Experimental inorganic chemistry

Experimental inorganic chemistry

July, vs4.1 BOOK larography. The text concludes with chapters on “X-Ray Analysis,” “Mass Spectrometry” and “Nuclear Radiation Measurements.” The fi...

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larography. The text concludes with chapters on “X-Ray Analysis,” “Mass Spectrometry” and “Nuclear Radiation Measurements.” The final chapter is one of laboratory experiments. Experiments have been selected from current literature which deal with the analyses most frequently performed. The text is written assuming that the reader has a good basic knowledge of analytical, organic and physical chemistry, and is therefore a pleasure not to waste space This effort to with elementary concepts. begin, at a more advanced step, however, does give rise to a weakness in definitions. PHYLLIS A. PARKIN INDUSTRIAL INORGANIC ANALYSIS, by Roland S. Young. 368 pages, diagrams, 15 X 22 cm. New York, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1953. Price, $5.75. Written for the industrial analytical chemist, this book can be useful in laboratories where inorganic analysis may be an occasional requirement. It is easily readable and well-organized. A short chapter is devoted to each element. Included are a brief historical introduction to the inorganic substance, some basic theory of the analytical process, and details of the procedure. Alternative procedures are described. The final chapter departs somewhat from the general form, and describes procedures used to determine such industrial analytical requirements as acidity of oils, gas analyses (CO,, CO, 0, in metallurgical operations), industrial water analyses, and several other procedures. Figures and several reference tables are included to assist in describing some of the required apparatus. The references are adequate. S. MUCHNICK EXPERIMENTAL INORGANIC CHEMISTRY, by W. G. Palmer. 578 pages, 15 X 23 cm. New York, Cambridge University Press, 1954. Price, $9.00. Dr. Palmer has chosen this book to start something of a revolution in the staid old methods of teaching inorganic chemistry. It has been his experience during many years of teaching that inorganic chemistry and its laboratory work stirs up about the same level of intellectual curiosity in the average student as a blank wall. Further, the author feels that the teaching method, and not the subject matter, is at fault. He



cites the example of organic chemistry which has proved to be the least dull and monotonous field of chemistry to students. Organic chemistry is taught primarily in the laboratory with relatively little classwork; hence Dr. Palmer plans to teach inorganic chemistry in the same manner. His method of improving student interest is to select syntheses that require proficiency in experimental technique and result in end products that are far from the ordinary inorganic compounds prepared in the laboratory. For example, the student prepares and analyzes compounds like sodium pentacyano nitrosylo-ferrate, boron-phosphoric anhydride, neodymium oxalate, and titanic acid. The emphasis is heavily on the internal and external crystallographic nature of the compounds synthesized as well as the mechanisms of the reactions involved. The book itself is divided into two main parts. The first section is titled “Introduction” and is also divided into parts ; the first part deals with atomic and crystallographic structure of elements and compounds, and the second part is directed toward an explanation of methods of crystallization, chemical analysis, and analysis by electrochemical techniques. The second section of the book, comprising about three quarters of the entire book, contains the preparations and analyses of compounds arranged, on the basis of the element being studied, in groups as they appear in the periodic table. At the beginning of each set of preparations for a periodic group is a brief discussion of the general features of the elements in the particular group. The end of the book contains a subject index as well as something of an innovation for a textbook-a formula index of the synthetic preparations. It is the opinion of the reviewer that the author has selected a method of presentation and a series of experiments that should not only hold the student’s attention but also may even cause him to seek out further information by himself on specific items. The experiments are chosen such that the cost of materials and equipment is low enough for almost any university laboratory to afford. This book is recommended specifically to chemistry teachers for consideration as a supplement to their existing course work and perhaps even as a substitute for it. DONALD H. RUSSELL