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McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, 10th Edition

 
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McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, 10th Edition

Since its initial appearance in 1960, this encyclopedia has been the preeminent work in its field. Countless reference searches for student, lay reader, and professiona
have started with this source. Each edition has improved upon the one preceding, and this new edition, the 6th, is no exception. The numbers alone are impressive:
7700 articles, 2000 of which are either new or totally revised. Nearly 4000 of the work's 15,000 illustrations are also
new or wholly redone. There are more subtle improvements as well: for example, in the new edition much of the illustrative material has been enlarged, making it easier to
work with. Changes in topic coverage in the new edition reflect changes of emphasis in science and technology over the past several years. For example, "Neutron Optics" was a
relatively short, largely definitional article in 1982, mirroring the embryonic state of the field at that time; in the 6th edition it has been accorded significantly longer
and more comprehensive treatment. Conversely, the lengthy article on "Nuclear Explosion" has been cut by more than one-third, with the relatively few recent developments in this
topic spun off into articles of their own. The bibliographies at the end of many articles ] have been thoroughly revised, a welcome improvement: the 5th edition's shorter, often
outdated bibliographies limited the encyclopedia as a teaching tool, both for students and for librarians. Even in those cases where the article itself is relatively unchanged, there
has been an obvious effort not only to update the bibliographies but to expand them as well. For example, "Nuclear Chemistry" is largely unaltered from the previous edition, but
its bibliography is lengthened from 5 items to 12, only one of which was published since the 5th edition. Conversely, in "Optical Communications," a rapidly developing field, all but
one ofthe items in the bibliography have come out since the previous edition. Until now, McGraw-Hill had to itself the field of multi-volume, general sci-tech encyclopedias. This
situation has changed, in part, with the appearance of the Encyclopedia of Physical Science and Technology ( Academic Press, 1987. 15 vols.). I say "in part" because the newcomer is confined
to the physical sciences and their application, with no attempt to cover the entire spectrum of the sciences. The two also differ radically in format: rather than the traditional encyclopedic
arrangement of a great many articles of varying length, Academic offers a lesser number of state-of-the-art, review essays of fairly uniform length. Combined with excellent bibliographies,
this makes it a valuable teaching tool, both for the student and for the more experienced professional venturing out of specialty. However, for meaningful, day-to-day scientific and technological reference work, McGraw-Hill's comprehensive coverage and unparalleled indexing make it the essential first choice. Donald J. Marion, Univ. of Minnesota Inst. of Technology Libs., Minneapolis

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