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Book Review The Alkaloids. Edited by R. H. F. Manske

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references are quoted for work published up to 1967. This excellent book would have been even more valuable if the chemical compounds mentioned had been cited not only by name,
which is by no means a clear system and which in the present
case has led to a few errors, but also in the form of structural
With the above reservations, however. the book as a whole can
be recommended as a work of reference for biologists, chemists,
and practical technalsgists alike.
H. AIberts [NB 934 IE]
Orgmosilicon Heteropa ymers and Heterocompoands. By
J. N.Borisov, M. G. Voronkov, and E. Ya. Lukevits. From
the series Monographs in Inorganic Chemistry. Plenum Press,
New York, 1970. 1st Edit., xx, 632 pp., bound, $40.00.
The present work is an English translation of a Russian monograph which was published in 1966 Of the authors, M. G.
Voronkov ranks as one of the most active research workers in the field of organosilicon compounds, while Borjsov'spremature death in an accident was a sad loss to science.
Stimulated by the success of organosiloxane chemistry,
researchers have recently turned more and more toward the
chemistry of organic silicon compounds containing hetero
atoms, and Soviet research workers have been involved strongly
in this trend. A summary of the current state of knowledge by
Russian authors is thus to be welcomed, particularly in view
of the difficulties posed by the Russian literature. Admittedly
the term "current" is a relative one - the literature is covered
up to May 1. 1965 - but this, as we know only too well, is a
common failing with translations.
The book deals with kin- and high-molecular compounds containing the groupszSi-M, S i - 0 - M , 2%-N-M,and;Si-C-M. The
method of preparation, physical properties, chemical behavior,
and possible applications are described in each case. The known
data o n definite lowmolecular compounds of the classes considered are summarizcd in numerous tables.
This is the first complete compilation of the material in this
form. The amount of knowledge that has been accumulated in
such a relatively short time will astound even the initiated. This
is a reference book which will provide much needed help for
the worker in the field of organometallic chemistry.
The fact that in the future many details in the material reviewed
may require revision is surely only a reflection on the newness
of the subject. In particular, as far as the practical aspects are
concerned - de fact0 the technical significance of the organic
heterocompounds of silicon is small outside the USSR - it will
be necessary to go through many of the'literature recommendations with a critical eye and sort the whearftom the chaff.
To a western reader i t ma) seem odd. to say the least, to find
the literature references (of which there are almost 1750) separated into those by Soviet and those by non-Soviet authors, and
also to find all the authors' patents listed. As Goethe says,
'There is no such thing as natimalistic art or nationalistic science Both belong, like all eIs@that is great and good, to the
entire world".
Walter No11 [NB 935 IE]
Manual on Radiation Dosimetry. Edited by N . CV. Holm aiid
R. J. Berry. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, 1970. 1st Edit..
xvi, -4.50 pp., numerous figures, bound, S 24.50.
The editors' intention has been tocreate once and for all a handbook which In its shape and weight is genuinely a "hand-book'.,
a book, in fact, which can easily be carried around. This book
is intended for scientists, engineers, and technicians who are daily
confronted with practical problems of dosimetry. The book is
divided into two parts. The first part contains chapters on methods of dosimetry and on the various fields of application, such
as radiation protection. radiation therapy, "Co and acceierator
dosimetry. The second part gives 20 sets of precise instructions
for the operation of the various dose measurement processes
which can be used in experimental work. As in a larger "handbook'', the individual chapters are written by experts of inter-
national renown in their fields, which of course results in a certain degree of unevenness both in the presentation and in the
selection of references. The index helps one to trzck down all
the mentions of a given topic which is covered in different chapters. The book is a veritable mine of information for anyone
concerned with chemical dosimetry techniques in the widest
sense, and the extensive tables contribute toward this, but anyone working on neutron or accident dosimetry in reactors will
search in vain for his keywords. The book is undoubtedly a valuable addition to any library.
H. Kiefer I N 3 943 IE]
Organic Peroxides. Vol. I . Edited by D. Swern. John Wiley and
Sons Ltd. New York - London 1970. 1st Edit., x, 654 pp.,
numerous figures, bound. f 15.00.
The chemistry of the organic peroxides was discussed in 1961
in two extremely good but relatively short books by Davies and
Hawkins. The present book is the first section of a three-volume
work, written by a group of authors with personal experience
in the field of peroxide chemistry.
While the introductory chapter (104 pp.) does not give much
more information than the books mentioned above, the second
chapter by Benson and Shawon the thermochemistry of organic
peroxides (35 pp., with numerous tables) contains novel and
useful information. The next three chapters (12.5 pp. in all) deal
with the rearrangements of peroxy radicals, the reactions of peroxides Nith nucleophiles. and the synthesis and decomposition
of peroxy esters. The two chapters by Suern (195 pp.) on the
preparation and [he physical properties of peroxy acids are remarkable in theii- attention to minute experimental details.
Three chapters by Sosnorskj (90 pp.) describe the base-catalyzed autoxidation and the metal ion-catalyzed decomposition of symmetrical peroxides and peroxy esters. A final short
chapter IS devoted to polymerization with the aid of peroxides
and its kinetics.
In a work by a number of authors it is impossible to avoid a
certain fluctuation in quality. Notwithstanding this, it is extremely valuable to have information on peroxides collected
together into one place, in a form as up-to-date and as complete
as possible. Indeed. it is almost too complete. because in the
tables onpp. 31 and 241 we find the asyet undiscoveredozonide
of tetramethylethylene, and the ozonide of fluorenone which
was deleted from the literature some twenty years ago! However. too much emphasis should not be placed on rhese minor
shortcomings. A critical evaluation will only be possible after
the publication of the two remaining volumes, which it is to
be hoped will take place as soon as possible.
Rudolf Criegee [NB 944 IE]
The Alkaloids. Edited by R. If. F. Manske. Academic Press,
New York - London. vol. XI: 1st Edit. 1968, xvi, 549 pp.,
numerous equations. bound $ 26.00. Vol. XII: 1st Edit.
1970, xvii, 637 pp., nlimerous equations, bound, $ 29.00.
In the 20 years since the appearance of the first volume.
Manske's "The Alkaloids.'l'l has become a household word
for all chemists concerned with natural products, even if itscharacter has in part changed; from vol. XI onward "The Alkaloids" hecarne principally a summary of progress in the chemistry of alkaloids from individual plant species. For the most
part the articles refer back to others previously published in
this collection.
Nine of the twelve chapteis of vol. XI are devoted to indole
compounds. In this balanced survey practically the whole range
is considered; of the major groups, only the ergot alkaloids are
not included. Further sections deal with the alkaloids of the
Amaryllidaceae and colchicine with related compounds, and the
last chapter is concerned with pyridine alkaloids, which througho u t is an amplification of the corresponding chapters which appeared more than ten years ago in vol. VI.
The most interesting features of vol. XI1 are the t w o extensive
chapters on diterpene alkaloids, since this is the area in which
there has been considerable progress in the last few years. The
present survey is in fact the first one in which i t has been possible
to evaluate a large number of known structures. One minor
failing is the unclear way in which the formulas are numbered,
which could give rise to errors. The chapter devoted to the indole
alkaloids of Alstonia species is a supplement to the first nine
chapters of vol. XI. The chapters on the alkaloids of the Papaveraceae and of Senecio are very thorough and therefore very
useful; they reflect the endeavor to use alkaloid chemistry for
chemo-taxonomic purposes. The last chapter is devoted to the
legal chemical aspects of alkaloid chemistry. Its social importance alone makes this chapter an essential part of the book.
The penultimate chapter, “Alkaloids Unclassified and of Unknown Structure”, presents something of a problem. As a collection of all those compounds which could not be classified
under any other heading due to lack of chemical information,
it could have had some value. In its present form, however,
it includes compounds whose classification presents no difficulties. In some cases, the same compound even appears in two
places, once in this chapter and once in the appropriate chapter
in the same volume (venoterpin, pp. 208 and 458; cassipourine,
pp. 323 and 464). Part of the trouble is certainly due to the
relatively long delay in publication; to judge from the references
most of the reviews were written in 1967, since only in exceptional cases are articles published in 1968 considered.
In general, it must be said that the volumes under review, like
all the previous volumes, represent an increase in our store of
knowledge, and one which no library specializing in this subject
can afford to be without.
Karel Blaha
[NB 945 IE]
[ I ] Cf. Angew. Chem. internat. Edit. 6, 192 (1967)
Tables for Use in High-Resolution Mass Spectroscopy. By
R. Bings, J.S. Littler, and R. L. Cleaver. Heyden and Son
Ltd., London 1970. 1st Edit., xx, 160 pp., numerous tables,
DM 97.-.
The tables compiled by Bings, Litter, and Cleaver are intended
to assist in the “peak matching” technique for mass determnation with high-resolution mass spectrometers. The authors
appear to have had AEI instruments chiefly in mind.
The first table gives the most important mass lines in the
spectra of perfluorokerosene, perfluoromethyldecalin, perfluorodimethylcyclohexane, and heptacosafluorotributylamine,
which are frequently used as reference components. The table
also contains factors which enable the ion masses of the mass
lines of a reference substance to be converted into the 13Canalogs. This is extremely helpful for people whose instruments d o
not have a digital mass indicator; users of more modern equipment will hardly ever use these factors.
Much the same situation is found with Table 2, which contains
factors for the determination of further mass lines in the reference compound. Since factors of up to 1.5 are given, while
for example Varian instruments (SM 1) only permit a mass difference of about lo%, this table again can only be used fully
by the possessors of certain types of instruments.
The next table contains the corresponding values for fluothane.
The final table simplifies the mass determination of compounds
with hetero atoms, which are composed of different isotopes.
It shows in graphic form the isotope ratios for chlorine, silicon,
sulfur, boron, and bromine, for increasing numbers of hetero
atoms, and also combinations of chlorine and bromine atoms.
It can also be used to obtain the contribution of these hetero
atoms to the precise ion mass. This table is thus very useful
for the mass determination of compounds containing hetero
atoms, particularly as such values are not given in other collections of tables for the determination of empirical formulas.
The book is completed by an appendix containing the tried and
trusted “Henneberg Tables” for mass determination.
This collection of tables is thus an important aid, but principally
for those laboratories carrying out precise mass determinations
Angew. Chem. internat. Edit. / Vol. 10 (1971) / No. 3
with instruments not fitted with digital mass indicators. Of this
limited clientele, some will undoubtedly be frightened off by
the high price. This appears to be due to the attractive binding
(artificial leather) rather than the contents.
Gerhard Spiteller [NB 939 IE]
Coordination Compounds. From the series Studies in Modern
Chemistry. By S. F. A. Kettle. Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd.,
London 1969. 1st Edit., vii, 220pp., f 1.75.
The present series now includes a monograph on coordination
compounds, written by a very notable English author belonging
to the younger generation of theoretical chemists. The contents
are divided into eleven chapters: 1. Introduction; 2.Nomenclature and geometrical structure of coordination compounds; 3.
Preparation of coordination compounds; 4. Stability of coordination compounds; 5. Crystal-field theory of transition metal
complexes; 6. Ligand-field theory of transition metal complexes; 7. Electronic spectra of transition metal complexes; 8.
Magnetic properties of transition metal complexes; 9. Other
methods of studying coordination compounds (vibration spectroscopy, resonance spectroscopy), 10. Thermodynamic aspects; 11. Reaction kinetics of coordination compounds. There
is an appendix containing brief discussions of some applications
of group theory, the Russell-Saunders coupling scheme, the significance of ligand group orbitals, and examples of Tanabe-Sugano diagrams. The text is supplemented by numerous clearly
arranged tables and figures.
This very clearly written monograph attempts to bridge the gap
between the standard textbooks and the almost unmanageably
large number of publications in the field of coordination chemistry. The author is writing mainly for advanced students, and
assumes an elementary knowledge of A 0 and MO theory,
chemical kinetics, and thermodynamics. He is principally concerned with the coordination compounds of the transition metals, but in a number of places he also draws attention to complexes of the main group elements. It is pleasant to find
numerous references to the analogy between the coordination
relationships in solution and in the solid state, but regrettably,
there is no discussion of the large number of coordination compounds in which the central atom is formally in a lower state
of oxidation. Again, a monograph like this, which deliberately
goes beyond the range of the elementary textbooks, ought to
have references to the more important works in the literature
(e.g. to review articles on important sub-topics). Despite these
objections, however, the book can be thoroughly recommended
to any chemist whose mzin gnrerest is “classical metal complexes”.
Helmut Werner [NB 940 IEJ
Free-Radical Chain Reactions. By E. S. Huyser. John Wiley
and Sons Ltd., New York - London 1970. 1st Edit., 387 pp.,
numerous figures, bound, f 9.50.
The study of radical chain reactions has long ranked as a domain
of physical chemistry; in lectures on organic chemistry this type
of reaction is usually only mentioned in passing, with reference
to a few reactions, such as the chlorination of methane. Today
this topic is of importance in both preparative and full-scale
industrial organic chemistry, and in the present work
E. S. Huyser has undertaken to present the basic principles of
the kinetics and mechanisms of these reactions clearly and in
a manner understandable by any chemist. The complicated kinetic equations are derived in so detailed a manner that even
those less experienced in mathematics should be able to follow
them in every detail.
Chapters 1-4 deal with the fundamentals of the mechanisms,
kinetics and the relationships between structure and reactivity.
The following sections are concerned with the principal types
of chain reactions: aliphatic substitutions (greatest emphasis
being placed on halogenation), radical additions (the compound
being added and the unsaturated substrate are separately and
systematically dealt with), eliminations, and radical rearrangements. A separate chapter is devoted to the chemistry of in-
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