D. THORNBURNBURNS AND EVELYN BATTENBURY, Introductory Practical Physical Chemistry, Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1966, pp. xii+ 175; price 15s. The publication of a collection of over fifty experiments in physical chemistry suitable for G.C.E. (‘A’ and ‘s’ levels) and O.N.C. students is to be welcomed. At this level practical physical’chemistry has been neglected for far too long.. The experiments described adequately cover present day syllabus requirements. Little difficulty should be experienced by the student in following the text. A number of the experiments are suitable for individual use by students in a large class. Generally the experiments use equipment readily available in the laboratory (thermochemistry experiments use two beakers, one supported on corks inside the other, instead of ‘Thermos’ ffasks), but the conductiometric experiments use a commercial bridge instead of the more familiar (and adequate) Wheatstone Bridge. The adequate provision of modern equipment for physical chemistry experiments needs urgent consideration, and, one hopes, that this will result from the Nuffield Projects. It is a pity that the old thermochemical convention of denoting heat changes is used. Thus, heat changes during reactions are expressed as e.g. Fe+S = FeSf 23.06 kcal. Unfortunately some examining boards recommend this convention. It may have some initial advantages in teaching, but it is not the convention in current usage outside schools. A student therefore has to re-learn his thermochemical equations after leaving school, and this may well lead to confusion especially since the sign of the energy changes differs between the two conventions. The book is well produced in the ‘Commonwealth and International Library Series’. The low cost should ensure its purchase by most schools. Let us hope that the experiments described will be widely incorporated in the G.C.E. practical work. A. H. P. J. Mol.
Structure, 1 (1967-68) 495
Introduction to Quantum Theory, Harper International, pp_ Price 1: 2.5.0.
The presentation of a general introductory course in quantum mechanics inevitably raises problems with regard to content and method of approach. Some mathematical rigour is essential to the proper understanding of the subject: too much rigour must be avoided. In his book, Professor Hameka very satisfactorily reconciles the conflicting requirements of simplicity and depth of treatment. This is due, to a considerable extent, to his assumption that the reader has little prior knowledge of the- special mathematics used (apart from the simple calculus). J. Mol. Structure,
1. (1967-68) 495-496