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Book Review World of Light Chemistry and Light. By P. Suppan

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BOOKS
World of Light
Chemistry and
Royal Society
bridge, 1994.
E 19.50.-ISBN
Light. By P . Suppan.
of Chemistry, Cam295 pp., paperback
0-85186-814-2
Anvone who maintains awareness of
publications in the area of photochemistry knows that
the subject is currently undergoing a
renaissance in the
form of monographs, reviews, and
original papers (and
thus also in research
and development).
However, in contrast to the wealth
of publications on
specific topic areas, there has up to now
been a shortage of more comprehensive
up-to-date general introductions to photochemistry. To help remedy that gap we
now have this book by Suppan, which
needs to be evaluated and compared with
that edited by H. G. 0. Becker: Einfiihrung in die Photochemie (Deutscher
Verlag der Wissenschaften, 1991).
Suppan’s book begins with a short introduction (Chapter 1) in which photochemical reactions are compared with reactions in the absence of light and with
thermal excitation. In Chapter 2 the author briefly discusses the various interactions between light and matter (photochemical, photoelectric, and electrooptical phenomena), then in Chapter 3
moves on to a more detailed treatment of
excited states. Aspects covered here include absorption and emission spectra,
potential diagrams and orbital diagrams,
transitions from excited states, quenching, photophysical phenomena, and medi-
new books received by the editor. Book reviews are
written by invitation from the editor. Suggestions
for books to be reviewed and for book reviewers
are welcome. Publishers should send brochures or
(better) books to Dr. Ralf Baumann, Redaktion
Angewandte Chemie, Postfach 1011 61, D-69451
Weinheim, Federal Republic ofGermany. The editor reserves the right of selecting which books will
be reviewed. Uninvited books not chosen for
review will not be returned.
/
um (solvent) effects. Chapter 4 deals at
considerable length with the chemistry of
excited states, covering not only “conventional” photoreactions but also inorganic
photochemistry, chemiluminescence, and
photochemistry in organized systems. In
Chapter 5 (“Light and Life”) the author
discusses photosynthesis, phototaxis,
photochemical damage to nucleic acids
and proteins, and some examples from the
photomedical field and bioluminescence.
Chapter 6 (“Light in Industry”) relates
photochemistry to practical applications,
discussing photographic processes, photopolymerizations, photochemical syntheses, photochromic phenomena, and the
photochemistry of the atmosphere. Chapter 7 is of special importance for the experimentalist, with descriptions of laboratory techniques and equipment, including
light sources, filters, lasers, and methods
for studying luminescence and flash photolysis. Chapter 8 gives a brief survey of
“Frontiers in Photochemistry”, including
time-resolved photolysis and spectroscopy, supramolecular photochemistry, and “hole-burning” experiments.
The book is clearly written, the figures
are of high quality, and the text has been
carefully checked and well printed. It is
well suited for use as an introduction to
the subject. A criticism is that some important topical aspects of the interactions between light and matter are omitted or only
touched on briefly, including photovoltaic
phenomena, photoelectrochemistry, sensitization of semiconductor electrodes and
semiconducting colloids, solar photochemistry, renewable solar energy systems,
photodynamic cancer therapy, and diagnostics. The Appendix explains band-gaps
in semiconductors, but it is only with difficulty that one finds any reference to these
in the main text. Also there are no tables
listing photophysical properties of sensitizers. Not enough literature references are
given, and no recent monographs on the
subject are mentioned. However, despite
these criticisms chemistry and Light is a
carefully written account of the fundamentals of photochemistry. If confronted
with the choice between Suppan’s book
and that by Becker mentioned earlier, I
would advise in favor of Becker, which
contains more practical examples and
data on compounds and reactions. It is
more experimentally orientated and contains many more references to the primary
literature.
Dieter Wohrle
Institut fur Organische und
Makromolekulare Chemie
der Universitiit Bremen (FRG)
Inorganic Chemistry. (Second edition). By D. E Shriveu, P. W. Atkins
and C. H. Langjiord. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1994. 819 pp., paperback & 19.50.--ISBN 0-19-855396-X
The perennial questions when writing
a textbook on inorganic chemistry are:
what blend of theory and experimental
facts to employ and,
in a text of finite
size, does one want
an assemblage of
basic knowledge or
an emphasis on
the latest developments?
Further,
from the user’s point
of view--how well is the theory applied to
rationalize experimental knowledge? In
this book the first two-fifths is devoted to
theoretical principles and the remainder
to mainly descriptive chemistry. The other
questions are elaborated upon below.
In this second edition, apart from alterations to the text (expansion and refinement), there has been a reorganization of
the material so that the book is now divided into three parts: “Foundations”, “Systematic Chemistry of the Elements”. and
“Advanced Topics”. New problems/exercises and more literature references have
been added. Each chapter includes a summary of key points and ends with a list of
further reading and a set of exercises (solutions in the Appendix) and advanced
problems.
As an aid to learning, key concepts are
in bold type when first introduced. Moreover, worked problems are included
throughout the text, followed by a similar
problem for the reader to consider. A
rather wide left-hand margin is employed;
this is filled with illustrations and annota-
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