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Organic Photochemistry by Coxon and Halton: A Review




Organic photochemistry is the study of the chemical reactions that are induced by light in organic molecules. It is a fascinating and important field of chemistry, as it can reveal new aspects of molecular structure, reactivity, and mechanism, as well as provide useful synthetic tools for creating novel compounds. One of the classic textbooks on organic photochemistry is Organic Photochemistry by J.M. Coxon and B. Halton, first published in 1974 and revised in 1994.


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In this article, we will review the main features and contents of this book, as well as its strengths and weaknesses. We will also compare it with some other books on organic photochemistry that are available in the market.


Features and Contents




Organic Photochemistry by Coxon and Halton is a concise and comprehensive introduction to the principles and applications of organic photochemistry. It covers the following topics:



  • The nature of light and its interaction with matter



  • The photophysical processes of absorption, emission, energy transfer, and quenching



  • The photochemical reactions of alkenes, carbonyl compounds, aromatic compounds, heterocycles, and organometallics



  • The mechanisms and stereochemistry of photochemical reactions



  • The synthetic applications of photochemistry in organic synthesis



  • The spectroscopic methods for studying photochemical reactions




The book is divided into 10 chapters, each with a summary, exercises, and references. The chapters are organized in a logical and pedagogical way, starting from the basic concepts and moving to the more advanced topics. The book also includes an appendix with tables of photophysical data and a glossary of terms.


Strengths and Weaknesses




One of the main strengths of this book is its clarity and simplicity. The authors explain the concepts and phenomena in a clear and concise way, using examples, diagrams, and equations. The book is suitable for undergraduate students who want to learn the fundamentals of organic photochemistry, as well as for graduate students and researchers who need a quick reference or a refresher on the subject.


Another strength of this book is its coverage and balance. The book covers most of the important topics and reactions in organic photochemistry, without being too detailed or too superficial. The book also balances the theoretical aspects with the practical aspects, showing how photochemistry can be used to achieve synthetic goals or to elucidate reaction mechanisms.


A possible weakness of this book is its age. The book was last revised in 1994, which means that it does not include some of the recent developments and discoveries in organic photochemistry. For example, the book does not mention the use of visible light photocatalysis, which has become a very popular and powerful technique in organic synthesis in the last decade. The book also does not discuss some of the newer spectroscopic methods for studying photochemical reactions, such as time-resolved infrared spectroscopy or ultrafast laser spectroscopy.


Comparison with Other Books




There are several other books on organic photochemistry that are available in the market. Some of them are:



  • Modern Molecular Photochemistry of Organic Molecules by N.J. Turro, V. Ramamurthy, and J.C. Scaiano (2010). This is a comprehensive and updated textbook on organic photochemistry, covering both the fundamentals and the applications. It is suitable for advanced undergraduate students and graduate students who want to learn more about the subject.



  • Organic Photochemistry: Principles and Applications by A. Albini and M. Fagnoni (2012). This is a concise and practical guide to organic photochemistry, focusing on the synthetic applications. It is suitable for graduate students and researchers who want to use photochemistry in their research projects.



  • Photochemical Reactions in Heterocyclic Chemistry by P.J. Wagner (2016). This is a specialized book on the photochemical reactions of heterocyclic compounds, which are important building blocks in organic synthesis. It is suitable for graduate students and researchers who are interested in heterocyclic chemistry.




Each of these books has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on the level, interest, and purpose of the reader. However, none of them can replace the classic Organic Photochemistry by Coxon and Halton, which is still a valuable and reliable source of information and inspiration for anyone who wants to learn or practice organic photochemistry.


Conclusion




In conclusion, Organic Photochemistry by Coxon and Halton is a classic textbook on organic photochemistry, which provides a clear and comprehensive introduction to the principles and applications of the subject. It is suitable for undergraduate students who want to learn the fundamentals of organic photochemistry, as well as for graduate students and researchers who need a quick reference or a refresher on the subject. The book is also available in PDF format for free download from the Internet Archive. However, the book is not up-to-date with some of the recent developments and discoveries in organic photochemistry, so it should be complemented with other sources of information.


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