Introductory Chemistry: A Foundation (Zumdahl, Steven S.)

dents at all levels.. .who may find these stores useful to enliven lectures and discus- sions." (Unfortunately those readers requir- ing additional ba...
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(as), (I), (p) to formulas. Its teacher-modification module insures that it will not go "out-of-date" and adds much to its usefulness and versatility. Mike Barondeau Roscoe S c M Distrin P.O. Box 317 Roscoe, SD 57471 Serendipity: Accidental Discoveries in Science Royston M. Roberts. Wiley: New York. NY, 1989. xvii 270 pp. Figs. and photographs. 15.2 X 22.8 cm. $12.95 PB.


Although this hook was written for the "general" reader, (preferably with some science background), Roberts thinks it more likely to be of interest to "teachers and students a t all levels.. .who may find these stores useful to enliven lectures and discussions." (Unfortunately those readers requiring additional background information must make aspecialrequest to the publisher to receive a technical supplement eontaining additional chemical formulas and equations. No order form or address is provided.) The reader will find the stories written in an informative and interesting manner. Many of these accounts, however, have been published elsewhere-the best known of which is in A.B. Garrett's The Flash of Genius. For those not familiar with the origin of the hook's title, the term "serendipity" was coined by Horace Walpole in 1794 to describe those types of unexpected unanticipated, accidental discoveries recounted in the fairy tale of "The Three Princes of Serendip (Ceylon, now Sri Lanka)"-the heroes of which "were always making discoveries, hy accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of. ."Roberts has found it necessary to coin a new term: pseudoserendipity "to describe accidental discoveries of ways to achieve an end sought f a r . . ."Although most of the appraximately 75 discoveries might he classified as pseudoserendipdtous, Roberts believes them somehow less than truly serendipitous: .in contrast to a few such pseudoserendipitaus discoveries: fortuitous accidents that led to new things totally unexpected and unsought for and which become discoueries through the sagacity of the person who encountered the accident.'' (For myself I would think the term, metaserendipity might hetter describe the altered or changed form of serendipity found in these accounts.) However that may be, the accounts of the discoveries are often engaging hut the more serious reader might have hoped for a more thoroughly researched bibliography to document some of the accounts. For example, although most readers will he familiar with the Archimedes "Eureka!" story, the only documentation for its authenticity cited by Roberts was to the 1878 and 1966 editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Pseudoserendipitous discoveries that may have originated in dreams are discussed in



connection with the "dreams" that August Kekul6 said led to the carhon-valency concept and structure of benzene. The controversy generated by the views of John Wotiz and Susanna Rudofsky on one side, and Alan Rocke and this reviewer on the other, are only briefly mentioned or documented in the hihliography. Aside from the issue raised by the former protagonists as to the veracity of the dream account, there has been a considerable divergence of opinion as to whether scientific discoveries have or could have been made by this means. Much of theresearch that has been published in this area is not cited even though relevant to Robert's view that students might he educated to develop, or a t least benefit from serendipity. I would not wish to have these limitations deter the first-time readers, who may well he stimulated by this book to develop their own serendipitous thought processes. What is gained from theae historical accounts is the confidence that there is still much to he discovered dependent upon the discoverer's r re pared mind" (Pasteur) and "sagacity" (Walpole). And now I'd like to tell you about how I got this idea.


0. Bertrand Ramsay Eastern Michigan University

Ypsiianti. MI 48197

Introductory Chemistry: A Foundation Steven S. Zumdahl. D. C . Heath and Company: Lexington, MA, 1990. xvi 698 pp. Figs. and tables. 21.7 X 24.2 cm.


According to the author "the aim of this text is to make introductory chemistry accessible to students who have little or no background in chemistry." I t contains over 700 pages of text including a chapter on organic chemistry and a chapter on hiochemistry. A companion text entitled Introductory Chemistry is the same in all respects except the organic and biochemistry chapters are not included. Many topics found in a typical introductory text have been left out of this hook. For example, there is no discussion of chemical kinetics, thermodynamics, electrochemical cell potentials, or transition metal chemistry. There are several noteworthy features that make this text distinctive. Discussion of atomic theory and bonding is delayed until the second half of the text. Full color is used throughout with photographs on almost every page. About 20 "Chemistry in Focus" pages are provided to illustrate chemical applications such as lead poisoning in ancient Rome, the theory of firewalking, methyl alcohol as the fuel of the future, etc. Each chapter begins with a list of seetion titles and ends with a summary statement. The start of each section has a oueline statement of aim. Questions drilling factual recall are provided in each chapter.

Volume 67

This text places great emphasis on helping readers Learn how to do basic chemistry problems. A completely worked out solution with considerable verbal annotation is presented for each problem type. A self-cheek exercise is provided after the discussion of each prohlem. Solutions to these exercises are given at the end of the chapter. This is an excellent feature which is unique with this text. The problems provided for student practice are very similar to the examples in the text and answers are provided for half of them. ~~~~. .~ Chemistry is an experimental science, but after a hrief discussion of scientific method in the first chapter there is no futher discussion of experiments. Information is presented in a very authoritarian manner with scarcely a word about the struggles that were required to provide our present views of chemistry. There is no discussion of the way experiments are used to answer scientific questions. There are no exercises requiring students to draw conclusions from experimental data. There is nothing to suggest that there are any unanswered questions in chemistry. There is nothing to describe the excitement and challenge of the quest to unravel the mysteries of nature. James E. Flnholt Carieton College Nwthfieid. MN 55057 ~~~~~

Reaction Guide for 0rganlc Chemistry Michael J. MiNam. D. C. Heath: Lexington, MA. 1989. xx 204 pp. Figs. and tables. 21.6 x 27.5 cm.


The Reaction Guide for Organic Chemistry by Michael J. Millam is written for students currently enrolled in the first-year course in organic chemistry. The Reaction Guide is designed to accompany any of the standard organic chemistry texts and is intended to aid students in developing an understanding of organic chemistry reactions. The author's strategy is to focus attention on the transformation of a particular functional group into other functional groups. The emphasis is to determine the reagents and reaction conditions necessary to carry out a given transformation. To accomplish this, the text is organized into 32 sections according to functional group. Within each section, the characteristic reactions of a particular functional group are presented by writing the generalized equation for the reaction followed by one or more specific examples. The student is taught to examine the general reaction to see what the reagent does to the functional group. Careful study of the illustrative examples should enable the student to see the correspondence hetween the general equation and specific apolicstions to real comoounds. In the introductory section entitled "How to Use This Reaction Guide", the author outlines a systematic approach to problem solving consisting of five or six simple steps.



Number 12

December 1990