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Book Review Formale Kinetik (Formal Kinetics). By H. Mauser

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BOOK REVIEWS
Formale Kinetik (Formal Kinetics). By H . Muuser. Bertelsmann Universitats-Verlag, Diisseldorf 1974. 1 st edit., 368
pages,bound,DM 78.-.
This book describes the concentration and time laws for
simple and multistage reactions in homogeneous systems at
constant temperatures and constant volume with detailed consideration of photoreactions and of the methods for evaluation
of kinetic measurements. Basic knowledge of kinetics is a
prerequisite for its understanding; theories of the molecular
course of elementary reactions are not a subject of this textbook.
The first part describes, with numerous examples, first simple
and equilibrium reactions, then parallel and successive reactions that can be traced back to two linearly independent
steps. The method used for setting up the differential equations
is always simple and clear, being assisted by a rectangular
scheme of stoichiometric coefficients. The result of integration
is set out without explanation, but in more difficult cases with
brief references to the method or the literature. Diagrams
showing the relation between the extents of reaction are used
to explain multistage systems. Relaxation processes are not
considered in the discussion of approximation methods for
integrating differential equations.
In the second part of the book, after a brief introduction
to photochemical primary processes, the quantum yields are
derived schematically again with use of examples, for simple
and complicated photoreactions, and there is a rather detailed
explanation of the integration of differential equations that
describe the relation between concentration, time, extinction
coefficients, and intensity.
Evaluation of kinetic measurements provides the content
ofthe third and last part. Here theauthor differentiates between
analyses of concentration measurements and of physical
numerical data, with extinction measurements providing most
of the examples. There is an interesting and extensive compilation ofthe methods used for determining the number of linearly
independent partial reactions and reaction orders, and
for evaluating the differential equations and the integrated
time laws. The possibility of using digital and analog computers
is touched on only in passing.
In places the mathematical part the book is difficuIt to
read. It can be recommended for scientists and students interested in kinetic measurements.
Gvr/rorrl Plutz [NB 270 IE]
Comprehensive Biochemistry. Vol. 31. A History of Biochemistry. Part 111: History of the Identification of the Sources of
Free Energy in Organisms. Edited by M . Florkin and E. H .
Stotz. Elsevier Scientific Publ. Comp., Amsterdam 1975.
1st Edit., XX, 475 pp., 170 tables, 42 figs., 3 tables, bound,
Dfl. 130.--.
Following the establishmenl of elementarycdTconstituents
and localization of the signs of life of the cell, development
of ideas on the energy balance became one of the fundamental
concepts in biochemistry that was just becoming an independent science. Following Lucoisier’s classical work, with its
nevertheless misleading equation of organisms and heat
engines, intuition and feedback of critical testing brought
biochemistry by trial and error onto intersecting paths-with
constant interaction of the state of theoretical knowledge and
the methodical progress of related sciences.
Atigric.
Chon. i t l i w w f . Edir. I Vol. 14 ( 1 9 7 5 ) /I No. 1 0
This third part of the History of Biochemistry pictures
the intertwining connections in a manner such that it is hard
to decide which to admire more: the enthusiasm and detailed
knowledge of the world-ranging author M . Florkin or his
critical and just assessment of the great controversies-he
had often known the protagonists personally, so that he describes the theses and arguments and often the final settlement
of polemics and disputed problems with stimulation derived
from his own experience. His knowledge of the world is
also shown in his judgments on the formation of scientific
“schools” and the role of independent Institutions in and
for research. It is found again and again that naive and incorrect interpretations devised by scientists fettered to their times
became fruitful in independent heads- -provided they were
kept on the shoulders’-but is is found also that, as in other
fields of endeavor. apparently trouble-free genius is the crowning achievement of long development and thus actually a
very conservative and hoarding, though also open-minded,
spirit. He is able to give the all too narrow forms of thought
an infusion from new disciplines and thus to uproot previously fixed concepts. In this area lies the recognition that
energy-generating processes are centered in specific structures whose organization is suitably differentiated and that
they need phosphoric acid, which is bound in “energy-rich”
form in the processes of anaerobic, respiratory and photocontrolled phosphorylation and can thus serve as the driving
force of the isothermal chemical power machine.
The present volume, packed with material and easy to
read, is an outstanding enrichment of the total work’*’,
undoubtedly a pioneering performance, based on intense activity, pleasure in aphoristic penetration, and brilliant skill in
presentation, with convincing and stimulating effects. These
are not found elsewhere covering such a wide span. Finally,
an extensive portrait section promotes interest in this book
as a picture book and for studies of physiognomy.
Lothw Jaerzicke [NB 282 IE]
[*I
Cf. Angew. Chem. internat. Edit. 14. I Y O (1975).
Solutions and Solubilities, Part I. Edited by M . R. J . Duck.
Vol. VlII of the series “Techniques of Chemistry”. Edited
by A . Weissberger. John Wiley & Sons, New York 1975.
XII, 475 pp., bound, f 16.00.
Physical Chemistry. An Advanced Treatise. Edited by H. Eyring, D. Henderson, and W Jost. Vol. VII: Reactions in
Condensed Phases. Academic Press, New York 1975. XXII,
794 pp., bound, $ 58.00.
Physical Chemistry. An Advanced Treatise. Edited by H . Eq’ring, D. Henderson, and W Jost. Vol. XIB: Mathematical
Methods. Academic Press, New York 1975. XX, 565-1 151
pp.? bound, 8 47.00.
719
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