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Book Review Reaction Mechanisms in Organic Chemistry. By F. Badea

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Reaction Mechanisms in Organic Chemistry. By F. Budea.
Abacus Press, Tunbridge Wells 1977. 1st Edit., 701 pp.,
numerous figs., bound, E 18.85.
The author attempts to provide a comprehensive textbook
on reaction mechanisms, intended mainly for advanced students and postgraduates working on their PhD, and thus
to render valuable service in the field of reaction mechanisms.
Part 1 explains the significance of symmetry and different
types of bonds (90 pages), Part 2 methods for the elucidation
of reaction mechanisms and reactive intermediates (90 pages),
and Part 3 (heterolytic reactions) discusses aliphatic nucleophilic and electrophilic substitutions, the analogous reactions
of aromatic compounds, and finally elimination and addition
reactions (350 pages). The final Part 4 deals with homolytic
and pericyclic reactions (120 pages). A subject index closes
the book; there is no author index. Problems are given at
the end of each chapter, but unfortunately without any indication of their solution. The printing of the reviewer’s copy
was not of the highest standard.
In view of the rapid development of the field of reaction
mechanisms, it is doubtful whether a textbook of this kind
could be satisfactorily written by a single author, for it is
almost impossible for any single person to give a balanced
and competent judgment in all parts of the field. In this
book there are very diverse judgments, which incidentally do
not correspond to the trend found in the primary literature.
For example, the description of 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition (3
pages) hardly gets beyond the definition of the possible 1,3dipoles. In the reviewer’s opinion, however, the greatest shortcoming of this book is that the very numerous literature
citations (and thus the arguments in the text) hardly ever
reach 1974 and almost never go beyond it. For a “revised
up-dated English version” of the Romanian edition of 1974
a more intense rewriting and supplementation would have
been desirable.
Jiirgen Sauer [NB 41 1 IE]
Vibrational Spectra of Organometallic Compounds. By E. Maslowsky, Jr., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., New York-London
1977.1st Edit., xii, 528 pp., numerous figs. and tables, bound,
f 18.75.
Enormous advances have been made in organometallic
chemistry in the last 25 years, and accordingly the number
of important textbooks, monographs, and research reports
is already legion. It is therefore all the more surprising that
up to now there has been no collection and clear description
of the IR and Raman spectroscopy of organometallic compounds. This is also surprising because IR and Raman
spectra often provide the decisive proof for the structure of
these compounds. This book is an attempt to close that gap.
It is assumed that the reader is already familiar with the
theoretical principles of vibrations and with problems of practical measurement. The results of other physical methods, such
as X-ray structure analysis, NMR spectroscopy, and electron
diffraction are always reported briefly if they are important
for the interpretation of the vibrational spectra.
According to the Foreword, all compounds with direct
metal-carbon interaction are considered, and the concept of
a metal is thereby stretched very widely: it ranges from boron
and silicon through the subgroup elements up to phosphorus.
Purposely excluded, however, are the metal carbonyls and
metal cyanides, unless other metal-carbon bonds exist there
apart from M-CO or M-CN bonds. This limitation seems
reasonable, since several reviews have been devoted to these
compounds in recent years. However, it is not easy to see
542
why metal-carbene and metal-carbyne complexes should not
have been included.
The book is divided into three sections. Alkylmetal cornpounds are treated in the first section and compounds with
unsaturated acyclic groups in the second. The third section
is devoted to the metal derivatives of unsaturated cyclic organic
1iga n d s.
The internal arrangement of the book and presentation
of the theme are very clear and easy to understand. Compounds
of complicated structure are clarified by structural formulas.
It is most welcome that the IR and Raman spectra of important
complexes are not only described but also illustrated. The
very many tables scattered throughout the text and the more
than 2000 references (literature considered up to April 1976),
together with the index-brief but very clearly set out-make
the book equally suitable as a reference work. In this respect
it is rather regrettable that there is no author index.
By and large the text has been carefully composed. A number
of printing errors are distracting but do no appreciable harm.
The book should, however, in no way be regarded as a mere
collection of spectroscopic data. The author prevents this by
occasionally mentioning controversies over the interpretation
of the results or describing gradual approaches to the “truth”
often extending over many years. Now and then too the
limitations of the method are indicated. Thus, in spite of
the rather inflexible material a book has arisen that reads
easily for long stretches, and which will be of much value
to the organometallic specialist, but can also be recommended
to the general inorganic or organic chemist.
Helmut Fischer [NB 413 IE]
Elektrokinetische Grenzfkhenvorgange (Electrochemical
Interfacial Processes). By J . Weigl. Verlag Chemie GmbH,
Weinheim-New York, 1977. 1st edit., 196 pp., 98 figs.,
10 tables, Reprotext, paperback, DM 36.00.
The electrokinetic or zeta potential plays an important
role in colloid-chemical phenomena such as the stability or
flocculation of dispersions. Since there is definitely a need
for a handy book giving the fundamentals, the experimental
methods, and some examples of applications, it is unfortunate
that Weigl’s book fails to satisfy this need. In the fundamentals,
the DLVO theory-the basis of the modern concept of colloid
stability-is given only a very perfunctory treatment; it may
perhaps be taken as an indication that the name Deryagin
appears differently every time (but never correctly). It is difficult
to see why, in a book published in 1977, the equations for
the determination of the zeta potential from the electrophoretic
mobility do not conform to SI units. The effect of non-potential-determining ions on the observed zeta potentials is mentioned only incidentally, without examples, and corrections for
retardation and relaxation are not even mentioned. The description of the measurement methods is also very brief. Sources
oferror are not discussed. The book is best at the description of
applications (mainly from the paper industry where the
author’s experience lies), and one can find here a few interesting
connections between the zeta potential and other characteristics. Unfortiinii~cl!. however, the author never mentions essential parameter5 iiibolved in the determination of the zeta potential, such as the nature and charge of the gegenions and
the ionic strength.
The book gives the impression that it was written in a
hurry to meet a deadline, which may explain the stylistic
shortcomings and the omission of some figure legends. Certain
passages extending over pages are taken word for word from
Angew. Chem. Int. E d . Engl. 17 ( 1 9 7 8 ) No. 7
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