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The Optical Properties of Organic Compounds by A. N. Winchell

International Union of Crystallography
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The Optical Properties of Organic Compounds by A. N. Winchell BOOK REVIEWS 325 The Optical Properties of Organic Compounds. By A. N. Wr~cEE~. Pp. xv i i i+487, wi th 153 figs. New York : Academic Press; London: Academic Books. 2nd ed., 1954. Price $12.00; 96s. As the first edition of this work came from a University press in 1943 when World War I I was at its height, it is possible that it did not receive the attention which it deserved from scientists outside I~orth America. I was fortunate in obtaining a copy not long after publication and I resorted to it constantly until I was able to trans- fer my affections to the new edition, which covers the optical properties of nearly 2500 crystalline organic compounds, an increase of more than 50 % over the first edition. Affection for a book and appreciation of its usefulness need not, however, blind one to its short- comings, and the criticisms offered below are made in the belief that there will be sufficient demand to justify before long a new edition in which improvements can be made. Dr Winchell's objects in this book are first to list all solid organic compounds whose optical properties were described in the scientific literature before October 1952, and secondly to arrange the optical data conveniently for purposes of identification under the microscope. He has very largely been successful in these aims. The com- pounds are arranged in the main list essentially in ac- cordance with Beilstein's system of classification. Each entry gives the name, formula, summarized morphological and (sometimes) structural information, and optical properties in full; usually the melting point is given, and sometimes the density. For purposes of identification two large charts are provided in a pocket at the end of the book. On the first of these birefringence ~--a (for biaxial crystals) or e--o~ (for uniaxial crystals) is plotted against fl or co, and on the second optic axial angle is plotted against ft. The

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