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Book Review Table of Isotopes. 8th Edition Volumes 1 and 2. Edited by R. B. Firestone and V. S

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agent Phlogosol (sodium disulfosalicylatosamarium anhydride) and GdDTPA,
which is a contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging.
As a collection of episodes from the history of the rare earth elements, the book
makes no claim to completeness, especially in the area of applications. Although
the chapters are presented as separate stories in the individual style of their authors,
sometimes with overlapping of the subject
matter, the overall effect is quite well-integrated. The articles emphasize the interpretation of historical connections. Thus
the work can be regarded as an excellent
complement to the more technologically
and scientifically orientated review by
K. A. Gschneidner and C. R. Eyring
(“Two Hundred Year Impact of Rare
Earths on Science”, Handbook on the
Physics and Chemistry of Rare Earths, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1988). But who is
likely to be willing to buy it at this rather
high price?
Reiner Anwander
Institut fur Technische Chemie
der Universitat Stuttgart (Germany)
The History of the Faraday Society.
By L. E. Sutton and M . M . Davies.
Royal Society, Cambridge, 1996.
XV + 414 pp., hardcover E 20.00.ISBN 0-85404-863-4
Because of the effect the Faraday Society has had on me it is difficult for me to
give a dispassionate review of this book.
As an undergraduate I was frequently recommended to read papers published in
that Society’s Transactions and Discussions and my own first research was published in the former just 60 years ago. But
it was the debates, recorded verbatim in
the Discussions, which really captured my
attention and stimulated my imagination.
The cut and thrust of the arguments of the
proponents and opponents brought into
sharp focus not only the scientific issues
but also the personalities of some of the
leading physical chemists of the time who
spoke in the discussion. As I pointed out
in the paper I was asked to give at celebratory 100th Faraday Discussion held at the
Royal Institution on 24 April 1995, the effect on me of reading the comments in the
general discussion which took place in
1921 and was published as Volume 17 of
the Transactions “was a turning point for
me because chemical kinetics came alive,
the comments ... had all the excitement of
a good novel, particularly when F. A. Lindemann demolished the idea separately
propounded by Professor Lewis of Liverpool and Professor Perrin of Paris that
“first order (gaseous) reactions were real2384
ly photochemical” and “later in the discussion predicted that as the pressure was
lowered such reactions would display second order kinetics” as later researchers
were to verify”. Thus it was I became an
enthusiastic supporter of the Society and
all its works and have remained so ever
since; others have told me of similar experiences.
The recipe for such success was simple;
circulate the page proofs of all the papers
to all participants well before the meeting
at which each author would be allowed
only about 5-10 minutes to highlight the
salient points, thereby leaving three or
four times that time for discussion, and
create an atmosphere and ample opportunity for informal conversations. The
Discussion meetings have continued to
flourish, to such a degree that physical
chemists from other countries have not
only flocked to them but invited the Society to hold their meetings overseas which
is the greatest compliment they could pay.
The Transactions have likewise prospered
because they have changed to meet differing needs. Thus Special Issues have been
published which concentrate on a particular topic and Faraday Research Articles
have been incorporated in the Transactions which survey developments in a special area of current interest. Such innovations have doubtless contributed to the
outstanding success of the Transactions as
a highly regarded and popular international journal so that by 1996 an average
of between four and five manuscripts were
submitted each working day.
Who were the people who were influential in the society and made success possible? This book tells the story of the
growth of the Faraday Society from its
very modest beginnings in 1902 when a
group of friends, some old and distinguished like Dr. (later Sir Joseph) Swan
FRS, and C. V. Boys FRS, some young
and later to become distinguished like
F. G. Donnan, met and set up a committee to consider the desirability and feasibility of establishing an Electrochemical
Society for which Germany in 1894 had
already set an example. The first meeting
of the Council of the new society which
had appropriated the name “Faraday”
doubtless as a means of gaining respect, as
may also have been the case two years
earlier when the Elektrochemische Gesellschaft became the Deutsche Bunsen Gesellschaft fur angewandte Chemie, took place
on 11 February 1903. For many years the
Faraday Society had no rooms of its own,
very few paid staff, and was administered
by G. S. W. Marlow and Miss Beatrice
Kornitzer who were completely devoted
to its service, as I know from experience.
WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH, D-69451 Weinheim, 1997
For me this book also has a special significance because it has two authors both
of whom died before its publication.
When I was an undergraduate Dr. Leslie
Sutton was a young don, i.e. a lecturer, in
Oxford making his name as an early
skilled measurer of dipole moments and
when I arrived in Cambridge Mansel
Davies was a research student working on
infrared spectroscopy under the supervision of G. B. B. M. Sutherland. Mansel
became a life long friend and Leslie Sutton was later in life a colleague of mine at
Oxford. Sutton covers the period 19031945 and Davies from 1945 to January
1972 when the Faraday Society became
the Faraday Division of the Royal Society
of Chemistry, a fusion which has been
beneficial to both. The literary styles of
the two authors are very different; so too
are the matters they chose to emphasize.
In my opinion these differences add to
rather than detract from the interest of the
book, and they give an enlarged and more
diversified picture of the Society than either of them could have produced alone.
The readers of the book will gain a fascinating insight into the way in which a society founded by a few enthusiasts became
influential in the maturation of the subject
of physical chemistry, how that subject interacted beneficially with biological and
material sciences and was applied. I commend the book unreservedly as a vignette
of social history of part of twentieth century science.
Lord Dainton
Oxford (UK)
Table of Isotopes. 8th Edition, Volumes 1 and 2. Edited by R. B. Firestone and K s. Shirley. John Wiley &
Sons Ltd, New York, 1996. XXIV,
2970 pp. with 9 appendices and CDROM, hardcover E 190.00.-ISBN
0-471-14918-7 (text volumes)/O-47116405-4 (CD-ROM)
The eighth edition of this standard
work has now appeared, despite the fact
that in 1978 the seventh edition was announced, in its preface, as being probably
the last, to be replaced in the future by
other forms of data compilation. That
was not good news for those who had become used to looking up data in the Table
of Isotopes, the “Blue Bible”, but the
thinking behind it was understandable
when one compared the still handy sixth
edition with the massive seventh-where
would this growth finally end?
Now we have before us the latest version of the work : two volumes in a colorful binding, grown to 3100 pages listing
0570-083319713621.2384 S 17.50+.50/0
Angew. Chem fnr. Ed. Engl 1997, 36, No. 21
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the nuclear properties of about 3200 isotopes and isomers of 111 elements. It is
based on the combined efforts of more
than 100 scientists from various countries,
who have critically evaluated some 24000
publications and contributed their results
to form the Evaluated Nuclear Structure
Data Files (ENSDF) at the Brookhaven
National Laboratory.
Despite the even greater quantity of
data contained in theeighth edition, one is
immediately at ease with using it, as the
well proven structure has been retained.
The data are arranged in mass chains with
increasing mass number. Then within a
given mass number the nuclear charge
numbers increase, with radioactive decay
schemes providing a system for quick optical orientation.
However, the details have undergone
some considerable changes. Thus, only
one set of data is given for each nuclide,
namely that which the compilers regard as
representing the current state of knowledge, instead of data from different authors being listed alongside each other.
Many users will certainly regard this as an
improvement. Where one wishes to consult the original sources, the well-chosen
literature references given here are a useful starting point; alternatively one can
obtain information from the Nuclear Data
Sheets, from mass chains published in
Nuclear Physics, o r lastly from the actual
ENSD files. In this edition greater attention has been paid to data on nuclear reactions. The excited nuclear states that they
generate are now listed instead of being
Ange:en,.C h ~ m
Inr Ed. Eng1. 1997, 36, No. 21
shown diagrammatically. Also the states
that belong together within rotation
bands are indicated by suitable schematic
diagrams, leading to useful information
about one important aspect of nuclear
structure.
The appendices too have been considerably enlarged. In these, data that are scattered throughout the entire tabulation are
systematically collected together under
various properties headings. For example,
the characteristic gamma-emissions of radioactive nuclides are arranged according
to their energies, which is useful when one
wishes to identify an unexpected gamma
line. Various other properties of atoms,
nuclei, and radiations, which users of the
Table of Isotopes are likely to need frequently, are summarized in the form of
diagrams o r tables. There is even a short
section on nuclear structure.
Furthermore, when you buy the Table
of Isotopes you also receive a second copy
in the form of an interactive CD-ROM
edited by Frank Chu, which can be used
with Windows, Macintosh, or UNIX systems. You can either load it into your
desktop PC at home or carry the data
around in your laptop computer. The
data are exactly the same as in the printed
volumes, but they are displayed in a much
more spacious style and arranged in a
clearly ordered manner, rather than in
continuous lines as in the book version.
This increases the number of pages to
about 14000. Finding one’s way around is
helped by color codes and by “bookmarks”. Data with common features can
e WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH, D-69451 Weinheim, 1997
BOOKS
be quickly called up with a mouse click.
Thus, starting from the mass chain one
can easily find the radioactive decay data
for a particular isotope, and proceeed
from there to the decay scheme, and finally to the bibliography. There one can click
on the abbreviated codes to read names of
authors, titles, and short abstracts. Any
details that are not sufficiently well resolved on the screen for easy reading, such
as a complex decay scheme, can be magnified up to eightfold if necessary. On the
whole, however, the hardcopies are beautifully sharp, even at normal size. Lastly,
the CD-ROM also contains some additional information not provided in the
book version, for example about the
ENSDF system.
Although many users will continue to
prefer the familiar printed version of the
Table of Isotopes, especially for quickly
looking up some item of information such
as the half-life of a nuclide or a characteristic gamma line, the CD-ROM is undeniably the form that will prevail in the future. One quickly gets accustomed to
using it. In the preface Richard Firestone
assures us that there is still plenty of space
on the CD-ROM, and points out that it
can easily be updated from the database.
For this reason he promises that updated
editions will appear more frequently than
in the past-the eighth edition will certainly not be the last. Users will look forward to that.
Giinter Herrmann
Institut fur Kernchemie
der Universitat Mainz (Germany)
0570-0833/97/3621-2385 $ 17.501 S0;O
2385
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