University chemistry. Third edition (Mahan, Bruce H.) - Journal of

Publication Date: June 1976. Cite this:J. Chem. Educ. 53, 6 ... Sixth edition (Morrison, Robert Thornton; Boyd, Robert Neilson). Journal of Chemical E...
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book reviews Unlverslty Chemlslry. mlrd Edltlon

Bruce H. Mahan, University of California, Berkeley, California. Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Reading, Massachusetts, 1975. xv + 894 pp. Figs. and tables. 17.5 X 24.2 cm. $14.95. Several hundred pages of the Third Edition of this excellent text are identical with those found in the fvst two editions, and thus the- first two reviews [Tobias, R. S., J. CHEM. EDUC., 42.345 (1965)], and [Kenney, M. E., J. CHEM. EDUC., 46, A214 (1969)l must he regarded as an integral part of this updating. Six years have elapsed since the last edition, and Professor Mahan obviously feels that little change in the basic format of the tent is necessary (After all, why tinker with a winner?). While one may take issue with Mahan's position (Freshmen should now be learning of the operation of chemical systems, shouldn't they?), helshe will have t o admit that the changes made are skillfully done and do imorove the overall text. In a very ens) and clever mnnner, the author has worked into his earlier mawrtal new section.; denling w ~ elcrtrorhcm~cal h applications, units of equilibrium constants, the experimental determination of AE, nodal structure of molecular orbitals, ligand field thenrv. ~ and , .tetrahedral ~ ~ cmtal field solittine. Further. all sectiuw denling with p - I' rwrk have been rcwmtwn to rrtlrrr rhe mcrearingly cummon definiti~rnof the pusitive term in terms of work done on the system by an external pressure. The author has intentionally refrained from converting entirely to SI units, although he mentions their coming use and attempts to prepare the student for later courses by frequently (in the thermncbemieal chapters) presenting energy values in bath SI and cgs units. Included in the Appendix, however, is a masterful discussion of the concept of units and the relation between the several common systems. Unfortunately, the entropy unit (eu) is defined in terms of calories per degree, and this apparently restrictive definition will surely cause unnecessary confusion. Had this definition been made more general, and both SI and egs units heen used for comparison in the tabular displays of thermochemical properties, this would have been a very satisfying approach indeed. With an obvious need to address environ~


mental and energy applications of chemistry, Professor Mahan uses the concept of thermodynamic efficiency in discussing fuel cells, but the teat structure established in the earlier editions precluded reference to a nrevinus definition and some backmound mformation 'l'nnt d~finitimand harkground ra lucidly presented in a new diavwsion of heat engines found inn later chapter, hut im required earlier use represents (to this reviewer) the only awkward aspect introduced into this new revision. As the reviewer of the First Edition suggested, the author is obviously happier in dealing with principles rather than descriptive chemistry, but Professor Mahan recognized the need for an enhancement of the descriptive aspects and applications of chemistry and has included significant revisions in appropriate chapters. Classes of new descriptive material are: (1)biochemical applications (e.g., chemistry of Na and K in body fluids, new section on enzyme catalysis), (2) inclusions of (now) obvious earlier omissions (e.g., chemistry of silicate minerals, ammonia, and alumina), (3) industrial applications (e.g., Solvay process, fuels, synthetic polymers), (4) environmental applications (e.g., atmospheric chemistry of oaygen and nitrogen oxides), and (5) qualifieation of previous edition statements, updating of descriptive material, etc. Also of note are two rather complete sections on transition metal csrbonyls and organometallic chemistry. In summary, this Third Edition represents a minor (though useful) change over the Second Edition, and it may therefore be expected to continue to provide an exciting challenge to highly motivated beginning science students (and more advanced students seeking an elegant review).



Richard W . ZuehLe university of Bridgeport Eridporr. Connecticut 06602

Chemistry: The Sclence and the Scene

Ronald D. Clark and Robert L. S. Amoi, New Mexico Highlands University. Hamilton Publishing Co., California, 1975.355 ix pp. Figs. and tables. 24 X 19 cm. $10.95. In the past decade there has heen a spate of chemistry textbooks intended for the


nonnscienee student. "Chemistry, the Science and the Scene" is such a book. The works in this category run the gamut from those which would he easy for a mediocre high school student to some which would present difficulties to the average college chemistry major. This book probably falls about half way between these extremes. The authors state that "The course should be sufficiently well-founded in chemical principles so that the student would be able to get s feeling for the science of chemistry. . .and should have an introduction t o [the technology of chemistry]."The hook appears to meet these requirements quite ably. The use of green ink throughout the text was disconcerting a t first. It was observed, however, thar under an incnndescent lamp it is almost impossible to dtmngumh hemren green and black ink. The latter r d u r ii; wed where a word or phrase is to be emphasized. At the beginning of each of the 20 chapters as well as the prolog and epilog there appears a full-page illustration (also in green ink) which might be an indistinct photomicrograph of some farm of matter. None of these is labelled, hence adds little t o the value of the book. There are, however, many excellent illustrations. Had these been numbered and referred to in the text i t would have heiehtenrd the reader's interest. Urrasimally the illuitrationr art. not tu,, helpful. I t is hard r t r see the connection between the one-man rocket prupul-ion device on page 223 and biochemistry, while the'.reyrrerentati\,e rolIectimdelements" !"ace :lo, i. tn blackand white and none of the elements is reeagnizable. Reproductions of National Bureau of Standards metric equivalent charts on page 21 are of poor quality. The development seems to follow a logical order, going from fundamentals through a study of atomic structure, nuclear chemistry, periodic relationships (an interesting presentation of the various attempts t o classify the elements is eivenl. redox. ~. . eomoounds. , a< id-lure r ~ u d i rorgnni~. , and I,~whami*~ry a rnaprrr on d r u g , la,tr*.hdd ch~m,*try.xnd then n eonsidemrrcm ot the ehmmiitr) of the atmosphere and of water supplies. The book ends with a look a t chemistry in the energy crisis and in space exploration. Each chapter is followed by 12 to 15 questions and three or four problems. Answers to questions and problems are not furnished. In a few places the wording is a trifle awkward. For example, a simple statement of the Law of Conservation of Energy on page 15 might be preferable to the statement, "A law of conservation similar to that for matter exists far the energy components in matter (Continued on page A3061


Volume 53,Number 6,June 1976 / A305