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Book Review Electron and Proton Transfer in Chemistry and Biology. (Series Studies in Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Vol. 78.) Edited by A. Mller H. Ratajczak W. Junge and E

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imaging, fuzzy sets and systems, superstring theory, oxygen
toxicity, magnetic levitation, psychosomatic disorders, Kepler’s laws, sonochemistry, flexible manufacturing systems,
and quasicrystals. Each article begins with a clear definition
of the subject, establishing the conceptual foundation for the
following discussion that moves progressively from elementary to advanced concepts. The articles consistently discuss
both theoretical and practical aspects, thus providing valuable insights into real-world connections between the two.
Lavishly illustrated, the set contains more than 13000
drawings, maps, charts, diagrams, and photographs (1960 of
which are new to this edition); 15 of the 81 pages of striking
full-color photographs are new. The volumes are exceptionally well-designed with an outstanding visual layout (wide
margins, easy-to-read type, and bold headings). Numbered
figures, equations, and reactions are referenced throughout
the text, 50 000 cross-references allow quick access to related
articles, and up-to-date bibliographies (some with references
as late as 1990) facilitate further research. Numerical data
are given throughout in both U.S. customary and international (SI) units.
Volume 20 contains a list of contributors (79 two-column
pages), a 13-page discussion of scientific notation with conversion tables, and six new comprehensive study guides
based on standard curriculum outlines in physics, chemistry,
biology, geosciences, health, and engineering. It also includes a subject index (28 four-column pages) listing alphabetically all 7500 article titles under the 81 major subject
headings, making subject-related browsing easy, and an analytical index (more than 160000 entries in 478 four-column
pages, referred to by library educators as the “perfect index”) permitting quick access to specific terms. The encyclopedia can be updated annually by the McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology, which is cross-referenced to
the parent set and features the same extensive illustrations
and bibliographies.
I was disappointed by the lack of entries for two of the
most active recent research areas in my own field of chemistry, namely buckminsterfullerenes and cold fusion, but
considering the broad interdisciplinary scope of the encyclopedia it was inevitable that some topics would be omitted.
Thus the series remains the preeminent, essential reference
source for accurate information in any area of science o r
technology. Its cost will probably limit its purchase to libraries and laboratories, and therefore students, teachers,
scholars, and laypersons may wish to buy the one-volume
McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, 2nd edition, abridged from the Encyclopedia’s 6th edition (lxxvi 2222 pp., $ 110, 1989; for review see George B.
Kauffman, Today’s Chemist Dec. 1989, 2(6), 16).
George B. KauiTman
California State University
Fresno, CA (USA)
Electron and Proton Transfer in Chemistry and Biology. (Series: Studies in Physical and Theoretical Chemistry,
Vol. 78.) Edited by A . Miiller, H. Ratajczak, W Junge, and
E. Diemann. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1992. XVI, 394 pp.,
hardcover HFI 355.00/$203.00.-ISBN 0-444-88862-4
In 1992 the Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to
Rudolph A. Marcus in recognition of his work on the theory
of electron transfer, and thus the publication of this book on
electron transfer processes is timely (although it was, of
course, planned before the announcement of the Nobel
Verlugsgesellsrhujt mhH, 0-69451 Weinheim. 1993
Committee’s decision). This volume of nearly 400 pages reports on the proceedings of an international conference held
on 19-21 September 1990 at the Center for Interdisciplinary
Research of the University of Bielefeld.
The wide range of topics includes contributions from
physical, inorganic, organic, and organometallic chemistry,
as well as from biochemistry, microbiology, biophysics, and
theoretical physics. There is a correspondingly broad spread
in the disciplines, origins, and objectives of the authors, and
likewise in those of the potential readers. Accordingly, the
editors have faced a demanding task in choosing the contributions and in arranging and linking them together.
The description of systems in which electron transfer occurs begins with simple metal ions and complexes (R. D.
Cannon, B. Jezowska-Trzebiatowska et al., A. Vogler et al.,
W. Kaim, H. So et al.), then goes on to systems of increasing
complexity, such as membrane systems (M. Gratzel),
proteins (C. C. Moser et al., W. Haase et al., D. J. Lowe), and
eventually whole microorganisms (A. Kroger et al.). Next
comes a group of articles on biological systems in which
there is a coupled transfer of electrons and protons (G. von
Jagow et al., T. A. Link, E. Takahashi et al., E. K. Pistorius,
W. Junge et al.). Continuing then to studies ofproton transf e r , the topics move from biological processes (M. Gutman
et al., C. Sandorfy) back again to “purely chemical” reactions (H. Ratajczak, G. Zundel, H.-H. Limbach, D. Borgis,
E. Kryachko).
The basic reaction mechanisms are discussed, including a
very brief introduction to the “Marcus-Hush paradigm”,
and articles which focus on thermal or photochemically induced inter- o r intramolecular electron transfer, and the
problem of mixed valency in metal-oxygen clusters. The elementary processes involved can be studied in detail for model systems by spectroscopic methods, magnetic measurements, or neutron diffraction. Models for both natural and
artificial photosynthetic systems have been investigated. Remarkably high efficiencies for the conversion of solar to electrical energy have been obtained with an “artificial leaf”.
The Marcus equations for the rate of electron transfer are
used to analyze the redox reactions in bacterial photosynthesis centers, leading to conclusions about the spatial arrangement of the redox centers in the protein. Another aspect of
biochemical electron transfer that is examined is the magnetic interaction between the metal centers. In the context of
nitrogen fixation and analogous reactions, the occurrence of
successive or concerted multielectron transfer is discussed (in
the latter case the formation of highly reactive free radical
intermediates is avoided). This is followed by a discussion of
the enzyme-controlled flux of electrons in the bacterial system Wolinella succinogenes.
Redox reactions are closely related to the uptake or release
of protons. This aspect is discussed for biological reaction
pathways, taking as examples quinol oxidation, quinone reduction, water oxidation, and the formation of adenosine
triphosphate (ATP) in respiration and photosynthesis. The
diffusion of protons within apomyoglobin and their reaction
with the Schiff base chromophore in rhodopsin is then discussed. The volume ends with a discussion of hydrogen
bonding and its effects on proton transport in liquid phases
(amine/hydrogen halide and amine/phenol complexes in
aprotic solvents), solid phases, and organic glasses, first for
small-molecule model systems then from a theoretical standpoint.
The book ranges over all aspects of the subject, from theoretical studies (e.g., Kryachko’s description of the soliton
model of proton transfer) to practical applications (Gratzel’s
article on solar energy conversion), and thus it undoubtedly
n570-0833~93jO;lO;l-i2i8$ iO.OO+ ,2510
Angen. Chem. Int. Ed.
Engl 1993, 32, N o . R
lives up to the title and the claims made in the preface. It
would certainly have been possible to produce a book with
a different balance of emphasis. For example, there are
scarcely any references to electrochemical reactions, despite
the fact that in many cases these are good model systems for
coupled and biologically relevant electron and proton transfer processes. However, any choice of topics for such a book
is inevitably subjective, and reflects the interests of the conference participants and organizers. A more serious criticism
in my view is that insufficient attention has been given to
linking together the individual contributions. The preface
emphasizes the interdisciplinary approach (“...biology has
become the ground where the various disciplines of sci. meeting again”; “students of the life sciences will
ence __are
always rely on ... investigations of simpler and cleaner systems that are the object of pure physics and chemistry”), and
that is exactly why it would have been desirable to have
sections in the text to link and interrelate the disciplines, so
as to overcome the barriers that exist, often even in the
terminology. Also only a few of the articles are in the nature
of reviews, and some report results on the authors’ special
research topics. Consequently the book is not very suitable
as an introduction to the field, but is rather in the nature of
a snapshot of current research activity.
On careful reading of some individual articles one is struck
by the large number of errors, leading one to ask whether the
manuscripts were checked before typesetting. For example,
pages 95- 109 contain 22 cases of incomplete sentences, incorrect symbols, errors of sign in equations (!), and spelling
errors. To cite only the most glaring example found, what is
one supposed to make of “dimethyltetraaza (ref. 14) annulene” (p. 338)? Presumably what is meant is dimethyltetraaza[ 14lannulene (although strictly speaking it refers to the
dibenzo derivative of this compound). One might reasonably
expect that, for a book costing over $200, errors of this kind
would not occur so frequently as is found here. The same
applies to the lack of consistency in book and journal citations. In some of the articles the style is too much like a
transcript of a lecture. Occasionally the English would have
benefited from a little polishing by the editors, as there are
whole sentences whose meaning can only be deciphered with
For readers who are engaged in research in the fields described and want to look beyond the confines of their own
specialism, this book should be worth buying, provided that
they are prepared to overlook the minor shortcomings of
presentation mentioned above. They will discover from it
some surprising parallels between chemistry and biology in
the area of electron and proton transfer.
Bernd Speiser
Institut fur Organische Chemie
der Universitat Tubingen (FRG)
Organic Photochemistry. A Comprehensive Treatment. (Physical Chemistry Series.) By W Horspool and D. Armesto.
Ellis Horwood/Prentice Hall, New York, 1992. XVI,
521 pp., hardcover $90.00.-ISBN 0-1 3-639477-9
As editor of the book Synthetic Organic Phoiochemistry
(1984) and as the author of the annual reviews of the photochemistry of carbonyl compounds In the Royal Chemical
Society’s Specialist Periodical Reports on Photochemistry, W.
Horspool is certainly widely recognized as a leading expert
on light-induced reactions of organic molecules. It was therefore almost a foregone conclusion that a new book o n organic photochemistry should have him as one of its authors.
An@’&‘. Clwm. Inr. Ed. Engl. 1993. 32, N o . 8
The book consists of seven chapters as follows: a brief
general introduction to molecules in electronically excited
states; the photochemical behavior of hydrocarbons; photochemical reactions of molecules containing oxygen, sulfur,
nitrogen, and halogens; and lastly a survey of the main experimental requirements for carrying out photochemical reactions. The authors have undoubtedly succeeded in putting
together a very comprehensive summary of the armory of
light-induced reactions of organic molecules that can be used
for synthetic purposes. The book can therefore be recommended for all readers seeking a good general overview of
this subject. As seems to be generally unavoidable, there are
a few printing errors, such as the repetition of a whole sentence (p. 234) or of a literature citation (p. 345), and also
quite a number of errors in authors’ names in the references.
German-speaking readers will notice that the literature survey in the introduction fails to mention the photochemistry
volume (IV 5a, b) of “Houben-Weyl”.
Although the publishers describe the book as a “timely
review” it is, unfortunately, not really so in the sense of being
up-to-date. Except for the chapter on organonitrogen compounds, which has been partly updated by including the
authors’ most recent work on aza-di-n-methane rearrangements (with five literature references for 1990 onwards), the
most recent publications are not adequately covered. It is
certainly possible to cover the latest work in books of this
kind, as J. Kopecky has clearly demonstrated in his book
Organic Photochemistry (VCH, 1992). Leaving aside the fact
that these two books treat the subject differently, and the
significant difference in price between the two, this matter of
up-to-dateness is by itself a sufficient reason for me to recommend that students wishing to learn about this field
should preferably buy Kopecky’s book.
Paul Margaretha
Institut fur Organische Chemie
der Universitat Hamburg (FRG)
Organic Synthesis in Japan. Past, Present, and Future. In
Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Society of
Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan. Edited by R. Noyori.
Tokyo Kagaku Dozin, Tokyo, 1992. XI, 565 pp., hardcover Y 14000.-ISBN 4-8079-0369-1
The Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry in Japan was
founded in 1942. At that time chemists in Europe could
already look back on more than fifty years of achievement in
this field, both in the laboratory and on an industrial scale,
and also on some impressive successes in natural products
chemistry, especially in structure determination. The aim of
the newly formed society was to foster close collaboration
between universities and industry, and to stimulate and encourage research in organic synthesis. As R. Noyori points
out in the preface, chemists in Japan have a different scientific and cultural background from their counterparts in other
countries, which influences motivation, the approach to
solving problems, and the way that research projects are
carried out in practice. These special circumstances and
Japan’s geographical position have contributed to the fact
that initially the development of chemistry there was not so
rapid as that occurring in Europe and the USA during the
same period. Even today, although the successes of Japanese
chemical research compare well with those in other leading
industrial countries, certain characteristics that we generally
associate with the “Japanese mentality” are discernible. To
mark the fiftieth anniversary of its formation the Japanese
Verlagsgesellschuft mbH, 0-69451 Weinheim. 1993
0570-0833/93/0808-I2I9$10.00+ .25/0
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