Inorganic chemistry. Volume 1, principles and non-metals. Volume 2

Volume 1,. Principles and Non-Metals. Volume 2,Metals. C . S. G. Phillips and R. J. P. ... (Cmtin~rerl on paGe .17fi) .... accompanying m.0. filling d...
0 downloads 0 Views 2MB Size
BOOK REVIEWS One would hope that t,he Editors of Life might direct t,heir talents and at,tention to other areas of chemistry, which are equally important but less obviously related to daily life. One book in li is somewhat disproportionate. KENNETH F . O'DRISCOLL

Stale University of hrew York Rufalo

Biochemistry: An Introdortion to Dynamic Biology

Ernest R . M . Kay, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York. Macmillan Co., New York, 1066. ix 374 pp. Figs. and tables. 16 X 24 cm. $7.95.


As an introductory tent baok in biochemistry which starts from a. knowledge of chemistry and show3 how this is applicable to hiochemistry, this text baok is excellent. The examples are numerous and widely dispersed over the subject matter. This should have the effect of allowing the student to see the relationship between chemistry and biochemistry. The subject matter which has been included is in general, treated elesrly and concisely for a beginning student. There are a number of typographical errors in the text., far example on page 184,the source of lactate is not clearly indicated, on page

185: phosphofnmtokina~o is shown producmg ATP. There are some errors, omissions, etc., in the text; for example on p. 194 one finds in the context of the reversihility of glycolysis that, "The decarboxylation of phosphoenoel pyruvrtte is also not considered reversible." In addition there is no ment,ion of the solutions achieved by cells l o overcome the irreversibility of glucokinase and phosphofnw,tokinase. In the discussion of the stereochemistry of the amino acids and the carbohydrates no mention of the relationships between >amino acids and D-glyceraldehyde is made nor of the importance of bnmino acids in the a-helix. The section on metabolism of amino acids deals only with the metabolism of amino acids nonessential i n animals. In this section one is told that the importance of glutmnic acid dehydrogena~elisq in its role in breaking down amino acids. I t s equally important role in synthesis of glutamic acid as a portal of entry of ammonia into amino acids is not disonrsed. There are also s. numher of ambiguous st,atementsfor example, "Many legumes are able to fix nitrogen for further use by means of symbintic organisms like Rhizobium" on page 31. The selection of the subject matter to be inchlded in the book is heavily biased t,oward animals. This selection of m a t e rial prevents the book from truly covering dynamic biology. An attempt hits been m d e to indicate that biochemistry is the exclusive basis of biology and while this

had not yet made any significant contrih~ltian had been indicated. Kay's book is, however, a, well-priced test which can be used recommended for introdnctory courses of biochemistry provided the teacher is prepared to monitor the text carefully. DONALD K . UOUGAI.L

Ohio Agrieulluml Research and Druelopm n t Center Wooster

Inorganic Chemistry. Volume 1, Principles a n d Non-Metals. Volume 2,Metals

C . S . G . Phillips and R. J. P . Williams, Oxford University. Oxford University Press, New York, 1965, 1966. Val. 1, 683 pp. xiii 685 pp; Vol. 2, x Figs. and tables. 16 X 24 cm. $8 each volume.



"The Trouble with Chemists," said Albert Einstein, " is that chemistry is too hard for them." I n nu discipline of chemistry is this better illustrated than inorganic, whichisin the position of attempting t o cover almost the whole range of the s n b ject. Yet this is the chemistry we choose to teach to the freshmen. The need to codify the subject into a tight dogma of simple rules for these beginning stndent,~ has left an unfortunate mark against inorganic chemistry as a science, which it is

(Cmtin~rerlon paGe .17fi)

Volume 44, Number 1, January 1967



BOOK REVIEWS only now about to overcome. Recent yeam have, however, seen a changed attitude of mind applied to the subject which carries with it the recognition of its true complexities. This change has been likened to a renaissance. The teachine of the subject ib XIOW a t 11w h r ~ n kuf it. rison)irnr.nlo .wd the 1 ~ x tn.dcr 1 Irwrw ninl to hring :!bout jnit that. \ r e yrc prumiwi inorganic chemistry as a stimulating intellectual inquiry rather than a cat,alog of facts, and we get exactly what is bargained for. Review of any new text inevitably suggests comparisons with t,hose in current use; thus we must mention Cotton and Wilkinson (1962, 950 pages at. $14), who hold the lion's share of the market with, I am told, a secondedition in the works (1966, 1136 pages a t $14.50). Phillips and Will i a m (eight initials between them!) chose a two-volume format for their work, a move which would place i t in a difficult position in the marketplace even if the volumes were printed on newsprint and bound like telephone directories. As i t is, each volume of 6.50-75 pages is s fine example of the printer's art and sells for $8. Inorganic chemists will recall that this is not the first two volume inorganic text to be published out of Oxford University. The last was found to be useful far exceeding the usual lifetime of textr hooks, and its effect on the science was pro-

A76 / Journal o f Chemical Education

found. Are Phillips and Williams the succesors to Sidgwick? Inorganic text,books published in thelast, few decades have fallen into a very welldefined pattern: a beginning section developing certain fundamental principles which are not then again ment,ioned in 8. second section, which marches the reader through an encyclopedic descriptive chemistry of the elements in the lock-step of Mendeleev's periodic groupings. The teaching in inorganic counes reflects this pattern exactly. I n the textbook under review we have the results of the fint major attempt a t gross departure from the old pattern. The effect is dramatic. Elements are d i r cussed almost without regard for their place in the periodic table. IIistoricd development ha? been discarded altogether. Never is a fact mentioned without an interpretation appearing nearby. The traditional arrangement of chapt,en has been totally abandoned. Interatomic binding is discussed in terms of three models: the band model, the bond model, and the ionic model. We find ourselves continually checking the predictions of these models against fact. Solid-state chemistry, after having been allowed to slip into physics through neglect,, returns a t last tto inorganic chemist r y in full force, perhapps wit.h too much force for some tastes. Thermadynamio arguments m e sensibly balanced wit,h kinetic realibies at every stage, and correlations in the form of tables, graphs, and ohmts, many unique, are strewn through the pages. Many examples are t,o he

found of inorganic systems itt work in biology. References to further reading are right up to date ltnd a. number of good problems (including a few experimental), are given s t ihe end of each chapter. We have inorganic chemistry presented here BS the difficult and complex subject i t is. The approach is thoroughly adult, and the level is probably more advanced than our students have came to expect,. Although the writing is generally dry, many concessions are made t o the reader, who is alwaya warned of whet is ahout to come, but who had hebber know the meaning of baricentre and eeleris paribus (apart from anyea, the only foreign phrase used). American students will ueed to be assured thet s rugby-ball is indeed a prolate spheroid like the qnadropolar nucleus. T h e reader is treated to many novel insights (see t,he discussion of element polymerization [I,8 6 7 1 or solubility of salts in water [I,25481 and an aecesional flash of brillznce (see thermodynamics and stoichiometry [I,290tTI along the way, but I object to the frequent use of the term electrcnegativity withont differentiating between its twin meanings: a quality useful for discussing heteronuclear syst,em, and a quantity given in various (but somewhat conflicting) sources in 2-3 significant figures. Likewise percentage ionic character, an intrinsic feature of our current model of the covalent band, hut beyond the capabilities of detailed determination by any one or combination of physical

(Continued on page A78)

BOOK REVIEWS techniques. I would venture to suggest. that hydrogen bonding deserves more ertensive treatment than i t receives, as do the strengths of acids from a t.hermodynamicpoint of view. Exceptions to the rule foroxyacidstrengt,hs due t o P a d i n g (whose view of met,albonding g e k short shrift) are not given (I,529; cf. Cott,on and Wilkinson p. 135, who do not credit Pauling). The discussion of ortho and par*hydrogen is oversimplified, and t.he one periodic table in the book (no endpapers) seems 8. poor choice. The paramagnetism of the B2 molecule is mentioned in the text, but the accompanying m.0. filling diagram would predict a diamagnetic species. Defunct radiomagnesium exchange results are used to discount the Schlenk equilibrium in Crignard system-. The "25 words-orless" explanation of the Miissbaoer effect is a little spotty, as is the discussion of the ditl'erences between carbon and silicon whioh would have been greably improved with reference to Sommer's book on silicon reaction mechanisms. Finally the typographicd errors detected Professor Wannapat's name spelled wit,h a "b" an page 640 of volume one and the hydrogen and hydroxyl ion concentrations are given as 10" em-= in Figure 6.26. Sounds fine, but is lhis redly inorganic



lournol o f Chemicol Education

chemistry? I submit t,o my colleagues that the trend set by this text will be ignored a t their peril. We have all come a long way from Psrt,ington (1st ed., 1921) and Mellor (1st ed., 1912); even Moeller (1952) now seems very dated. Judging from the bewildering jumble of correlations found in the volumes under review, we have a fair way to go yet. Those of u s who regard descriptive chemistry as the permanent, reproducible, and therefore real part of chemistry will be sorry t o see only that part which e m be fit into the neat correlitt,ions retained. For example the well-behaved lanthanides and actinides get two chapters of 65 pages while boron, carhon, silicon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and arsenic get one chapter of 43 pages. Appalling! But consider the postscript to t,he metals chapter in volume two. IIere the material of the previous chapters is d i d l e d into a discussion of the familiar old Bunsen qual. and. scheme, which it turns out, in order to consider intelligently sends 11s t,o the very limits of current understanding. Phillips and Williams in thh text have continually anticipated the students' quest,ion, "Why?" This, t,oo, is inorganic chemistry.

J . J . ZUCHERMAN Conell Unive?sity Hhaea, New York

Phyricd Chemistry

Frank T . Gucker and Ralph I,. Seiluri, bath of Indiana Univerqity, Bloorniugton. W. W. NurLvn a d Co., IIII.., New York, 1 9 6 6 xx f 824 pp. Figs. and tables 17.5 X 23.5 rm. $10.

This new hook contains the itsnal f a x offered by an irltmdnct,ory physical e h ~ m istry text plus a few topics less commmly covered. The lst,ter indudes a. chapter 1111 mathematical background and three chxpt e n on n~rclear chemistl.y and phyiirs. Topics which are not disr~lssedand whirh have received mverage in other recent t,exts are t,ranspwt pnjperties and macromdeenles. At bhe end of each chapter the srtthors have included a reading list which is divided inlo books, articles, and sources of data. Nearly all of bhese have eomment,s by the authors. This cmnpilstiun is to be applauded, but. ill a few instances, misinfoimation has bee11 Kiven (e.g., the statement that N. 13. Slater's book, "Theory uf Unimo1ec11l:ir Reactions" . . desarihei themathemntirnl development of bhe q~laotnm-meehal~ic:l theory of ~mimolecdar reactions . 1s misleading since Slater's theory as RPIIerdly applied is not quantum mechanical). The text does not aspire to the level of Moore or Eggers, etal., in its m a t h e m a l i d developmenl. One year of calculus woldd


. ."

(Continued on page A80)