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Book Review Selenium. Edited by R. A. Zingaro and W. Ch. Cooper

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juices, etc.), of concepts such as Nuclear Science Abstracts
and partial structures, and new research fields such as lunar
rocks from lunar chemistry. Furthermore, the text under some
of the older existing key-words has been considerably
expanded (pK value by 400%, nucleic acids by 1OO‘X) or
supplemented by illustrations (offset printing). The preparations published in the “old Rompp” have been critically examined ; many have been omitted because production has
ceased, but new ones have been inserted ( e . g . Parko KS 12,
Parleam, Monflor). Sensibly, prices for products are omitted
since they are in any case of only transitory value. In a
lexicon one expects to find not only the newest key-words
but also those concepts that are no longer in use but can
be found in the older literature; account has been taken of
this in the 7th edition: one finds, for example, parmone, the
older designation of a-ionone, and masurium (now called
technetium). Generally speaking, it can be reported that each
key-word has been worked over completely and with great
care and has been brought up to latest knowledge, while
sensible abridgments are made throughout. It is not rare
to find citations from 1973 and even 1974. In all this praiseworthy work on Volume 4 0 . - A . Neumiiller has been helped
by B. Bolle, E. Brzitwa, K . Esser, and Kurt Siekmann.
Owing to the increased costs of production Volume 4 costs
D M 35.- more than Volume 3[l1. This, however, in no way
decreases the favorable impression left by turning the pages
of this book. It should be available as a reference volume
in their work to as many of our colleagues as possible.
Christian Weiske [NB 268 IE]
Cf. Angew. Chem. 86. 488 (1974): Angew. Chem. internat. Edit. 13,
487 (1974).
Reactive Intermediates in Organic Chemistry. By N . S. Isaacs.
John Wiley, London 1974. 1st Edit., XIII, 550 pp., numerous
figs. and tables, bound, E 12.00.
Unlike other books that have recently appeared on the
subject of mechanistic organic chemistry, this book attempts
to present its extensive field from the viewpoint of intermediates.
The volume is divided into ten chapters, of which the first
(91 pp.) with the title “Physical Principles of Organic Chemistry’’, deals especially with the general fundamentals, e. g. matters of energetics and kinetics, solvent and isotope effects,
methods for the detection of intermediates, stereospecificity,
and a short introduction to orbital symmetry considerations.
Subsequent chapters provide information on the actual intermediates: carbenium ions (108 pp.), neighboring group participation and nonclassical ions (34 pp.), carbanions (60pp.), radicals (80 pp.), carbenes (33 pp.), dehydrobenzenes (14 pp.), tetrahedral intermediate states in reactions of carbonyl groups
(23 pp.), and intermediate stages in oxidations (34 pp.). In the
last chapter are collected the intermediates that are less easily
assigned, for example those that are important in acid-,
enzyme- or metal-catalyzed reactions. To eight chapters sufficient bibliography is assigned to provide rapid access to the
literature that takes the matter further or deeper. It is good
to see that at suitable places in the text there are introductions
to modern spectroscopic methods (e.g. ESR, I3C-NMR,
CIDNP, and ion cyclotron resonance), but in view of the
size of the book these are kept very short. The book ends
with a subject index of 6pp., which could well have been
longer for a volume of more than 500 pages.
The author has consistently treated the material according
to the nature of the intermediate involved, and this has the
advantage that themes such as aromatic electrophilic substitution, olefin addition, and chemistry in superacid media are
found presented together. Information about aromatic substitution must, however, then be sought in different chapters
according to the intermediates involved. Reactions without
discrete intermediates ( e . g . S,2 reactions, electrocyclic reactions, sigmatropic shifts that do not occur by way of ions) are
only mentioned, in line with the author’s intentions.
Energy parameters are given only in joules, right from
the beginning of the book. An indication of the conversion
factor intoa unit more familiar to chemists, namely the calorie,
would have made this change in practice easier to follow.
This fluently written and easily readable book is worth
studying for its wide scope, particularly by younger students
of organic chemistry and by those wanting to be rapidly
informed about mechanistic questions in organic chemistry.
However, the reader should adopt a critical attitude because
misprints and inaccuracies in the structural formulas and
tables are not uncommon; this should not influence too severely a wide distribution of this otherwise useful work.
Dieter Hasselmann [NH 271 IE]
Selenium. Edited by R. A. Zingaro and W Ch. Cooper. Van
Nostrand Reinhold Comp., New York 1974. 1st Edit., XVlI,
835 pp., numerous figs. and tables, bound, E 25.00.
835 pages about a single element in the periodic table:
one cannot fail to be impressed by the wealth of knowledge
that has been accumulated since the discovery of selenium
by Berzelius in 1817. The discouragement that immediately
sets in because of the size of the book disperses rapidly on
reading. The editors have divided the material very skillfully
into 16 reviews by 24 authors. What, however, would have
been very useful is a readable summary of each chapter;
in most of them there are passages of historical review entitled
The “schizophrenic chemical personality” of selenium is
extensively illustrated; the organization of the book is easy
to follow. After two introductory chapters on the history
and occurrence of selenium and on its preparation and purification weight is first laid on description of the structure of
the element in its various modifications, on its interaction
with light, and on its optical and electrical properties. The
second main part concerns the chemistry of selenium, and
there structural problems and the organic compounds of
selenium are presented in special detail. Inclusion of solid
ternary metal selenides would have been desirable at this
stage, since the investigation of ternary oxides and sulfides
is nowadays a very wide field, so that interesting structural
comparisons could have been set up. Much of the inorganic
chemistry of selenium in aqueous solutions is contained in
the chapter on the analysis of selenium.
The last part of the book could be described as a “Special
Chapter”. The topics discussed there are the element’s toxicology, selenium in agriculture and in metallurgy, in xerography,
in elastic and plastics materials, and in the glass industry.
Again and again the many-sided properties of this element
pinpoint its strange character, making it of interest to a whole
series of scientificand related disciplines and to many scientists
for whom this book, with its sometimes several hundered
references per chapter, is a mine of information. All in all,
it can be said that the book provides a pattern for future
compilers of “element monographs”.
Gunther Dittrich
[NB 273 IE]
A n g e r . Chmr. inrernnr. Edit. ,IVnl. 14 ( 1 9 7 5 )
!No. 9
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