This limited survey of basic scientific principles and practices will be useful but not essential for either basic curriculum support or general review. Each volume treats a single topic, from "The Periodic Table" and "States of Matter" to "Biochemistry" and "Organic Chemistry," or "Chemical Reactions" and "Energy and Reactions," though there is some overlapping of coverage. The 10th volume covers chemistry in industry, medicine, and the environment. Within each book, short columns of main narrative share space with color photos and molecular diagrams, biographical profiles, side glimpses of chemistry's role in daily life, a brief list of "Key Terms" (which is on every spread), and occasional cross-references. Each one also contains easy experiments and closes with the periodic table and a set index. Though helpful, the index is a weak link: "pharmacology" is an entry, for instance, but "drugs" is not, and there is no way to tell which page references lead to experiments or biographies. Chemistry's purview is very narrowly defined here; the science's historical development gets such a sketchy treatment that the Nobel Prize isn't even mentioned, and such related topics as subatomic particles, forensic techniques, and plasma receive little more than mentions. Though worth considering, this title makes a less economical addition than such single-volume (and more comprehensive) titles as Don Rittner and Ronald A. Bailey's Encyclopedia of Chemistry (Facts On File, 2005), though the latter is for a slightly older audience.
John PetersCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.