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Book Review McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. 7th Edition. Edited by S. P. Parker

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made a computer on-line search in Chemical Abstracts; almost everything we found there was dealt with in the book.
But I also compared with one of our lists of publications that
are important for the perfumery industry, and only a fraction of that material was covered. The coverage is thus not
comprehensive, but in my opinion a good representative selection has been made.
The book contains a total of about 450 references, almost
exclusively from the primary literature. There are also a few
theses, abstracts of ACS meetings, private communications,
and two books, namely Simonsen’s The Terpenes and the
author’s Polarity Control. The reader is referred to Simonsen’s multivolume text as a source of basic terpene chemistry. I t is still an important text, but it appeared in the fifties.
If one cites this, then one should at least also give a selection
from the many more recent handbooks, such as Erman’s
Chemistry of’ the Monoterpenes; an Enc-vclopedic Handbook
(1985). Books that have similar o r related objectives, such as
the indispensable five-volume standard text Asymmetric Synthesis by Morrison and Scott (1983-1985), Hanessian’s Total Sjnthesis of Natural Products: The ‘Chiron’ Approach
( I 983). and Corey and Cheng’s The Logic of’ Chemical Synthesis ( 1 989). are not mentioned. Corey’s “logic-centered
methodology” is instead covered by the 1969 article by
Corey and Wipke in Science. To the best of my knowledge,
the word carbogen (“During the last fifty years complex
carbogen synthesis has extended its frontier to near the conceivable limit.”) comes from the book by Corey and Cheng.
A related word is chirogen (neologism?, “camphor is an
excellent chirogen ...”) but the sense that it has here does not
fit an earlier definition by Eschenmoser (chirogenic, Helv.
Chit??. Actu 1990, 73, 1373). Both terms are used without
explanation or reference. A few review articles such as the
one by Money are there but are not recognizable as such in
the text. The limits of the literature coverage are not indicated. Most of the references are from the eighties. There is one
from 1958 and five from 1991, none before o r after.
I return to the contents, which are of course mirrored by the
references that I discussed. I estimate that about 350 syntheses
(!) are summarized in the accepted format, by means of
schemes composed of formulas, arrows, letters, and footnotes. The formulas are well-drawn but usually not identified (no numbers or letters). When they are, and this is mainly done for the final products, they are identified by a name.
The schemes are likewise not identified but appear in the text
where they are discussed. The text consists of concisesometimes perhaps too concise-analyses of the synthetic
strategies (“Space is devoted therefore mostly to strategic
considerations and unusual observations”), in a rather personal style, but that is a minor matter of taste. The whole,
schemes and text, is well-integrated, and one does get a good
overview. Here the author has done a very good job.
But also with regard to indexes and to some really essential
data, limited and sometimes arbitrary and inconsistent
choices have been made. Also the citations in the text (e.g.,
Money, T. (1985)) and the format of the references in the
bibliography at the end of the book (Money, T. (1985) Nut.
Prod. Rep. 2: 253.) are inconvenient and different from standard practice in the chemical literature. There is a four-page
index of the synthetic targets covered [from achillin via corrnorsterone, ( )-7,8-epoxy-2-basmen-6-one, estrone, ar-himachalene, nootkatone, sex pheromone (banded cucumber
beetle, California red scale, corn rootworm, stink bug, yellow
scale) to zonarene], but neither an index of starting materials
nor an author index. However, the starting materials can be
found via the list of contents at the beginning of the book.
The 15-page bibliography at the end of the book is of little
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A I I ~ E IChmni.
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I n ( . Ed. Engl. 1 9 3 , 32, No. 8
use when one is searching for a senior author, as the references are listed alphabetically by the first-named author and,
moreover, one cannot refer back to the text (no page number
is given). With a few exceptions, authors and research groups
are only identified by these first-author citations.
The “optical purities” of the starting materials are not always defined, and when they are then only qualitatively
(“not of high optical purity”). It would be better to refer to
the enantiopurities since these are relevant and the term
enantiomerically pure is used in parallei to optical purity.
[a],-values are also not given routinely, and when they are
given this is done without specifying the solvent and temperature (e.g., “(R)-pulegone, [a],
23 ‘, has found frequent
service in synthesis due to its optical purity ...”). The chiralities of the starting materials and the products are not defined
uniformly [(-)-camphor, (R)-( +)-pulegone, @-elemenone,
ent-occidentalol]. There are almost no references dealing
with enantiopurities, [a],-values, and chiralities. Prices are
sometimes indicated qualitatively (“The cost of (-)-carvone
is much less than that of the (+)-isomer.” “(R)-( +)Limonene, [XI, 126.8 ’, is probably the most abundant and
cheapest enantiomerically pure cyclic olefin available from
natural sources.”)
Last but not least, the title is misleading. A step in a synthetic sequence that leads more o r less preferentially to one enantiomer is enantioselective, for example the enantioselective
hydrogenation of a prochiral substrate (according to
Eschenmoser, a chirogenic step), and one can extend that
meaning to the entire sequence. The book deals with something else and this is indicated in the subtitle, but racemates
are also chiral.
Valentin Rautenstrauch
Firmenich SA
Geneva (Switzerland]
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McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. 7th
Edition. Edited by S. P. Parker. McGraw-Hill, New York,
1992. 20 volumes; 13450 pp., hardcover $ 1900.00.ISBN 0-07-909206-3
Since 1960, when the first edition of the McCraw-Hill
Encyclopedia ojScience and Technology first appeared, it has
served the science information needs of students, scholars,
and the general public by offering up-to-date, authoritative,
and comprehensive coverage of all disciplines in science and
engineering. The new 7th edition, which continues to fulfill
this purpose, represents the culmination of five years of substantial revision and updating to reflect the numerous scientific and technological developments that have occurred
since the 6th edition (1987). The material on entire disciplines, including chemistry, medicine, physics, electronics,
computers, telecommunications, and the earth sciences, has
been extensively revamped. Three thousand distinguished
scientists and engineers from around the world (including
21 Nobel laureates), more than 200 of whom are new to this
edition, participated in this work of accurate, lucid, objective, thorough, and rigorous scholarship.
Prepared with the assistance of a 15-member international
advisory board and 75 distinguished consulting editors, the
encyclopedia contains 7500 signed, alphabetically arranged,
and cross-referenced articles (230 entirely new, 700 rewritten
by new authors, and 800 extensively revised), covering
81 major subject areas from acoustics to virology. Among
the new articles are those on adhesive bonding, anxiety
states, atom clusters, bioelectronics, chaos, climate modeling, compact disk, laser cooling, foot disorders, fiber-optic
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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)
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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
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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
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