Hydrophobic Colloids


THIS book forms a testimonial to the work of the Dutch school on hydrophobic colloidal solutions. It contains a number of papers on the electrical double layer, including one of special importance by H. C. Hamaker, who discusses stability in terms of potential curves. Ionic exchange is then discussed and the book ends with two papers on emulsions. It should be read by all workers on colloids, but with certain reservations. The best comment is provided by Prof. Kruyt at the end of his introduction. He says: “To-day colloid chemistry floats in water ! All our results are confined to an ionising intermicellar liquid, and I can scarcely think of any satisfactory way of extending these discussions to non-aqueous systems.” But why try? It must be realized that colloidal solutions fall into two main classes. First there are those the stability of which is due to an ionized surface layer, which may be formed by adsorption of ions as in hydrophobic sols, or which may be due to the presence in the particles of ionizable groups. The particle may be a polymer-molecule or a micelle, for example, proteins and soaps. Secondly, there is the rapidly growing class of substances which form stable solutions because they are soluble in the solvent and which are colloidal because of their large molecular weights, for example, rubber and the polymers generally. There is no reason why this dualism should be more disturbing in two-dimensional chemistry than in ordinary three-dimensional chemistry. It is not a bar to progress, but a clear indication of how far a particular line of attack can be followed profitably.

Hydrophobic Colloids

Symposium on the Dynamics of Hydrophobic Suspensions and Emulsions held at Utrecht on the 5th and 6th November 1937, under the auspices of the Colloidchemistry Section of the “Nederlandsche Chemische Vereeniging”. Pp. 181. (Amsterdam: D.B. Centen's Uitgevers-Maatschappij, 1938.) 4 florins.

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L., A. Hydrophobic Colloids. Nature 142, 376 (1938). https://doi.org/10.1038/142376b0

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