Lanthanide and Actinide Chemistry (Inorganic Chemistry: A Textbook

Sep 9, 2006 - Book & Media Reviews edited by ... Chapter 7 outlines the properties of “the misfit” elements: scandium, yttrium, and ... If you pla...
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Book & Media Reviews

Jeffrey Kovac University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN 37996-1600

Lanthanide and Actinide Chemistry (Inorganic Chemistry: A Textbook Series), 2nd Revised Edition by Simon A. Cotton John Wiley & Sons: West Sussex, England, 2006. 280 pp. ISBN 0470010061 (paper); $65. ISBN 0470010053 (cloth); $160. reviewed by L. L. Pesterfield

A quick glance through the table of contents of Lanthanide and Actinide Chemistry reveals the typical chapter titles one would expect in a descriptive chemistry text on the lanthanides and actinides. Chapters 1 through 6 discuss the isolation, atomic parameters, simple binary compounds, coordination complexes, electronic and magnetic properties, and the organometallic chemistry of the lanthanides, respectively. Chapter 7 outlines the properties of “the misfit” elements: scandium, yttrium, and promethium. Chapter 8 details the role of lanthanides in organic chemistry. Chapters 9 through 14 discuss the isolation, simple binary compounds, coordination complexes, electronic and magnetic properties, organometallic chemistry, and synthesis routes of the actinides. While not officially a second edition, the text bears a striking resemblance to Lanthanides and Actinides that Cotton published in 1991 (1). A comparison shows that the current text is an expanded version of the earlier. The earlier text is concise (183 pages), and contains only three chapters, appropriately entitled: Scandium, The Lanthanides, and The Actinides. The new text takes the original three chapters and separates the subsections into independent chapters. Each of the independent chapters has been updated with current examples from the literature and expanded data tables and figures. A completely new chapter (Chapter 8) has been added

on the use of lanthanide compounds and complexes in synthetic organic chemistry. Other new features include a list of objectives and learning goals for students at the beginning of each chapter. These lists make the text more studentfriendly by providing an outline of the topics to be covered and by focusing attention on the important concepts in each chapter. In addition, a limited number of questions with answers has been added to the end of each chapter. The majority of the questions are very well-constructed and should help advanced students check their understanding of the material in the chapter. The bibliography is loaded with additional reading selections, with a good mix of current literature and classic references. The only omissions from the original text are a few specific chemical reactions detailing the production of various lanthanide halides and an interesting outline for the production of uranium metal from the ore concentrates. On a negative note, the first few chapters have several typos, ranging from incorrect chemical symbols and equations to data in the text not matching data in tables. While I found the typos only annoying, students will find them confusing. Overall, the manuscript reads more like a reference book than a textbook for students. If you are looking for a fairly comprehensive reference on the descriptive chemistry of the lanthanides and actinides for use in a graduate-level course or for your personal library, this is a good choice. If you plan to use the text in an undergraduate lecture course, be prepared for questions. Literature Cited 1. Cotton, Simon A. Lanthanides and Actinides; Oxford University Press: New York, 1991.

L. L. Pesterfield is in the Department of Chemistry, Western Kentucky University, 1906 College Heights Blvd., Bowling Green, KY 42101; [email protected].

Vol. 83 No. 9 September 2006

Journal of Chemical Education