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Earlier issues

Book Review

ScienceAsia 2 (1976): 148-149 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.1976.02.148





Summary: In comparison to the other well-known freshmen chemistry texts,1 this book covers far more materials on new concepts, phenomena, and techniques, which are commonly employed in research laboratories. The concept of dispersion forces is introduced early in Chapter 3 where phase change and intermolecular forces are discussed. In Chapter 4, the students will learn about covalent solids, high polymers, and clathrates, as well as ordinary covalent and ionic compounds. Chapters 5 through 7 are on gases, liquids and solutions; the topics are common ones except for proton-transfer reactions and the use of chromatography as a separation technique. The atomic structure and bonding theories are presented in the following five chapters. The experiments and hypotheses of Planck, Einstein, Rutherford, and Bohr are rather briefly discussed, but sufficient. The Uncertainty Principle, which is usually hard to grasp, is quite well explained here. The Schrodinger wave functions for hydrogen atom is broken down to radial and angular parts, and briefly discussed before introducing the four quantum numbers, which I think will help the students understand these difficult concepts better. The authors do a very good job comparing molecular-orbital and valence-bond theories. The section on hybridization is well presented, together with a table of possible types of hybrids and examples. However, the molecular-orbital theory section lacks pictures and diagrams to help the visualization of the students. The three chapters on equilibria cover also the polyprotic acids and the family of titration curves, as well as complexions.

          I do not think the presentation on thermodynamics is as good as in some other text (eg. 1 a). However, the authors introduce briefly the concept of chemical potential before going on to relating free energy to. chemical equilibrium. Electrochemistry is discussed in an ordinary manner except for the section on ion.selective electrodes which I find quite different and new. Chapter 20 is devoted to chemical kinetics. I would rather see the integrated rate law discussed in more details. The collision and transition state theories are poorly and too. shortly treated.

          I have the feeling that people will find the treatments on inorganic chemistry too concise. However, the topics of current interest such as water and air pollution

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McGraw-Hill International Book, 1976, xviii + 810 pp, $15.95.