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Book Review Polymer Science and Materials. Vol. 1. By A. V. Tobolsky and H. F. Mark

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It also aims to eliminate the need to consult handbooks
of analytical chemistry or the indexes of analytical periodicals or abstracting journals before carrying out such work.
To live up to this very pragmatic aim, well known and
currently used titration methods, acidimetric, complexometric, precipitation. and redox methods are described
for the determination of each element ; their suitability,
selectivity, accuracy, and susceptibility to interference are
indicated, and the necessary aids are mentioned. Details
of procedures are deliberately omitted, and the reader
is referred instead to a number of important recent publications in every case.
The arrangement of the book, in which convenience is
the main consideration, is clear, as is that of each of
its chapters. It is based on the periodic system of the
elements (including the transuranium elements and the
inert gases), and a survey of classical (pre-1950) and up-todate (mostly post-1960) possibilities is followed in every
case by brief descriptions of the selected methods.
The attempt to provide the chemist who is not primarily
an analyst with a volumetric vade mecum may be said
to have been accomplished in full. The book can only
be recommended to all amateur analysts, but is also a
rich source of information for the professional analyst.
Giinther Krafr
[NB 133 IE]
Polymer Science and Materials. Vol. 1. By A. I.: 7obolskji
and H . F. Mark. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New YorkLondon 1971. 1st ed., x, 404 pp.. numerous figures and
tables, bound E 10.05.
The book is intended mainly for younger students and
for scientists and technologists wishing to enter the field
of polymer science o r seeking a first introduction. The
material presented covers a wide field. The present first
volume of the planned two-volume work deals with the
essential physicochemical principles of polymers in solution, as well as with the physics of the solid state of
synthetic macromolecules, and finally in three chapters
with the technical properties and the processing of rubbers,
plastics, and fibers.
This breadth of material was possible only through the
deliberate omission of all mathematical derivations. One
result of this is that the numerous formulas used occasionally appear rather abruptly. It would have been preferable in such cases to present plausible explanations for
the most important formulas. The aim of providing such
an urgently needed book for the beginner has therefore
been achieved only in part.
In addition to providing an introduction to polymer
science, the book also strives to consider the fundamental
science and the industrial application from a common
standpoint. It may be regarded as successful in this respect,
and it thus stands out from other works, which favor
either one point of view or the other. The book benefits
from the fact that the conception is essentially determined
only by the two principal authors.
However, the level is not always constant. A very good
and enthusiastic introduction is followed by a chapter
on molecular weight and molecular weight distribution
that is unsatisfactory and out of date with regard to material. Solid knowledge is presented in most of the chapters.
Two contributions can be described as outstanding. These
are the chapters “Equilibrium Polymerization” and “Liquid
and Plastic Crystals”. This last article in particular is unconAngrw. Ckrm. intrmut. Edit.
t‘d.I ? (19731 ’ N o . 4
ventional, opens up new aspects, and should provide a
stimulus even to the specialist in the polymer field.
Walther Burchard
[NB 137 IE]
Molekulare Prozesse des Lebens (Molecular Processes of
Life). By D.E. Green and R. F . Goldberger. Springer-Verlag, Berlin-Heidelberg-New York 1971. 1st ed., x, 240
pp., 93 figs., bound DM 38.--.
The aim of this book is unusual, i.e. the description of
selected fundamental biochemical processes in living systems and of important molecular reaction courses that
are identical or very similar in numerous organisms in
very different stages of development. By the omission of
individual facts and the stressing of common fundamental
mechanisms, the reader is shown the principlesf biochemical life processes and made aware of the essential points.
In addition to the structure of the cell and its components,
the discussion deals mainly with enzymes and their mode
of action, control mechanisms of cell metabolism, and
the structure and function of macromolecules (polysaccharides, proteins, nucleic acids, phospholipids). A very large
amount of space is rightly given to the discussion of the
energy balance of the cell .(energy-supplying processes,
energy-dependent syntheses, and energy transfers). Ilowever, the chapter “DNA, RNA, and Protein Synthesis”
is very brief and the material is very greatly simplified
in places; stronger emphasis in this area would surely
have been desirable in view of the central position within
the field of molecular biology. The structure of the book
is such that it contains no data on methods and literature.
The translation from the English is good. The book is
written in an easily understandable manner, the material
is clearly and logically arranged, and details and special
knowledge are mentioned only where they contribute to
a better understanding of fundamental biochemical
This book is thus not intended as a conventional textbook.
It is aimed at a broader readership, and may be regarded
as a very successful attempt to present fundamental molecular processes in living systems clearly and understandably.
Jiiryen Niessiny
[NB I34 I E]
Lactic Acid. By C. €I.Holrm, with chapters on Biochemistry
(by D. Rehhinder) and on Analytical Chemistry (by A .
Mii//er).Verlag Chemie, W’einheim 1971. 1st Edit., pp.
566, 98 figures, 181 tables. bound DM 135.
The book is the first large monograph on lactic acid to
be written. I t covers all aspects of the subject: history:
applications: physical and chemical properties: derivatives:
biochemistry ; and analytical chemistry. Its writing has
been supported by an international research association
of four European producers of lactic acid. This association
(called Stichting Ilra) has further assisted by making inside
information on the subject available to the authors.
The literature is covered up to June 1968. About 3000
publications have been studied. Publications in languages
not commonly understood have been evaluated from the
original and not from summaries written in another language. The over 2000 publications entered as references
have been selected critically, so that the book is no< a
mere compilation. References are with full titles and the
number of pages of each publication is given. Among
the references is a number of dissertations, some of which
have remained unpublished.
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