Tuesday, 28 July 2009
For decades, and through 89 editions, the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics has been a basic search tool for physical property data. Its many tables list data on both chemical compound and physical properties as well as literature references for related information. Recently the 90th edition (for 2010) — all 2,804 pages of it — arrived at the Tisch Reference Desk and, as wtih previous new editions, offers additional topics. For this edition, new topics include the solubility parameters of polymers, data on major earthquakes, and nobel laureates in chemistry and physics, while several major chapters have been updated.
While the current edition comes in print only, the previous (89th) edition is available online through the Tufts catalog. This version has not only Acrobat PDF facsimiles of the text but enables searching on structures and parameters such as the CAS Registry number, molecular weight, substance name, and formula. In addition, many data tables are presented in an interactive format which enables filtering, sorting, and exporting into Excel tables.
While the 89th and 90th editions represent the state of the discipline, those with a historical bent can appreciate the original first edition, published in 1913, when CRC Press went by the name of the Chemical Rubber Company and had the idea of publishing a 116 page tome entitled Handbook of Chemistry and physics : a ready-reference pocket book of chemical and physical data compiled from the most recent authoritative sources. This facsimile edition is available in the Tisch Book Stacks.