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Book review

Author(s) Gray, P. (ed.)
Nicolis, G. (ed.)
Baras, F. (ed.)
Borckmans, P. (ed.)
Scott, S.K. (ed.)
Title Spatial inhomogeneities and transient behaviour in chemical kinetics. Proceedings in nonlinear science
Publisher Manchester university press
Year of publication 1990
Reviewed by Heinz Ulbricht

Nonlinear processes, e.g. reactions with collisions, autocatalysis and cross-catalysis, thermal activations etc. are at the basis of modern chemistry. In addition, whether in an experimental flow reactor, in an industrial chemical plant, in a combustion engine or in a living cell, large deviations from equilibrium and spatial inhomogeneities are most naturally realized. The connection of these effects with irreversible thermodynamics, the theory of stochastic processes, bifurcation and dynamical system theories was performed by chemists, physicists and chemical engineers in the last two decades. The nonlinear chemical dynamics is further connected with symmetry breaking transitions, pattern formation, periodic oscillations and chaotic dynamics. For relevant experiments in this field the use of the continuous stirred tank reactor was very important.

The present volume includes most of the invited lectures delivered at a conference, honouring Ilya Prigogine on the occasion of his seventieth birthday. In 41 contributions and 48 poster abstracts results of recent research in the field of selforganization and nonlinear dynamics in chemistry are described. Moreover new aspects of the intraction between chemical modes, spatial modes, transient behaviour and fluctuations are discussed.

The lectures are arranged in 6 parts with the topics: Coherent behaviour, oscillations and chaos in chemical systems; Chemical reactors and mixing; Transient behaviour and critical dynamics; Spatial patterns; Stochastic aspects of chemical instabilities; Reaction dynamics in heterogeneous systems. Part 7 includes the poster abstracts. There is a list of contributors and a subject index. References are added to each article as usual.

The book is well produced. But unfortunately in the copy of the reviewer about 20 pages are unprinted. It is to be hoped, that this lack is only in few copies. The book is valuable for specialists in chemistry and physics and should be at hand in relevant libraries. It suggests to further work.