Books Received | Published:

Stereochemie: eine Zusammenfassung der Ergebnisse, Grundlagen und Problems

Naturevolume 134pages717719 (1934) | Download Citation



PART I of Freudenberg's “Stereochemie” has already been reviewed somewhat fully in these columns (NATURE, April 22, 1933, p. 563), and a briefer notice must suffice to record the completion of Parts II and III and the index. In reviewing Part I, it was pointed out that the work of Pasteur, the real founder of stereochemistry, was not sufficiently appreciated, and, in particular, that his discriminating use of the term dissym metry had been ignored, for example, by using the term ‘anisotropy factor’ as a measure of the optical activity associated with an absorption band in a dissymmetrically isotropic medium. A similar neglect of fundamental definitions is shown at the beginning of Part II, where it is stated that “In stereochemistry the term ‘asymmetric’ does not mean an absence of all symmetry but only of mirror-image symmetry”. This is an unfortunate distortion, since asymmetry can only be defined accurately as implying an absence of all symmetry; and the absence of mirror-image symmetry i& precisely the phenomenon which Pasteur defined as dissymmetry. This confusion was at one period just as prevalent in English writings on stereo chemistry as it now appears to be in Germany. Indeed, on one occasion, the reviewer was accused in print of having himself invented the term which formed the title of Pasteur's lectures to the Societe Chimique de Paris in 1860, and which is actually carved on a panel of his mausoleum in the Institut Pasteur in Paris; but it is to be hoped that so good a chemist as Freudenberg will in the next edition of his “Stereochemie” take the oppor tunity of correcting these errors in elementary geometry.

Stereochemie: eine Zusammenfassung der Ergebnisse, Grundlagen und Problems.

Herausgegeben von K. Freudenberg. Lief. 4. Pp. 481–638. 18 gold marks. Lief. 5. Pp. 639–798. 18 gold marks. Lief. 6. Pp. 799–958. 18 gold marks. Lief. 7. Pp. 959–1116. 18 gold marks. Lief. 8. Pp. 1117–1276. 18 gold marks. Lief. 9. Pp. 1277–1376. 10.80 gold marks. Lief. 10 (Schluss-lieferung). Pp. xvi + 1377–1509. 18 gold marks. (Leipzig und Wien: Franz Deuticke, 1932–33.)

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Search for T. M. LOWRY in:

About this article

Publication history

Issue Date



By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.