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Book Review Problems in Organic Reaction Mechanism. By F. M. Menger. From the УAppleton-Century-Crofts Series in ChemistryФ. Edited by W. C. Agosta

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There has unfortunately not previously been any review in
the German language that does justice to the importance
of this method. The possible uses and the results had to be
looked for tediously in the original papers in the most varied
journals and in manufacturers’ literature.
by the large number of isolated facts that are not essential
for him. On the other hand, most reaction sequences are
too briefly described (e.g. the azulene synthesis, p. 461. Also,
there is often no mention of reaction conditions, even for
important syntheses; and the chemist working in the field
of heterocycles will feel the lack of references to original
literature. For these reasons this book can be given only
H . Ahlbrechf [NB 852 IE]
limited recommendation.
This gap is now closed by the monograph to be discussed
here. After a concise historical introduction and an accurate
explanation of the fundamental principles, the author describes the measuring equipment and the influence of the experimental parameters. H e then considers the applications
and so comes to the quantitative evaluation of DTA diagrams,
where there is some unavoidable overlap with a similar discussion in the chapter on experimental conditions.
Problems in Organic Reaction Mechanism. By F. M. Menger.
From the “Appleton-Century-Crofts Series in Chemistry”.
Edited by W . C. Agosta. Appleton-Century-Crofts,-Eew_
York 1969. 1st Edit., vii + 121 pp., numerous formulas,
.-bound S 2.95.
ods, the field of differential thermal analysis (DTA) has developed rapidly during the last 10 years, particularly in
Anglo-Saxon countries and in the Soviet Union.
It is to be welcomed wholeheartedly that the author has
compared the various theories and their fields of application
clearly and critically. The last remnants of a previous prejudice that differential thermal analysis is a too empirical and
somewhat inaccurate and uncritical method (this being due
to its involving relatively complicated heat-conductivity relations as well as thermodynamics and reaction kinetics)
have only been dispersed by the provision of a firm theoretical
basis. It must, however, be emphasized that these objections
d o not apply to the liquid system studied by Borchardt and
Daniels, and that, e.g., contrary to the assumption on p. 74,
the signal height can often be used for approximate calculation of the heat of reaction. In view of the sensitivity of
modern methods of temperature measurement the possibility
of working in solution is very attractive for the organic
The last part of the book gives a good impression of the varied applications of DTA and related methods, e.g., to
problems of metallurgy, mineralogy, semiconductor physics,
the chemistry of complexes, organic chemistry (in particular
that of high polymers and fuels), and the study of explosives
and catalysis.
With its many instructive illustrations and tables and a comprehensive list of references, this book will offer much new
information to the expert, and it is to be hoped that it will
convince many non-expert readers that thermoanalytical
methods are more generally applicable than might be
assumed from glances at individual papers in the field.
E. Koch
[NB 849 IE]
Chemie der Heterocyclen (Chemistry of Heterocycles). By
A. R. Karritzky and J . M . Lagowski. Springer-Verlag,
Berlin-HeideLbB-New York 1968, 1st Edit., xii 183 pp.,
bound D M 48.--.
One often has to admire the ease with which Americans write
books. The present work by F. M . Menger, however, has been
compiled with such a light hand as to give the impression
of being a set of lecture notes rather than a serious book.
The first part (19 pp.) contains formulas representing 5 5
organic reactions for which the student is required to state a
reaction mechanism. Twenty-one examples are taken from
the period 1956-1960, and 26 from 1961-1967.
The solutions to the problems are given in the second part.
The examples are also intended to acquaint the student with
some of the basic concepts of organic chemistry, such
as resonance, tautomerism, electronegativity, acidity, reactive intermediates (carbonium ions, carbanions, free radicals,
carbenes, arynes, etc.). Certain fundamental problems are
discussed in greater detail in connection with the answers to
the first 20 examples. Only formulas are given by way of
solutions to examples 21-55.
Such an attempt to deal with the principles of organic
chemistry in a few pages can scarcely hope to con\ey even a
partial understanding of the many complex reactions involved. In other words, this “introduction” to organic
chemistry, which takes up almost half of the book, could
well have been left out altogether.
The presentation of the material lacks the diligence required
in a book intended for the beginner. Apart from a whole
series of misleading printing errors, one is annoyed by, for
example, equations being written out in full for some reactions, while in other cases ions, atoms, or molecules that
are added or split off have simply been omitted. Teachers
will find the book useful for the references cited on pages
120 and 121. The shortcomings mentioned render it unsuitable for students.
F. Effenberger [NB 844 IE]
This book is intended as a textbook for the chemistry of
heterocycles. It is divided into seven chapters. An introduction (chapter 1) is followed by a n account of the chemistry of
six-membered heterocycles (chapters 2 and 3). Chapter 4
deals with five-membered heterocycles. In chapter 6 the
heterocyclic three- and four-membered rings are dealt with
(5 pages) and in chapter 7 the physical properties of heterocyclic compounds (7 pages).
Each chapter is divided into a general part (nomenclature,
occurrence, important individual compounds, schematic
synthetic principle), and a special part (syntheses, reactivity,
reactions). The production is careful; printing errors and
errors of fact are rare. The extensive material is clearly and
sensibly arranged, aided in particular by the many formulas
and the fact that they can be easily traced by their consecutive
numbering. Cross-references to other parts of the book are,
however, not easy to trace; for example, page 25 would have
been preferable to 2.II.C.2.c.2.
The authors have attempted to give a complete, logical
survey of heterocyclic chemistry, and they have succeeded.
But who will use the book? The student will be discouraged
Angew. Chem. infernat. Edit. Vol. 9 (1970)f No. 2
Noble-Gas Chemistry. By J . H . Holloway. Methuen & Co.
211 pp., numerous
Ltd., London 1968. 1st Edit., xiii
illustrations, bound 40s.
J . H . Holloway has written an excellent survey of the chemistry of noble gases.
Part I (29 pages) is devoted to the elements, and Part I1 (35
pages) to species (such as H q + ) that are only known spectroscopically, clathrates, and biological effects (e.g. solubility of
xenon in the blood).
Part 111 (101 pages) is divided into nine chapters concerned
with the chemistry of noble gases proper, beginning with the
history of their compounds. We then have chapters on binary
fluorides (36 pages), oxides and oxide fluorides (28 pages),
complex compounds, xenon chlorides, and compounds of
krypton and radon. A separate chapter is devoted to the
xenon compounds such as Xe03 and XeF6 which are dangerous from the point of view of explosion hazards: Chapter 8
deals with the chemical bonding in noble-gas compounds,
and Chapter 9 with their use.
The very full bibliography, with but few gaps, merits special
men tion.
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