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Book Review Ullmanns Encyklopdie der technischen Chemie. Edited by E. Bartholom E. Biekert H. Hellmann H. Ley Ж W. M. Weigert Ж and E

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Ullmanns Encyklopadie der technischen Chemie. Edited by
E. Bartholomi, E. Biekert, H. Hellmann, H . Ley f , W , M .
Weigert f , and E. Weise. Verlag Chemie, Weinheim
1982. 4th Edition,, Volume 22: Stahle bis Textilfarberei.
xiv, 716 pp., price DM 545.00.
Like its predecessors Volume 22 of Ullmann, which is
now available, contains a large number of entries that are
of interest to every chemist. An example of the synoptical
and comprehensive form of the presentation, which is understandable and readable in spite of the wealth of detail,
is given by the heading “Tenside” (surfactants) (61 pages).
Two introductory sections on surface tension phenomena
and historical development are followed by a description
of the properties of aqueous surfactant solutions and their
correlation with constitution. The groups of surfactants are
then described, primarily from the point of view of their
properties and the processes conventionally used in their
manufacture. There follow sections on the analysis, methods of testing, application, and economic aspects of surfactants. The final section under this keyword (“Tenside in
der Umwelt”) deals with environmental aspects. Incidentally, eight of the 215 literature references come from 1982,
an indication of the topicality of the presentation.
The entries in this volume cover the whole spectrum of
applied chemistry. For example, from inorganic chemistry
alone we have: strontium, tantalum, tellurium and their
compounds, nitrogen; from organic chemistry: styrene,
terephthalic acid, terpenes; from materials science: steel
(164 pages), stoneware; from applications technology: textile printing (69 pages) and textile dyeing (82 pages); from
food technology: sweeteners, tea; entries concerning specific problems of applied chemistry: radiation chemistry
(33 pages), superconduction (13 pages); from the field of
natural raw materials and derived products: starch (44
pates), tar and pitch (36 pages), tall oil, and tobacco and
tobacco products (18 pages). In the last mentioned section
one learns, for instance, that tobacco plants are often utilized as bioindicators. Somewhat later comes “heavy metals such as lead and cadmium, which are available to the
plant from composted rubbish and activated sludge are
taken up by the tobacco plant and stored in the leaves.” It
is certain that addicted smokers will be just as little impressed by this as by the section on the “toxicology of tobacco smoke”, where at the close it is stated hopefully
“that in future the mortality ratios (smoker/nonsmoker)
will turn out better” (because of, inter alia, the changes
made to cigarettes in the last 20 years, e.g. reduction of the
tar and nicotine contents by half).
The overall impression gained from this volume is that
the “Ullmann quality”, in terms of content and presentation, is firmly established.
Uwert Onken [NB 611 IE]
Abteilung Chemietechnik
der Universitat Dortmund (FRG)
Liebigs Experimentalvorlesung, Vorlesungsbuch und Keku16s Mitschrift. Edited and commented on by 0. P. Kratz
and C. Priesner in collaboration with 0. Kratz, A . Diem,
and S . uon Moisy. Verlag Chemie, Weinheim 1983. xii,
498 pp., bound, DM 160.00.
It is well known that it was Justus von Liebig who initiated the style of modern university chemistry courses
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 23 (1984) No. 3
with his practice of intimately linking academic teaching
with practical instruction in the laboratory. The strand that
binds the two main themes of chemical education is the
lecture demonstration, and this fact alone is sufficient justification for this volume of Liebig’s notes for a demonstration lecture together with a set of student notes derived
from it. Furthermore, an insight is given into the knowledge, problems and way of thinking of a leading chemist in
the mid-nineteenth century, which is surely not merely of
interest to historians of chemistry.
The book of lecture notes which Liebig probably had
prepared for his son Georg-in copybook handwriting
with carefully executed drawings of laboratory apparatus-is reproduced in facsimile; the original test is printed
alongside and is competently commented upon in many
annotations. There is no need for an extensive justification
to convince us that such a lecture from the mid-ninteenth
century, which has been largely “translated” into presentday chemistry by the editors, constitutes a veritable treasure chest for anyone who wishes to learn more than usual
about the first climaxes of classical chemistry. The student’s notes on Liebig’s lecture were compiled by no less
than August Kekuli. They are not reproduced here as
manuscript copies, but the editors have complemented the
printed word with some of Kekuli’s original sketches, and
have again added some useful, carefully worded comments.
The editors have not seen their task as the simple reproduction of the book of lecture notes and the student’s
notes; they have created a living picture of Liebig and his
chemistry in the introductions to the two main portions.
The various chapters of both introductions, mainly written
by Otto Kratz, make gripping reading; the authors command just such a polished style as they rightly attribute to
Liebig, and with Liebig they have a character, who is interesting because he himself inspired interest. Contrary to
their own opinion the authors have not failed in their attempt “to produce a sketch of the many faceted Liebig”,
and this, in particular, because they lay the enigmatic personality of this great chemist, with all its contradictions,
bare before us. And to boot, we learn a great deal more
about Liebig himself and the general political and social
environment in which he lived-particularly his Bavarian
peripherally, but still clearly contoured, about Liebig’s son Georg, about the Bavarian monarch, Maximilian IZ, about the poet Paul Heyse, and not
least about August Kekuli. The faultless presentation of
this book, the excellently chosen photographs and pictures
concerning the subject “Liebig” and the often amusing
and instructive details, which are to be found in abundance even in the footnotes, do not require any further
mention here. It might be added, however, that the authors
do not stray into the realms of pure anecdote. Their clear
feeling for the times and for the people protects them from
that, but their every line vindicates by example the opinion
of Golo Mann about the writing of history in bloodless,
quantitative and sociological terms when he described “the
extraordinary entertainment of history”.
Hans- Werner Schiitt [NB 610 IE]
Institut fur Philosophie, Wissenschaftstheorie,
Wissenschafts- und Technikgeschichte der
Technischen Universitat Berlin
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