CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics on CD

CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics on CD

CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics on CD. Versions 2005 and 2006.
David R. Lide, Editor-in-Chief.
CRC Press, 6000 Broken Sound Parkway, NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487, USA.
Telephone: 1-800-272-7737 (within USA); Telephone: 1-561-994-0555 (from outside continental USA);
E-Mail: orders@taylorandfrancis.comVersion 2005 (85th Edition) $139.95/£79.00; Version 2006 (86th Edition) $159.95/£92.00.

All readers will be familiar with the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, and will have used one version or another in both their student days, and in their professional practice. The Handbook is one of the most complete and authoritative scientific databases ever compiled. The current Editor is now retired from the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST). This Ready-Reference Book of Chemical and Physical Data, whose copyright goes back to 1922, contains all of its useful information in six main sections: Mathematical Tables, The Elements and Inorganic Compounds, Organic Compounds, General Chemical, General Physical Constants, and Miscellaneous; and a concluding Index.

Microscopists use the Handbook for many purposes in optics, microchemistry, and particle identification, including obtaining information on chemical formula, structure, and properties; refractive indices; melting points; densities; spectral data and filter wavelengths, etc. What is new in the CD Version 2005 is that it (1) allows searching by chemical structure or substructure (2) provides six important new tables of particular interest to microscopists, including Index of Refraction of Inorganic Crystals (which alone makes this version indispensable), Azeotropic Data for Binary Mixtures, Critical Solution Temperatures of Polymer Solutions, and Density of Solvents as a Function of Temperature (3) features extensive updates and expansions of numerous tables, and (4) incorporates the latest CODATA/NIST values for fundamental physical constants and the new IUPAC standards for the pH scale for aqueous solutions.

The 2005 CD mirrors the 85th print edition of the Handbook, but with the added functionality of interactive tables, cross table searching, and structure searching capabilities, so that data can be obtained quickly and accurately. The 2006 CD contains all of the data in the 86th print edition, but is augmented by a range of special utilities, including structure searching, interactive tables in spreadsheet format, so as to sort, edit, and merge them to suit individual purpose; tables hot-linked to chemical structures; cross-table search—one search locates everything about a specific topic; and data selection tools that allow the user to customize a display and export data. There is also an updated Threshold Limits for Airborne Contaminants.

These may be the most useful versions of the venerable Handbook ever; however, I confess I still regret the elimination of the Laboratory Arts and Recipes section that used to be in the “small” printed editions, with their oh-so-useful formulations for silvering glass by Brashear’s method, bluing steel and irons, making various cements and adhesives, making cross hairs, removing stains, making fluorescent screens, ink for glass marking, sodium light, etc.

This Handbook has been an essential reference in the microscopist’s lab for more than 90 years, and continues to be.


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