l. It is extremely well written.
2. There should be an errata list. They just incorporate known errors in the next printing. For my thoughts on this see — http://luysii.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/chemistry-textbook-errotica/
3. It would be nice, when referring to figures, equations, sections more than 100 pages back, to put in the actual page where they are found. It would save a lot of time for those of us with less than an eidetic memory.
4. As mentioned early on, Tom Lowry told me a few years ago, that he thought Physical Organic Chemistry had died in the USA. The book makes a strong argument that it is alive and well, because its ideas and techniques are being applied to new areas undreamed of 50 years ago – photochemistry, solid state, conducting polymers, etc. etc.
5. All the beautiful electron pushing and orbital diagrams seem to come to a screeching halt when applied to organometallic chemistry, which has revolutionized synthetic organic chemistry, and which, to my view, along with NMR (and possibly computational organic chemistry) are the most significant new developments in organic chemistry in the last 50 years.
6 It must have been a labor of love. Thanks for writing it. My (sometimes snarky) comments are written in the hopes of making of making future editions even better.
A whiff of physics and mathematical idealization is seen right off — an infinitely long, perfectly linear, defect free — polyene. Reminds me of the ‘consider a spherical cow’ of the old joke. Chemists just don’t think this way.
p. 1010 — “Organic students generally come away from introductory courses viewing benzene as the prototype conjugated pi system with all C-C bond lengths equal.” I sure did. Most neutral closed shell pi systems show alternating bond lengths.
p. 1014 — What is 1 electronVolt in terms of the wave length of electromagnetic radiation? I had to look it up — a wavelength of 4000 Angstroms has an energy of 3.1 electronVolts.
p. 1017 — I love the retro Diels Alder approach to polyAcetylene — it’s so clever.
p. 1022 — Thanks for clearing up the terminology concerning magnetism (ferro-, ferri-, antiferro- etc. etc.) and letting us know that there are 14 different kinds of it.
p. 1024 — Unfortunately, I found the discussion of negative spin densities incomprehensible.
p. 1027 — There is no section 14.7.5
p. 1030 — Superconductivity is Newton’s first law of motion in action. These’s guys are chemists not physicists. Hopefully they’ve talked to the physicists at Cal Tech and Austin (where numerous Nobelists reside) to make sure their explanation of superconducitivity is correct. It’s the best I’ve seen. I just hope it’s correct. What starts the electrons all moving in the same direction in the first place?
p. 1035 — Second harmonic generation has found great use in neuroscience. Good to see organic chemists have helped. Here is an example — [ Proc. Natl. Acad. sci. vol. 103 pp. 786 - 790 '06 ] Second harmonic generation (SHG) is used to measure membrane potential in dendritic spines. (Dendritic spines are so tiny (on the order of a micron — that it is impossible to stick an electrode across its membrane without wrecking it). SHG linearly depends on the electric field, which makes it suited to image membrane potential. (ibid p. 3124 – 3129) — it can measure membrane potential in living cells with a spatial resolution of 1 micron and a time resolution of 1 milliSecond.