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Book Review Progress in Reaction Kinetics Vol. 3. Edited by G

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according to the substances described. An article on analytical
methods for each element discussed is also included.
The book is intended above all for the chemist engaged in
preparative work in organometallic chemistry and it will
help him in his search for the best preparative method for a
given compound by providing him with a wealth of procedures. However, because of the division by methods the
same class of compound is often described in several places,
and then the necessary cross-references are lacking so that
the required data is not always very easy to find. In spite
of the large amount of information given, much work is
often required of the reader in selecting what is best suited
to his needs.
The value of the individual chapters varies because of the
different treatments of the literature - in some cases covered
up to 1965, but mostly up to 1962/63. Whereas many sections,
e.g. the synthesis of organoboranes by means of organometallic reagents, are relatively clear and uniform, others
deal with too heterogeneous a material. It is, for instance,
unintelligible why “symmetrization reactions” of boron compounds (p. 179ff.) is followed by a section on “exchange
reactions” (p. 199ff.). Moreover, other analogous reactions
are spread over several chapters.
It is unfortunate that not all the chapters have been carefully revised. The printing of formulas is often technically
unsatisfactory. Interchanged headings, even of large subchapters (pp. 70 and 7 9 , are to be found as well as numerous
misprints and false references. In a number of cases, the
inclusion of more recent knowledge would have greatly
improved the selection of experiments described.
I n spite of these failings, the book does provide a useful
review of this complicated material although critical evaluation is still required of the reader. If this volume were
thoroughly revised by the authors and editors it would fulfil
a useful purpose among the literature of preparative organoR . Koster
LNB 656 IE]
metallic chemistry.
Progress in Reaction Kinetics, Vol. 3. Edited by G . Porter.
Pergamon Press, Oxford 1965. 1st Edit., vii, 515 pp.,
several figures, 100 s.
The editor has managed to bring out the third volume
surprisingly quickly after the first two [I] of the series and also
the cumulative index of the reactions whose kinetics form the
subject of these three volumes. Substantially more than 1000
reactions are cataloged in the three groups “Reactions in
gases”, “Surface reactions”, and “Reactions in condensed
phases”; the arrangement and subdivision permits rapid
successful searching.
The present, third, volume contains 10 contributions: K . J.
Laidler and J. C. Polanyi present the theory of the kinetics of
bimolecular reactions for advanced students (54 pp., 169 references). This is followed by a survey of “Reactions of
hydrogen atoms in the gas phase” by B. A.Thrush (30 pp.,
162 references), in which combination and transfer reactions
are discussed. R . WoIfgang gives an introduction to “The
chemistry of hot atoms in the gas phase”, i.e. an indication
of possible reaction paths for atoms containing kinetic energy
in excess of the activation energy (70 pp., 162 references). I n
Chapter 4, B. G . Gowenlock discusses “The inhibition of
radical chain reactions in the gas phase (25 pp., 133 references), with emphasis on the results of research of the past
decade. The chapter by A . W. Read on “Vibration relaxation
in gases” (30 pp., 141 references), which is fundamentally a progress report o n the past five years, concludes the
subject of the gas phase.
L. M . Dorfman and M . S. Matheson present a chapter o n
“Pulse radiolysis” (60 pp.. 165 references), which is a very
important technique for fast reactions, and treat the experimental methods in a welcome, detailed manner. W. C. Burns
and R . Barber are the authors of a chapter on correlations of
[l] For a review of Volume 2 see Angew. Chern. 77, 435 (1965);
Angew. Chern. internat. Edit. 4, 454 (1965).
Angew. Chern. internat. Edit.
,JVol. 7 (1968)
No. 2
dose efficiency, linear energy transfer (= differential energy
loss along the path of an ionized particle), and product yield
during ionizing irradiation of nonaqueous systems, using the
diffusion models that have proved themselves for aqueous
systems (60 pp., 131 references). E. J . Land describes electron
spectra and the kinetics of aromatic radicals (30 pp., 132
references). The assignment of the spectra is explained in
exemplary fashion; ESR investigations are included in the
The last two contributions deal with polyreactions. R . C. P.
Cubbon and D.Murgerison discuss the organolithium-induced
polyreactions of vinyl monomers (40 pp.. 101 references).
(Inexplicably, the authors have made a mistake in the interpretation o f the kinetic formulas by a German group of
workers. The problem stated on p. 427 has been solved.)
“The investigation of radical polymerization in solution” by
C. M . Burnett concludes the volume. Here the presentation is
unusually short (18 pp., 58 references) and the proportion of
references that are older than 10 years is very high. Nevertheless, this chapter, like the others, documents the present
state of knowledge and indicates possible lines of research.
The presentation of the book is faultless. It is self-evident that
this volume (like its predecessors) is a must in every chemical
library and even more so in the personal library of all chemists
H. Sinn
[NB 631 JEI
concerned with kinetics.
Histoire Breve dela Chimie (A Short History of Chemistry) by
L . Velluz. Librairie Maloine, Paris 1966. 1st Edit., 115 pp.,
paperback F 14.-.
N o one who is interested in the long and eventful journey of
mankind to the point of understanding science can be indifferent to the flowering and the extraordinary development
of chemistry. Is there a more beautiful masterpiece of logic
than the theory of matter, built up patiently on experience,
to which modern physics merely had to add details at the
start of the twentieth century? On 115 pages L. Velluz surveys
the development of fundamental ideas and recreates the
leading actors of the drama.
The attempt by man to resist decay, and dreams of riches
through transmutation of elements led to alchemy, a pseudoscience which cIothed its unskilful metallurgical procedures
in phantastic formulations. True chemistry did not begin
until the end of the seventeenth century, still entirely as an
appendix to philosophy. Stahl forged the first link between
apparent and related facts with his phlogiston theory. These
tenets, in turn, prevented Priestley about a hundred years
later from drawing the correct conclusions from his discovery of oxygen. It was left to Lavoisier to discover the
general principle of oxidation by developing precise weighing
methods. The general awakening of interest in science early
in the nineteenth century favored the initial successes of
chemistry. This was the age when the educational system in
Europe was established under the influence of Liebig and
Dumas, when Chevreul recognized the existence of definite
organic compounds, and when careful analyses were performed byBerzelius to establish the foundation of quantitative
chemistry. This promising beginning was followed by the era
of “lack of gratitude”of ca. 1840, reverberating with polemics
and producing a generation of devoted chemists who resolved
the conflicts founded in the dualistic views of Berzelius.
Following the discovery of the laws of substitution by Laurent, this turbulent but fruitful period saw the triumphant
type theory of Gerhardt and, ca. 1850, the origin of the chemical symbols, so devotedly defended by Wurrz.
The understanding of molecular architecture did not come
about until after the discovery of the universal principle of
molecular asymmetry by Pasteur. One chapter describes the
stages in Pasteur’s discovery, soon to be completed by the
work of L e Bel, vant’Hoff, Kekuld, and others. Modern
structural chemistry had been established, and chemistry
stood at the threshold of the promised land. Mendeleev’s
classification of the elements, the discovery of radioactivity
by Pierre and Marie Curie, and the progress in synthetic
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