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Book Review MechanismЧAn Introduction to the Study of Organic Reactions. Oxford Chemistry Series. By R. A. Jackson

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tions, and Section 9.5, which deals, under the title “Nature,
Multiplicity, and Properties of Excited States in Photochemical
Reactions of Organic Molecules”, mainly with the theory
of the excitation and deactivation of electrons; it would also
have been preferable to bring together the parts on elementary
analysis (Sections 3.1, 3.2, and 14.4).
In general, attention should be drawn to the clarity of the
description, the often very pointed indication of the possibilities and limitations of the methods, and the extensive list
of references to monographs and relevant publications. These
make the book very valuable as a source of information.
However, it is also natural, simply because of the diversity
of the methods discussed and of the aspects involved, that
the extent and nature of the descriptions will vary from section
to section, so that the user cannot expect to obtain the same
kind of information from each contribution. A number of
articles, particularly those on separation methods, methods
of chemical analysis, trace analyses, and the analysis of special
classes of substances, provide instructions for practical work,
either directly or indirectly t.iu literature references; in this
respect, a comprehensiveness such as one might expect of
a lexicon is found e . g . for the analysis of pesticides (1 1.1).
Extensive tables are also given in many of the descriptions
of physical methods to demonstrate their usefulness as aids,
and special mention should be made of the description of
IR spectroscopy (5.2), which is quite adequate for routine
analyses. As far as other methods are concerned, the information for the user consists of a more or less comprehensive
description of their principles, the principles of the equipment
and/or measuring technique, and (usually with the aid of
examples) the possible applications.
Though such a compilation of methods will undoubtedly be
used mainly as a reference work for special problems, it is
nevertheless gratifying that an attempt is made in the first
volume of the “Methodicum Chimicum” to include even subsidiary aspects of analysis. This is outstandingly achieved in
the chapters “Principles for the Assessment of Analytical
Methods” (1) and “Aspects of the Choice of Suitable Separation
Methods”(2.12); it is a pity that the similarly intended sections
on “Use of Combined Instrumental Methods” (14.1) and
“Trends in the Development of Instrumental Analysis” (14.2)
are too short in comparison with these.
The richness of content of the volume and the variety of
aspects discussed will guarantee it the wide range of users
that it is intended to serve; though it is expensive, it will
certainly be valuable in the handling of various problems.
Giinrer K r es z e [NB 186 IE]
Mechanism-An Introduction to the Study of Organic Reactions. Oxford Chemistry Series. By R. A . Jackson. Clarendon
Press, Oxford 1972, 1st ed., xiii, 136 pp., numerous figures,
bound f 1.10.
How can one determine, and in the ideal case prove, the
mechanism of a reaction? The present book attempts to deal,
at the second-year undergraduate level, with the criteria that
are necessary for a study of reaction mechanisms: analysis
of the reaction products, kinetic studies. reactive intermediates,
stereochemical studies, “other arguments” (Hammett equation,
solvent effects, Hammond postulate). Each chapter ends with
a series ofquestions, and hints on the solution of the problems
are given, together with the answers, at the end of the book.
A short bibliography and the brief subject index complete
the book. The problems are presented very clearly and skillfully
with the aid of interesting examples. Anyone who has mastered
the subject will enjoy reading the book. The student who
is new to the material will sometimes have to consult a textbook
as he works through the book, since some prior knowledge
is presumed even with regard to the subject matter. The “Conclusions” at the end of each chapter provide the student with
an additional opportunity to check that he has understood
the essentials.
On the negative side, whereas there are only a few printing
errors, the examples of cycloadditions in the chapter on stereochemistry are not very good, and the Woodward-Hoffmann
rules should not be excluded at this level. In a new edition
of the book, the literature references should always appear
with the examples themselves in the individual chapters. Some
of the reviews cited are too advanced for the readers at whom
the book is aimed; lighter alternatives are available in these
On the whole this book can be recommended to interested
students preparing for final examinations. The price is also
within the reach ofstudents-agood example to some German
publishers producing literature for students.
Jiirgen Sauer [NB 190 IE]
Laser-Grundlagenund Anwendungen (Laser Principles and A p
plications). By H . Weber and G. Hrrziger. Physik-Verlag,
Weinheim 1972. 1st ed., xi, 252 pp., 185 figures, 26 tables,
bound DM 78.--.
The growing importance of laser applications in research and
industrial production justifies a general account of the properties of laser light sources for readers with no prior knowledge
of quantum mechanics. The book surprises the reader by
its unconventional presentation and illustration, which enable
one to take in even complicated laser effects at a glance.
This presentation is no doubt excellently suited to the rapid
instruction of the type of reader for whom the book is primarily
intended, i. e. technologists and engineers. However, the specialist is more likely to be irritated by the many inconsistencies
(which can surely be weeded out from the next edition) than
to find pleasure in the unusual approach to quantum phenomena with the aid of analogy models.
Starting with a relatively broadly conceived introductory chapter on the spectral properties of classical radiation sources
and optical resonators, the book deals with the following
topics: laser oscillators, short light pulses, nonlinear optics,
laser applications, and special optical elements of laser physics.
Numerous comparisons from mechanics, hydromechanics, and
electrotechnology aregiven as introductions. A useful addition
to the relationships derived in this way would have been
a simple mathematical description to enable the practical
worker to estimate the feasibility of a laser project. Thus
the section on dye lasers, deals at some length with triplet
effects, but ignores the obvious derivation of the required
pump rise times or a calculation of the inversion at the laser
threshold, taking into account the connection mentioned in
the text between fluorescence and reabsorption.
The book is very suitable for use as an easily understandable
introduction to the physics of the laser. It can be recommended
in particular to readers who wish to gain a quick general
picture before tackling the specialist literature on their proposed application.
Gerd Murowsky [NB 181 IE]
Surface and Defect Properties of Solids, Vol. 1. Specialist
Periodical Reports. The Chemical Society, London 1972.
Z st ed., viii, 264 pp., numerous figures, bound f 6.00.
In the nine chapters of this volume of “Specialist Periodical
Reports”, eleven authors present a survey of important results
from the chemistry of solids published between January 1970
Angrw. Chcm. intrrnar. Edir.
1 Vol. 13 (1974) 1 No. 3
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chemistry, introduction, mechanismчan, jackson, book, series, reaction, stud, organiz, review, oxford
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