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    Now that our knowledge of the structure of the atom is beginning to be very definite, it is natural to turn to the molecule. Here a much more complex problem presents itself, but, of recent years, several promising lines of investigation have been developed. As is to be expected, stress is laid on the interpretation of absorption spectra, a subject which Prof. Henri has made peculiarly his own. These spectra are exceedingly complicated, but it is now possible in many cases to identify the separate effects of the rotation of the molecule, the vibrations of the component atoms and the movements of the electrons. From these measurements it is possible to calculate the energy of the molecule in its various states of activation. Emphasis is laid on one important general result among others: that while in the normal state and the early states of activation the rotation movements of the molecule are subject to quantum restrictions, at a certain stage of activation this quantisation ceases. To this state Prof. Henri gives the name “predissociation” and claims that it is the necessary prelude to chemical action and combination.

    Structure des molécules.

    Par Prof. Victor Henri. 1: Polarité des molécules; 2: Structure des molécules déterminée par les rayons X; 3: Spectres d'absorption des vapeurs et structure des molécules; 4: Prédissociation des molécules; 5: Structure du benzène et de ses dérivés. Conférences faites au laboratoire de Ch. Moureu et à la Société de Chimie physique. (Publications de la Société de Chimie physique, 12.) Pp. ii + 122 + 1 planche. (Paris: J. Hermann, 1925.) 20 francs.

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