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Book Review Fundamentals of Chemical Relaxation (Monographs in Modern Chemistry 10). By H. Strehlow and W. Knoche

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Koordinationschemische Katalyse organischer Reaktionen
(Coordination-Chemical Catalysis of Organic Reactions).
By H . Pracejus. Technische Fortschrittsberichte, Band 64
(Industrial Progress Reports, Vol. 64). Verlag Theodor Steinkopff, Dresden 1977. 287 pp., 174 figs., 12 tables, bound,
ca. DM 50.00.
Pracejus has undertaken to set out in less than 300 A 5
pages a summary, in the German language, of the whole
field of coordination catalysis from the point of view of the
organic chemist, and in this he has been successful. The
mechanistic features are presented only as the principle for
the arrangement of the text, and the kinetic investigations
that form the basis for mechanistic representations are intentionally reported only in a secondary manner.
The book contains an introduction (21 pages), followed
by chapters on hydrogenation and dehydrogenation (18),
isomerization and disproportionation (1 2), oxidation (21),
nonoxidative formation of C-heteroatom bonds (14), dimerization and oligomerization (44), polymerization (42), and syntheses by means of C , compounds (60); the last chapter
concerns the relationships between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis by coordination catalysts (carrier-fixed
complex compounds as catalysts (I), methods for carrier fixation (8), and special features of carrier-fixed complex catalysts
(3)). Finally, the coordination-chemical phenomena observed
in the catalysis by metals and metal oxides are described
in 6 pages.
Facts are clearly presented, and what is still unclear is
often plainly described as such. The main target of the book
is to draw the still incomplete directions of research to the
attention of advanced Students, post-graduate students, and
interested specialist colleagues. Tables and clear diagrams
facilitate orientation.
Admittedly, anyone wanting to know how polyethylene
is in fact manufactured nowadays must search through the
original and patent literature with the aid of the relatively
complete citation of review articles, and there he will find
“that the patent literature describes thousands of combinations
of transition-metal compounds with maingroup metal alkyls,
among which almost every transition metal is mentioned”.
I failed to find any reference to the importance of Mg
alkyls for Ziegler catalysts, to the system TiCI3 AICI3, to
the work of B. Diedrich [Appl. Polym. Symp. 26, 1 (1975)]
that leads to true high-yield catalysts, to the process review
by Weissermel et al. [J. Polym. Sci. C.51, 187 (1975)], or to
the book “Coordination Polymerisation” edited by J . C. W
Chien, Academic Press, New York 1975.
The setting is clean, structural formulas are cramped but
clear, the quality of the paper still gives good legibility (slight
transparency), and the binding permits frequent handling,
which it is certain to receive.
Every interested person should obtain the book; several
copies should be in every Institute’s library..
Hansjiirg Sinn [NB 437 IE]
Fundamentals of Chemical Relaxation (Monographs in Modem
Chemistry 10). By H . Strehlow and W Knoche. Verlag Chemie, Weinheim 1977, 1st edit., x, 133 pp., 41 figs., 12 tables,
bound, DM 68.00.
Although relaxation methods (essentially based on Eigen’s
work) as a tool for the measurement of the rates of fast reactions have greatly extended our knowledge of the kinetics and
mechanisms of chemical reactions, they have only found
passing mention in physical chemistry textbooks, even in
Angrw. Chem. I n t . E d . E n g l . 18 ( 1 Y 7 9 ) No. 2
those dealing with chemical kinetics. For this reason the
authors’ efforts to provide a comprehensive survey of
relaxation methods are highly welcome.
The authors enter into the theory of the methods only
insofar as it is necessary for understanding, without
neglecting the necessary accuracy. For this reason the monograph can be readily understood even by the less advanced
The authors deal with the temperature, pressure, and field
jump methods, and also with the “steady-state’’ methods
based on ultrasonic absorption and dielectric loss. In each
case not only the theory but also experimental details are
described and exemplary calculations are given. Comparisons
of the different relaxation methods with one another and
with other methods for fast reactions indicate which
method to choose for a given purpose. The following chapters,
on the basis of theory and some selected practical examples,
show what information can be obtained from relaxation
methods under optimal experimental conditions.
A first-rate book, clear and precise despite its restricted
presentation. The price, however, in no way appears appropriate.
Ulrich Schindewolf [NB 450 IE]
Collision Spectroscopy. Ed. by R. G. Cooks. Plenum Press,
New York-London
1978, 1st edit., xiv, 458 pp., bound,
8 54.60.
Molecular beam experiments have long been known to
physicists; more recently, in the variant form of ion beam
processes, they have won a firm place in the repertoire of
methods used by chemists and physical chemists. The information gained from such experiments relates to apparently differing aspects, e. g. the structure determination of gaseous ions,
the analysis of reaction mechanisms, and the description of
the dynamic relationships of ion/molecule reactions in the
gas phase. A summary of the current state of the theoretical
knowledge and a thoughtful discussion of the experimental
probes available today were thus urgently needed, and the
editor has filled this gap in no uncertain fashion with the
aid of competent colleagues. The seven chapters not only
reflect the most important literature published up to 1974
(altogether 650 references, which in part also cover the 1975/76
literature); the book also reflects the skill of its authors. It
is very much more than a collection of seven mini-books
(though each chapter can be read separately). In increasing
order of complexity, the book deals first with ion beam experiments on atoms and on diatomic and polyatomic systems.
A very wide range of interactions is discussed: electronic
excitation, charge exchange, and dissociative excitation (collision-induced decomposition). There is a wealth of clear pictorial material, and mathematical symbolism is kept within
In Chapter 1 (71 pages, 110 references), Park describes
collision-induced excitation processes (experimental probes,
theory) on simple systems (small atoms, diatomic molecules).
In Chapter 2 (55 pages, 87 references) Johnson and Biiring
discuss in detail the theory of charge-transfer reactions. The
advantages and the disadvantages of the currently available
experimental methods are clearly outlined. In Chapter 3 (79
pages, 120 references), Kessel, Pollack and Smith present the
latest experimental techniques, and also the consistent use
of correlation diagrams for ion beam experiments on atoms.
Multielectron transfers (with the possibility e. g. of a relatively
precise determination of higher ionization potentials) are dis171
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