Chynia, volume II - ACS Publications


scientific achievements of the Greeks, especially in the physical sciences. Many a specialist in physics and chemistry after read- ing that Galileo ri...
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APRIL, 1950 asrrunomy, innthen~tics,p h ~ ~ i eand s , geology have set a high stanJan1 of esrellenee and the present w r k is a worthy suece?mr. No serious student of science can Lil to be interested in the historical development of his field of endeavor, and no history of science, no matter how scholarly, can ever entirely replace the actual writings of former scientists as a source of historical information. "A Source Book in Greek Science" is particularly welcome a t this time, since it has long been fashionable to depreciate the scientific achievements of the Greeks, especially in the physical sciences. Many a specialist in physics and chemistry after reading that Galileo rid mechanics of the errors of Aristotle is content to let it go a t that. The consideration that the principle of hrelrimcde~is a3. vdid today as when that eager searcher after truth leaped from h i bath tub should prompt a second look at the iolk who vontributed so rnuch to the intellectual hekcround of our modem civilization. Modem scientists educated inscieutific method as it has evolved since the 17th century are apt to be impatient with many of the questions which the Greeks felt that a scientific theory should try to answer. We should be made more modest by the reflection that our descendants may well consider the methodology of the 20th century naive and ineffective in meeting the problems they will face. The selections of the work under review are divided into the following nine categories: mathematics (88 pages), astronomy (53 pages), mathematical geography (38 pages), physics (169 pages), chemistry and technology (21 pages), geology and meteorology (19 pages), biology (72 pages), medicine (62 pages), and physiological psychology (28 pages). Each main section is prefaced by an explanatory note outlining briefly the chief contributions of the Greeks in the field exemplified by the translated extracts from the original writings. These are supplemented by copious footnotes interpreting diEicult psssages in terms of modern notation and providing useful cross references. Some commentary of this kind appears necessary in an anthology of ancient science, for otherwise it is extremely difficult for the modern reader to put himself into the frame of mind of the ancient writer unless he has already thoroughly steeped himself in the original language and literature. The relatively large amount of space devoted to mathematics, astronomy, and physics reflects the emphasis which the Greek philosophers placed on the abstract sciences. From the standpoint of modern science an attractive feature is the attention paid to those philosophers who did not content themselves purely with abstract ideas but were willing to come to grips with the coustruction and exolanation of actual ohvsical aaooaratns. Hero of .. Alcnandrin nn.1 Archimedes arc notable examples. The numprow wrll-hanm d i ~ ~ r n help r u mate~i~l1y in the u r & r t f ~ ~ ~ d i of n gthe text in such cases. This volume can be w d y recommended to all students and teachers of science. ~~~

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R. B. LINDSAY

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SURFACE CHEMISTRY

Edited by Faraday Society. Butterwarths Scientitic Publications, London, England. Interscience Publishers, Inc., New York, 1949. 334 pp. 163 figs. 31 tables. 18 X 24 cm. $6. .4s INDICATED on the title page this book consists of "Papers presented for a discussion ttt a joint meeting of the SociM de Chimie Physique and the Faraday Society held st Bordeaux from 5 to 9 October, 1947 in honor of Professor Henri Devaux publish~das a Special Supplement to Research, a Journal of Science and It8 Applications." A survey of the titles of papers and the names of the authors who contributed to this book will give a fairly good idea of the nittureof itscontents. Theintroduction to this bookconsistsof the Presidential address on L'HygmscapicitA des Lames MonomolBculaires by H. Devaux, which is followed by 40 papers, 20in French and 20 in English. To aid those who do not read both languages

w i l y , ench paper is p r e i e ~ t dirr iull in thr o m I~ngo.!genndthen irntnedistcly following there i%eirhrr x full tr:tnslxtion or an d ~ . q ~ i n t c ~ h s t rin s , theotller .t lmnuge. The Inpers nre presented under lour tmin rnpicg: Theorctiesl, I'hvir.~l Chcmiatrv, .. Films on Solid Surfa~en.n r d Bio~hwieal .. Ch&istry. I t would he unfair to the authors as a whole to single out one or more of these papers for special mention. Practically all are good and owing to the diversity of topics treated, they constitute, in the aggregate, a substantial contribution to the relatively new field of surface chemistry. While this book can be read with profit by all persons interested in colloids or in surface chemistry, i t should be of special value to those engaged in biophysical chemistry researches who should find these papers both stimulating and helpful. F. E. BARTELL

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CHEMICAL REACTIONS

C. A. Jacobson, Rofessor of Chemisky, Emeritus, West Virginia University, Compiler and Editor. Volume IIL Reinhold Publishing Corporation, New York, 1949. xi 842 pp. 16 X 23.5 cm. $12.

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THE third volume in an important series, listing the reactions of the elements from cob& to iridium.

THE GNAUDAN INDEX Members of the Staffs of: Givaudan-Delawa~a,Inc., New York, L. Givaudan & Cie, S. A,, Geneva, Switzerland, and Givaudan & Cie, Paris, France. Givaudan-Delawanna, Inc., New York, 1949. 378 pp. 16 X 24 om. Tars volume covers the specification of synthetics and isolates for perfumery.

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CHYMIA, VOLUME I1

Tenney L. Dovis, Editor-in-Chief. University of Pennsylvania 143 pp. FrontisPress, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1949. x piece and 3 7 illustrations (19 plates). 16 X 24 cm. $4.

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T m s second volume of the series in the history of chemistry sponsored by the Edgar F. Smith Memorial Collection is dedicated to the late Tenney L. Davis (1890-1949) who organized the material hut who did not live to see it in print. Henry M. Leicester, the present editor of "Chymia," and the University of Pennsylvania Press are to be commended for the finished book. Volume two, like volume one, is a collection of essays on special topics in the history of chemistry, rangingfrom the development of theidea of the atomicity of matter in the theory of Demooritns ("The Experimental Origin of Chemical Atomic and Molecular Theory before Boyle," by R. Hooykaas) to the famous laboratory of chemistry in Munioh destroyed by bombs in the last war ("Das Chemische Laboratorium der Bayerischen Ahdemie der Wissenschaften in Miinchen," by WilhelmPrandtl). Four of the essays relate to the development of chemistry in the United States. H. S. van Klooster, in "The Beginnings of Laboratory Instruction in the U. S. A.," has written an excellent account of the early teaching of experimental chemistry in the schools in this country. Most of the students majoring in chemistry in our colleges today know nothing of the debt they owe the pioneers: Benjamin Sillimn and his pupil Amos Eaton. "An Irish-American Chemist, William James Mac Neven, 17631841," by Desmond Reilly, gives a rather detailed picture of a man who, after his arrival in New York, worked a s a chemist, a

JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL EDUCATION physician, and a teacher but who in the vigorous years of his youth devoted much of his time and energy to social and political reform in his native Ireland. In "Brennglaser als Hilfsmittel ohemisohen Forschens," by Rudolf Winderlich, one l e a r n that Priestley's discovery of oxygen by the decomposition of red mercuric oxide was dependent on his having a fine, and fairly large, mounted condensinglens with the use of which the temperature of decomposition could be reached. Lavoisier employed such a lens for the same purpose. Tenney L. Davis' "Pulvis Fulminans" ends with an account of its preparation about 1830 by Samuel Guthrie who "in the backwoods of upper New York state manufactured fulminating powder and sold i t to hunters and sportsmen for priming their firearms." Guthrie incidentally used the same proportions of niter, carbonate of potash, and sulfur recommended by Charas in the late seventeenth century. The seventeenth century marks the decline of alchemy and the heginning of chemistry. "Sir Kenelm Digby, Alchemist, Scholar, Courtier, and Men of Adventure" by Wyndhrtm Miles, is the story of an important figure of this period. Dighy failed to make his fortune as a multiplier but his laboratory in Gresham College, later the scene of the experimental demonstrations of Robert Hoake for the meetings of the newly founded Royal Society, aroused muoh interest in chemistry in London. Sir Isaac Newton ("Was Newton an Alchemist" by R. J. Forbes) "was not a 'gold-maker' like the worst types of medieval and later alchemists. He was an adept like Boyle, Locke, and any of his contemporaries interested in chemistry." Newton did, however, devote a large part of his time a t Cambridge to the experimental study of metals and their alloys; this firsthand knowledge of metals made possible Newton's outstanding service to the government as master of the mint. In the early seventeenth century the Protestants from Lorraine did a great deal to further the development of chemistry in Paris and the account of the activity of these physicians is given in "Some Seventeenth Century Chemists and Alchemists of Lorraine," by Denis I. Duveen and Antoine Willemart. The article, "History of Ambergris in India between about A.D. 700 and 1000," by P. K. Gode, is a short, scholc~rlyessay on this interesting substance. The importance of catalysis to modern industrial chemical processes cannot be overemphasized, yet how many physical ohemists realive that two French chemists in 1806 presented the first paper on the subject to the French Academy and that the discussion was on the lead-chamher process for the manufacture of sulfuric acid. Excerpts from the original paper are quoted in "D&ormes et Clement DBcouvrent et Expliqnent la Catalyse," by Pierre Lemay. Whenever one thinks about the history of catalysis one calls to mind Ostwald and the famous Leipzig laboratory. In the last decades of his life Ostwald's energy was directed to investigations in the philosophy of science and his contributions in this field may some day outweigh his reputation as the organizer of physical chemistry. "Some Personal Qualities of Wilhelm Ostwald Recalled by a Former Assistant," by Edmund P. Hillpem, will be read with pleasure by all who are familiar with Ostwald's talents and interests. The reviewer enjoyed most the paper on the lahoratory in Munich, where Bseyer, weary with work on indigo, turned his attention to the constitution of cyclic and unsaturated hydrocarbons; where the two Fischers, Otto and Emil, synthesized paramsaniline from triphenylmethane; where Thiele and Willststter served their apprenticeship, WillstBtter later succeeding the beloved Baeyer. There is a plate showing two pictures of the ruins of the once renowned laboratory. There are remarkably few errors. "Tyrocinium Chymicum," by Beguin, referred to in the article by Tenney L. Davis was nrint,ed Otto Fisoher was not the first - ~ = - - in~ 1612. ~ ~not~ in~ 1608: ~ brother of Emil but his first cousin. The book ends with a name index to volumes one and two and a page of corrections for volume one. ~

BIOCHEMISTRY IN RELATION TO MEDICINE

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C. W. Carter, Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford, England, and

R. H. S. Thompson, Professor of Chemical Pathology, Guy's Hospital Medical School, University of London, England. Long442 pp. 36 figs. mans, Green and Co., New York, 1949. xi 26 tables. 14.5 X 22 cm. $5.

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T m last decades have witnessed a tremendous expansion of our knowledge of the chemical processes that go on in living tissue and continually increasing applications of this knowledge into the actual practice of medicine. This pmes a difficult problem to the writer of a textbook of biochemistry for medical students. Not only must he present the fundamental principles and experimental methods of biochemistry but also the dynamic aspectsof the suhject by which biochemical knowledge may he applied to the problems of the clinic. In this reviewer's opinion, few, if any, recent textbooks, including this book, have successfully attained these objectives. The present volume contains somewhat abbreviated chapters on physical chemistry, the chemistry of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, followed by chapters on enzymes, biological oxidation, hemoglobin, and chapters concerned with metabolism, nutrition, and function. At the end of each chapter, m experimental section 1s included. The experiments are based on those carried out in medical and physiology courses a t Oxford, and are included "in the hope that by presenting both theoretical and practical aspects of the subject side by side m,e may be able to bridge this gap which too often exists in the student's mind." The identification of biologically important substances, special techniques, the preparation of special reagents and physicochemical constants are given in four appendixes. Throu~hontthe text the authors have referred to original papers in the litirature and to the contributions of many investigators, as is evidenced by an 18-page bibliography a t the end of the book. Verv few references to ~ublicationslater than 1945 amear .. in this bibcography. Depending an the reader's concept of how biochemistry should be presented to medical students, he will be pleased with certain parts of this book and infuriated by other parts. In view of the title of the book, it is surprising that so little emphasis is given to the chemistry and action of the hormones. One looks in vain for an adequate discussion of the adrenal or ovarian hormones. The isolation of tbvroxine is incorrectlv recorded in the historical introduction.

F. A. CAJORI Unm~nsrrrOF C o m ~ b n Somor. o OP MEDIOZNE DENPER. CO%OR*DO

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THE PHYSICAL PRINCIPLES OF THE QUANTUM THEORY

Werner Heisenberg, Professor of Physics, University of Leipzig. Translated by Carl Eckart and Frank C.Hoyt. Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1949. 183 pp. 14 X 21 cm. $2.50.

THE NATUFIE OF PHYSICAL THEORY P. W. Bridgman, Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, Harvard University. Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1949. 138 pp. 14 X 21 em. $2.25. THE THEORY OF GROUPS AND QUANTUM MECHANICS

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Hermonn Wey1, Professor of Mathematics, University of Gottingen, Germany. Translated from the revised second edition by H. P. Robertson. Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1949. xrii 422 pp. 3 diagrams. 14 X 21 am. $4.50.

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TAESE three books are reprintings of the original works into popular-price volumes.