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Handbook of Radioactivity Analysis. 2nd Edition. Edited by Michael F. L'Annunziata

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Handbook of Radioactivity
2nd Edition. Edited
by Michael F. L'Annunziata. Academic
Press, New York
2003. 1273 pp.,
E 185.00.—ISBN
In the media, among politicians, ministries of education, and even within university faculties, anything related to
radioactivity now seems to have
become discredited. The number of
chairs of radiochemistry, radiation
chemistry, and radiation physics is melting away like snow in the sunshine, and
in the departments that still remain
there is too little influx of young blood.
Therefore, it is reassuring to be presented with a book that confirms the
lively activity and productivity of this
discipline. The first edition, published
in 1998, had 773 pages and contained
contributions by 13 authors. This new
edition has grown to 1273 pages, and is
the work of 28 authors. The articles are
very up-to-date, and nearly all of them
cover the literature up to 2002, in some
cases up to 2003.
This is not a collection of methods,
not a “cookbook”that one would keep
at the laboratory bench. Instead it contains a systematic description of the
principles underlying the methods available for radioactivity measurements,
with over 2000 literature references
that indicate with which radionuclides,
in which substrates, and under what conditions a particular method can be used,
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2004, 43, 1619 – 1620
1 te von 2
and how well it has performed in those
An introductory chapter (120 pp.)
explains concepts such as radioactive
decay, different types of radiation and
their properties, and the interactions of
radiation with matter. This is a useful
survey for the experienced radioactivity
analyst, and for the novice it is essential
reading to understand the chapters that
follow, in which the various methods
are described.
Since the first edition, three further
chapters have been added, dealing with
solid-state nuclear track detectors (R.
Ilić and S. A. Durrani, 59 pp.), radioisotope mass spectrometry (G. Huber, J. V.
Kratz, G. Passler, N. Trautmann, and K.
Wendt, 45 pp.), and radiation dosimetry
(D. A. Schauer, A. Brodsky, and J. A.
Sayeg, 44 pp.). Two of the chapters
appear under new authors and have
been completely revised: the one on
counting statistics, now by A. Grau
Malonda and A. Grau Carles (46 pp.),
and the one on automated radiochemical separation, analysis, and sensing,
now by J. W. Grate and O. B. Egorov
(36 pp.). The remaining ten chapters
have been considerably enlarged, both
in the actual text and in the numbers
of references.
The introductory sections of some of
the chapters repeat information already
given in the first chapter, but on the
whole there is little repetition. Historical aspects, which one expects to find
in a work described as a handbook, are
included by some authors but not by
others. Thus, in the chapter on liquid
scintillation counting, the reader learns
that the method can be traced back to
a 1948 doctoral thesis carried out
under the guidance of H. Kallmann at
the Technical University of Berlin,
which described for the first time the
use of aromatic hydrocarbons to convert
the energy of ionizing radiations into
light photons. In contrast, in the chapter
on gas ionization detectors, although the
Geiger–MBller counter is mentioned,
one is not told after whom it was
named. Again, in the chapter on dosimetry, the Fricke method that was greatly
used for decades, is not described. Perhaps the absence of information about
the historical development in such
cases is not the fault of the authors, but
results from the publisher's wish to
Umfang (Seiten):
restrict the lengths of the contributions.
Nowadays, unfortunately, the mention
of historical origins often has to be sacrificed to make space for recent developments; that is a loss, particularly for
the younger generation, whose knowledge often comes mainly from the Internet.
The main text is followed by a 32page table of radioactive nuclides and
their properties, an appendix containing
a graphical representation of the ranges
of different types of radiation in air as a
function of their energies, and a detailed
subject index. This standard work
should be available in every laboratory
where radioactivity measurements are
carried out on a scientific rather than
on a purely routine basis.
J. F. Diehl
Karlsruhe (Germany)
DOI: 10.1002/anie.200385104
Chiral Reagents for Asymmetric
Handbook of
Reagents for
Organic Synthesis.
Vol. 5. Edited by
Leo A. Paquette.
John Wiley & Sons,
New York 2003.
582 pp., hardcover
E 115.00.—ISBN
In 1995 the highly regarded Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis,
EROS (and later the electronic version
e-EROS) was published as the authoritative description of all important
reagents used in organic synthesis. Written by hundreds of experts, relevant
facts and various uses characteristic for
each reagent were presented to serve
the chemical community as an indispensable reference work. In order to provide a widely consulted and still affordable handbook for everyday use in the
laboratory, a multivolume Handbook
of Reagents for Organic Synthesis has
9 2004 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
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edition, annunziata, michael, 2nd, handbook, edited, analysis, radioactivity
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