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Book Review Inorganic Chemistry. (Second edition). By D. F. Shriver P. W. Atkins and C. H

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BOOKS
World of Light
Chemistry and
Royal Society
bridge, 1994.
E 19.50.-ISBN
Light. By P . Suppan.
of Chemistry, Cam295 pp., paperback
0-85186-814-2
Anvone who maintains awareness of
publications in the area of photochemistry knows that
the subject is currently undergoing a
renaissance in the
form of monographs, reviews, and
original papers (and
thus also in research
and development).
However, in contrast to the wealth
of publications on
specific topic areas, there has up to now
been a shortage of more comprehensive
up-to-date general introductions to photochemistry. To help remedy that gap we
now have this book by Suppan, which
needs to be evaluated and compared with
that edited by H. G. 0. Becker: Einfiihrung in die Photochemie (Deutscher
Verlag der Wissenschaften, 1991).
Suppan’s book begins with a short introduction (Chapter 1) in which photochemical reactions are compared with reactions in the absence of light and with
thermal excitation. In Chapter 2 the author briefly discusses the various interactions between light and matter (photochemical, photoelectric, and electrooptical phenomena), then in Chapter 3
moves on to a more detailed treatment of
excited states. Aspects covered here include absorption and emission spectra,
potential diagrams and orbital diagrams,
transitions from excited states, quenching, photophysical phenomena, and medi-
new books received by the editor. Book reviews are
written by invitation from the editor. Suggestions
for books to be reviewed and for book reviewers
are welcome. Publishers should send brochures or
(better) books to Dr. Ralf Baumann, Redaktion
Angewandte Chemie, Postfach 1011 61, D-69451
Weinheim, Federal Republic ofGermany. The editor reserves the right of selecting which books will
be reviewed. Uninvited books not chosen for
review will not be returned.
/
um (solvent) effects. Chapter 4 deals at
considerable length with the chemistry of
excited states, covering not only “conventional” photoreactions but also inorganic
photochemistry, chemiluminescence, and
photochemistry in organized systems. In
Chapter 5 (“Light and Life”) the author
discusses photosynthesis, phototaxis,
photochemical damage to nucleic acids
and proteins, and some examples from the
photomedical field and bioluminescence.
Chapter 6 (“Light in Industry”) relates
photochemistry to practical applications,
discussing photographic processes, photopolymerizations, photochemical syntheses, photochromic phenomena, and the
photochemistry of the atmosphere. Chapter 7 is of special importance for the experimentalist, with descriptions of laboratory techniques and equipment, including
light sources, filters, lasers, and methods
for studying luminescence and flash photolysis. Chapter 8 gives a brief survey of
“Frontiers in Photochemistry”, including
time-resolved photolysis and spectroscopy, supramolecular photochemistry, and “hole-burning” experiments.
The book is clearly written, the figures
are of high quality, and the text has been
carefully checked and well printed. It is
well suited for use as an introduction to
the subject. A criticism is that some important topical aspects of the interactions between light and matter are omitted or only
touched on briefly, including photovoltaic
phenomena, photoelectrochemistry, sensitization of semiconductor electrodes and
semiconducting colloids, solar photochemistry, renewable solar energy systems,
photodynamic cancer therapy, and diagnostics. The Appendix explains band-gaps
in semiconductors, but it is only with difficulty that one finds any reference to these
in the main text. Also there are no tables
listing photophysical properties of sensitizers. Not enough literature references are
given, and no recent monographs on the
subject are mentioned. However, despite
these criticisms chemistry and Light is a
carefully written account of the fundamentals of photochemistry. If confronted
with the choice between Suppan’s book
and that by Becker mentioned earlier, I
would advise in favor of Becker, which
contains more practical examples and
data on compounds and reactions. It is
more experimentally orientated and contains many more references to the primary
literature.
Dieter Wohrle
Institut fur Organische und
Makromolekulare Chemie
der Universitiit Bremen (FRG)
Inorganic Chemistry. (Second edition). By D. E Shriveu, P. W. Atkins
and C. H. Langjiord. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1994. 819 pp., paperback & 19.50.--ISBN 0-19-855396-X
The perennial questions when writing
a textbook on inorganic chemistry are:
what blend of theory and experimental
facts to employ and,
in a text of finite
size, does one want
an assemblage of
basic knowledge or
an emphasis on
the latest developments?
Further,
from the user’s point
of view--how well is the theory applied to
rationalize experimental knowledge? In
this book the first two-fifths is devoted to
theoretical principles and the remainder
to mainly descriptive chemistry. The other
questions are elaborated upon below.
In this second edition, apart from alterations to the text (expansion and refinement), there has been a reorganization of
the material so that the book is now divided into three parts: “Foundations”, “Systematic Chemistry of the Elements”. and
“Advanced Topics”. New problems/exercises and more literature references have
been added. Each chapter includes a summary of key points and ends with a list of
further reading and a set of exercises (solutions in the Appendix) and advanced
problems.
As an aid to learning, key concepts are
in bold type when first introduced. Moreover, worked problems are included
throughout the text, followed by a similar
problem for the reader to consider. A
rather wide left-hand margin is employed;
this is filled with illustrations and annota-
BOOKS
tions to figures. This works well in most
cases. although occasionally the figure is
out of synchronization with the text. In
fact the entire book is extremely well illustrated with a whole gamut of molecular
orbital diagrams, figures, schemes, structures, spectra, and equations.
The “Foundations” section follows the
traditional treatment: atomic and molecular structure, molecular shape and symmetry, structure of solids, acids and bases,
metal complexes, redox. Part 2 (“Systematic Chemistry of the Elements”) begins
with a new chapter on the metals, followed by chapters on hydrogen and its
compounds, main-group organometallic
compounds, boron and carbon groups,
nitrogen and oxygen groups, and halogens and the noble gases.
Part 3 (“Advanced Topics”) covers effectively all aspects of transition metal
chemistry, with chapters on electronic
spectra of complexes, reaction mechanisms of d-block complexes, d- and fblock organometallic compounds, structures and properties of solids, and
bioinorganic chemistry. The book ends
with a series of appendices and a formula
and subject index.
All the material that one would wish to
cover in two years of undergraduate inorganic chemistry courses is contained in
this one text. Part 2 is a balance of basic
knowledge and the latest experimental results (e.g. buckminsterfullerene complexes,
p. 482): the latter should serve to stimulate the enthusiasm of students. Excellent
use is made of line drawings of molecular
structures. A positive effort has been made
to apply the theoretical principles (in particular molecular orbital theory) in the latter part of the book.
My negative comment is that on reading the book I experienced a sense of overcompression of the material in some sections, as if the authors have tried to reduce
the text to a minimum number or words.
The end result of being too brief is that
these sections strike me as difficult for the
student to assimilate. A slight amplification would greatly facilitate understanding. This runs contrary to the preface,
which states that the writing and refinement of the text was undertaken with the
advice of students and instructors.
Let me illustrate this with some selected
examples, of which there are many. Chapter 1 on atomic structure is a brief summary with no more depth than a general
chemistry text. It is too brief for anyone
without knowledge of the subject to understand. Students reading a course on inorganic chemistry would already have had
a general chemistry course and this material will be familiar. The aim is thus not
600
63
clear. Is it to refresh the reader’s memory
or to provide a more detailed treatment
than an introductory text? The former
aim may be achieved, but not the latter.
To cite two specific instances, the Uncertainty Principle (p. 12) merits only onethird of a page, and the radial distribution
functions are shown only for hydrogen Is,
2s, and 2p orbitals (the latter two in the
form of a problem).
Similarly, the chapter on molecular
structure describes UV photoelectron
spectroscopy (PES) rather briefly (p. 65).
A slight amplification would greatly enhance understanding; e.g. on page 67 it is
stated that the “vibrational structure in
the photoelectron spectrum can be very
helpful in assigning the origin of the spectral line”, but the authors f d to adequately explain how this can be used to make
assignments. It is left for the reader to do
this, and to relate the sample PES of dinitrogen (p. 66) to the molecular orbital
energy level diagram three pages later.
Concerning the actual text, what is different is the rather frequent use of the first
person plural (we, us), more than is generally found in chemistry books. There are
several instances in the text of a loose colloquial style, e.g. on page 249: “and, although avoiding the pairing penalty, will
have an energy higher by A,”; page 240:
“this trick, which is called the template
effect”.
In summary though, the positive aspects
of the book far outweigh the foibles of style
and layout. Students at all levels of inorganic chemistry will profit from a perusal
of this text which describes the subject as
Franz L. Wimmer
it is in the 1990s.
Department of Chemistry
Universiti Brunei
Darussalam (Brunei)
Structure and Properties of Polymers.
(Series: Materials Science and Technology, Vol. 12.) Edited by E. L.
Thomas. VCH Verlagsgesellschaft,
Weinheim/VCH Publishers, New
York, 1993. 786 pp., hardcover
DM 430.00, $ 325.00.-ISBN 3-52726825-110-89573-700-0
The series to which the volume Structure and Properties of’Polyrners belongs is
intended to cover a wide range of topics in
materials science and to serve both as a
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readership, and is also suitable for the
VCH Ye~lag.s~e.sell.sr/iuft
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reader who wants a survey of recent developments in a related field.
The book covers a very wide range of
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optical properties, are treated in 13 chapters. Three further chapters are devoted to
high-strength polymer fibers, polymer
surfaces and interfaces with other materials, and crazing and fracture.
The book begins with a chapter by L. J.
Fetters and E. L. Thomas on the synthesis
of model polymers, covering even very recent published work in this area. Chapter 2, by F. T. Gentile and U. W. Suter,
deals with amorphous polymers and gives
a good review of structural models (static
atomistic modeling), including a detailed
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Theodoru and Suter. The diffusion of
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Next come several chapters that are
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