Tables o i Integrals for
Quantum Chemistry) Vol. Ill [ I ] . by H. Preuss, SpringerVerlag, Berlin-Heidelberg-Gittingen, 1961, 1st edition,
V l l l 563 pp.. clothbound. D M 144:- (about $35. -).
As is well known, overlap integrals, Coulomb integrals, a n d
exchmge integrals have always to be determined in quantum
mechanical calculations of the gain in energy accompanying
the combination of several atoms t o form a molecule. Evaluation of these integrals is ve-y tedious a n d requires many
separate integrations since. in general, their solutions involve
series expansions. In particular, excessive computational difticulties are encountered in evaluating integrals reptesenting
the averaging of the repulsion potential between two valence
electrons via the individual electron distributions in the
neighborhood of their respective nuclei. To evaluate these
integrals. the reciprocal distance between the valencc electrons is customarily expanded into a series of spherical harmonics: it is expedient to express the positions of the valence
electrons in the vicinity of their nuclei in terms of elliptical
coordinates. Integrals of products of these harmonics with
unperturbed electron wave functions (I still remain t o be
rne-r. someevaluated. Usually, functions of the form
times multiplied by spherical harmonics when the valence
electrons are not of the s-type, are used.
Finally. integrals of the type
remain, in which P t ) and 02)are sphxical harmonics (and
associated spherical harmonics) of the first and second kind,
IL, is the elliptical coordinate of the i-th valence electron, and
R is the distance between the centers.
There are also simpler integrals of the type
+ I
Pt)(x) (I
These t w o types of inlegrals are tabulated for electron wave
functions in which, for the tirst case, a R a n d P R vary between 3 and 20. and the other values a r e chosen so that
-!. c . 6 - v a n d 0
m; n
8 T v. For the second case,
a is tabulated from 0 up to 20 times the reciprocal of the
[ I ] Cf. also Angew. Chem. 69,27Y (1957).
Bohr radius: some values for a = P are omitted, since they already have been given in the literature by other authors.
T h e values are given t o ten places. Although such precision
is not needed in quantum mechanical calculations, the tables
will greatly reduce the effort involved in these calculations.
This, the third volume completes the series "Tables for Quantum Chemistry".
K. Schufer [ N B 879/22 IE]
Die Naturwissenschaftler und ihre Philosophie -- Geistesgeschichte der Chemie (Scientists and their Philosophy - A
Philosophical History of Chemistry). By W. Biihm. Verlag Herder KG., Wien-Freiburg-Basel 1961. First Ed.,
XVI, 3 1 5 pp. clothbound D M 20.--.
T h e author carries over the "phase scheme" of DPmpf's concept of history to a developmental history of chemistry.
According to a n a priori number system, philosophical concepts of a certain period a r e compared with the chronologically corresponding concepts in chemistry. T h e intellectual
contents of the individual "phases" from both disciplines are
compared, and from all this emerges a "proof" . . o r so we
a r e assured eleven times - that every chemical theory has its
origins in a definite metaphysical system. Thus, it would
appear that there is "no basic dif/erence between a scientific
and n metaphysical hypothesis" and that "the problem of
induction in a theory of naturul science becomes superfluou.\."
(p. 5). Experiments serve basically only for the verification
of a theory (p. 75). and, since the latter is of metaphysical
origin, they serve only to contirm the corresponding inetaphysics; this thus "deals a death blow" t o positivism. (pp. I ,
207). Astonishing results in a n astonishingly simple way.
Biihni has spared n o pains in sorting the historical material of
the two disciplines to correspond with this theory. The
history of chemistry is forced here into a mould in which i t
can only be maintained through loss o f the distinction between
the historically meanmgful and the insignificant, and there
are distortions to be found which d o not lack a n element of
the grotesque. The pages a r e filled with disconnected juxtapositions of individual facts. These "must" be introduced
t o illustrate the individual phases. Biographical details,
edifying, but irrelevant from the metaphysical-historical
point of view, plug the gaps where achievements must be
passed over because they d o not fit into the postulated scheme.
Van Helnzont, the founder of gas chemistry, is placed in the
shadow of "Mystics"; Richter appears under "Ethics": even
that stroke of genius that befell Wuhler - the urea synthesis
is credited to "Mystical Influences" - the philosophy of
T h e reader is encumbered with such burdens not only in the
history of chemistry. What poses here as "philosophy" is
simply a shame
especially in "Antiquity" and "Modern
Times" - both from the point of view of facts as well as
from the point of view of good literature. It is painful even
if one's eyes could be closed t o the factual errors. Protestations of one's own "intellectual level" (p. xiii) are not convincing in an historical treatise in which an elementary study
of the source materials is completely absent.
"Philosophical History of Chemistry"? A premature and
pitifully inadequate attempt t o deal with a subject which still
awaits a careful and serious study.
Elisobeth Stroker
[ N B 85 I / I I I E]
Xcyi.,tcrrd nam(*s,iradernarks. etc. used in this journal. even without specific indication thereof, are not to be considered b y law.
'I 1962 hy Verlag Chemie, GmbH. - - Printed in Germany by Druckerei Winter, Heidelberg.
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Publishers: Verlag Chemie GmbH. (President Eduord Kreuzhage), Pappelallee 3 , Weinheim/Bergstr.. Germany, and Academic Press Inc. (President
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Angew. Chem. internat. Edit. I Vol. I (1962) I No. 10
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