Michael J. Pilling and Paul W. Seakins: Reakciókinetika
It is a great pleasure to see the new and improved Hungarian edition of
this book, which is rapidly becoming the standard undergraduate text on
Chemical Kinetics. It is an updated version of Pilling's earlier
short text in the Oxford Chemistry Series, but the new text is significantly
expanded in both breadth and depth of coverage. The approach chosen
by the authors is more modern than their immediate competitors, and this
is now the one area of Physical Chemistry where I am content to recommend
a single text to my students. As a measure of its success, we provided
multiple copies in our library, and they are always on loan. The
Hungarian edition has been translated by two scientists who are themselves
respected in the field of chemical kinetics. They have corrected
a number of small errors and have improved some of the diagrams.
I am sure that this edition will be as popular and as useful to students
in Hungary as the English edition has been here. I have also been
very impressed with some of the other innovations of the Hungarian edition,
notably the web site
with downloadable figures.
The book covers a very wide range of topics in kinetics, including chapters
on experimental techniques, elementary and complex reactions, reaction
dynamics, chain reactions and explosions, reactions in solution and reactions
at surfaces. The authors are particularly good at explaining difficult
theoretical ideas in a lucid and simple way, which proves very helpful
to students. For example, there is an excellent section on the theory
of unimolecular reactions, which manages to avoid the notational nightmare
of other texts in the area, and explains the concepts clearly to an advanced
level, including RRKM theory, the strong collision approximation and intramolecular
Inevitably, in a book of this size, there are topics that have been
omitted or dealt with in less detail than I would have liked. The
authors are unashamedly gas phase kineticists, and the coverage shows this
bias. This is understandable, given that gas phase reactions can
be understood at a more fundamental level than solution kinetics, without
the complications of solvent interactions. Personally, I would have
like to see the authors' excellent approach applied to the Marcus theory
of electron transfer reactions and to electrochemical reactions at the
liquid-solid interface. I am sure that my colleagues in Physical
Organic Chemistry would also have liked to see something on acid and base
catalysis, and a more detailed discussion of the mechanisms of enzyme reactions
(particularly different types of inhibition).
The book is aimed mainly at undergraduates who have already met an introductory
course in Physical Chemistry, and it achieves this level admirably.
The problems are excellent and the text contains worked examples, which
are very helpful for students. One of the most important features
of the text is that it contains pointers to key papers in the kinetics
literature, together with explanatory notes. It is increasingly difficult
for undergraduate students, who perform research projects, or indeed graduate
students starting on their careers to learn to read the research literature,
and Pilling and Seakins have provided an extremely useful aid for students.
Back to the English interface...