Librarians selecting a basic chemistry dictionary have many to choose from. Hunt's Dictionary of Chemistry (originally published in Britain as The Complete A-Z Chemistry Handbook) offers some nice features that make it attractive even if your library already has one or two recent dictionaries. While most such dictionaries limit themselves to brief definitions of terms, this one provides explanations, which is more useful to the student. It emphasizes the processes and concepts of chemistry rather than chemical substances. The entries are substantive and well illustrated, with chemical diagrams showing bonds, charges, and reaction equations. Worked examples illustrate how to tackle complex calculations. The entries are thoroughly cross-referenced, allowing a reader to navigate among multiple sections to gather pertinent information. The author evidently assumes some level of chemical knowledge on the part of the reader, but the book is accessible to nonscientists. Used in tandem with larger dictionaries, particularly Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993. 12th ed.), this title could be a useful addition to a library's scientific dictionary collection. Recommended for academic libraries and also for high schools with advanced chemistry programs.--David W. Flaxbart, Chemistry Lib., Univ. of Texas, Austin Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Alphabetical entries begin with one-sentence definitions that explain why terms are important, followed by fuller explanations and examples, together with b&w diagrams, tables, equations, and cross references. Worked examples show how to tackle calculations. Entries encompass many aspects of practical and applied chemistry, including both analytical chemistry and organic preparations, and explain some terms in specialist areas such as spectroscopy, environmental chemistry, and biochemistry. Some entries give an overview of important topics such as the chemical industry and qualitative analysis, with cross references leading to related terms in each field, and other overview entries give a historical perspective. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)