Encyclopaedic dictionary of physics.

Encyclopaedic dictionary of physics.

324 BOOK reveal what is not being done-examination of whether any real hydrostaticity prevails, whether pressure gradients affect results, and learn...

228KB Sizes 12 Downloads 215 Views



reveal what is not being done-examination of whether any real hydrostaticity prevails, whether pressure gradients affect results, and learning to analyze simultaneous application of pressure and temperature, for example. The book is not as much an introduction to the art as a survey of what its title promises-progress in the field.


articles are a model of how to convey a wealth of information with clarity and conciseness: one already sees in one’s imagination the innumerable text-books that will reproduce them . . . It is only with regret that one abstains from listing those contributions which to one particular physicist have appeared most outstanding. A work of this kind is of course intended both DOUGLAS WARSCHAUER for physicists who wish to collect information rapidly and painlessly, and for chemists, biologists, etc. who only too often need the help of physics J. THEWLIS (Editor-in-Chief): Encyclopaedic Diction- in their own research. To test the success of the ary of Physics. Volume 1: A-Compensated bars. Dictionary within this wider circle, three kind Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1961. 498 ($298.00) per set colleagues (a chemist, a botanist, a zoologist) of eight volumes. agreed to act as guinea-pigs reading selected THIS is an extremely important work: no comarticles which interested them. Their verdict was parable dictionary of physics has appeared in extremely favourable, the clarity of the exposition English since Glazebrook’s Dictionary of Applied being unanimously stressed. The chemist, as one Physics published in 1923, although several might perhaps have expected, criticized the choice smaller ones have appeared recently. The complete of the chemical items to be covered and also some Dictionary will consist of 8-10 volumes each of entries in which he is a specialist. Understandably, about 800 pages, ‘page size 25 x 19 cm. A seven there will be a tendency in some physicists to language (English, French, German, Russian, take up a similar attttude, but the general imSpanish, Chinese, Japanese) Glossary of 15,000 pression of the Reviewer is that the choice of physical terms will be included, as well as a entries and the space allotted to them reveals, Subject Index volume. The Editor-in-Chief and from everybody concerned, prolonged and inAssociate Editors, as well as the Publishers, must telligent thought and that, given the aim and size be warmly congratulated on the appearance of of the work, it would have been most difficult to this first product of their truly Herculean task, do better. The only adverse comment is that and it is to be hoped that the other volumes will sometimes the final editing has not been thorough follow in rapid succession. enough. For instance, there are repetitions, e.g. The Dictionary is arranged in strict alphabetical under “bolometer, superconducting” the definition order and covers to a greater or less extent, besides of bolometer is repeated, although given in the conventional pure and applied physics, topics in previous entry. In other cases, on the other hand, Mathematics, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, the main definition is missing, e.g. in “anomalous etc. of direct importance to physics. dispersion” (it will undoubtedly come later under The Editor has had the benefit of the help of “dispersion”) : this short entry refers somewhat an impressive array of Consulting Editors (British surprisingly to the old Julius theory of solar and American). The contributors, at least to this phenomena. As for entries that one would have first volume, appear to have been chosen with expected, but do not appear in the main alphacare as most likely to write well informed and betical sequence, for instance “band theory”, up-to-date contributions. With few exceptions, “band width” or “avalanche “band spectra”, no article is longer than 2000-3000 words, each phenomena in semiconductors and dielectrics”, being intended to be self-contained, though no doubt their location will be given in the cross-references are given, even if not as plentifully Index. Also, some entries are tautologic, or as one might have desired. The general aim has hardly necessary, e.g. “barrier-layer appear been not to write articles for specialists, but to of the capacitance : the effective capacitance keep throughout a near graduate standard. Inbarrier-layer formed at the boundary between two evitably, there is some unevenness between the conductors”. Of course it would be easy, and most various contributions, but quite a number of unfair, to pick up small blemishes of this kind.



The production is generally of a high quality. However, a few mistakes have been noticed, particularly in proper names. For instance, in the articles on barrier-layer rectification, a certain “SCHOTTLEY” appears, possibly a cross between SCHOTTKYand SHOCKLEY, and BARDEFNbecomes BARDUN. Particularly unfortunate is that the very first word in the Lktionury is wrong, the German physicist Ernst Abbe being given an accent thereby changing into a French abbot. Just to give solid-state physicists an idea of the scope of the work, under “acceptor” we have “acceptor atom” (12 lines) with its properties defined according to the band model; then a longer centre”, with definitions article on “acceptor of its ionization energy, occupation probability (with formula), a Table of the ionization energies of impurities in germanium and silicon and the physical picture of centres due to substitutional impurities, followed by four cross-references (for instance to “Activation Energy”, where additional information is provided) and a bibliography of four entries; finally, “acceptor level” (9 lines) mentions the variation of activation energy with impurity concentration and the distortion of the energy levels near the surface of the crystal. “Acceptor” does not appear however in the sense of a circuit which accepts a certain frequency. Clearly, with a book of this kind, the review can only deal with very few examples. But it should not be closed without trying to convey the general impression that here is an outstanding achievement that will be profitably consulted for many years and which physicists will like to peruse from time to time to be instructed, reminded and entertained. The Editors deserve admiration and gratitude.


less than 1 in. cube though items over this limit are included where they are the smallest of their particular type. Sub-assemblies are also’included (for example, miniature transistorized amplifiers) which establishes a precedent for including microminiature and solid circuit assemblies in the future. On the other hand the book is more than just a catalogue of various manufacturers’ products. Some very valuable sifting has been done-and two better qualified sifters would be hard to find. The book replaces a complete catalogue library as far as miniature components are concerned and as such should be extremely useful to circuit designers, none of whom have enough time to read all the available catalogue information. To keep it up to date, the book is to be published annually. At the present price-which seems excessive in view of the advertising value-the private individual is unlikely to place a regular order. However, no design group should be without the current issue on the laboratory shelf. Referring to prices brings me to my only criticism of an otherwise invaluable volume: that the price of the products described is not mentioned. The Editors say that prices are omitted as they are subject to change, but surely no large changes are likely to occur in twelve months and every circuit designer is, or should be, price conscious. Finally, I should like to congratulate the Editors on what must have been a Herculean task well done. That they plan similar annual volumes on American and European components, plus an annual volume on British transistors and subminiature valves can only mean that they are gluttons for punishment. ALAN F. GIBSON


G. W. A. DUMMER and J. M. ROBERTSON (Editors): Britiab Miniature Electronic Componeks and Assemblies Data Annual 1961-62. Peraamon Press, Oxford, 1961. xviii +479 pp., 80s.

THIS is not a technical book in the text book sense, but a collection of data on components of British manufacture which should greatly ease the job of the circuit designer, particularly if using transistors (though transistors themselves are is defined as specifically excluded). “Miniature”

C. K. MOOREand K. Bibliographical Guide. xvii+411 pp., 65s.

J. SPENCER:Electronics: a Macdonald, London, 1961.

IT IS a commonplace that a major problem facing the scientist is that of apprehending the ever increasing volume of scientific literature. The Publishers describe this volume as a “new approach to literature searching”. The main body of the book is split into sixty-seven specialist subject sections in which are listed books, bibliographies,