Physics of nuclear reactors

Physics of nuclear reactors

Book Reviews eluding some familiarity with Markoff sequences. For the chapter on Markoff chains, a basic understanding of matrix algebra is required. ...

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Book Reviews eluding some familiarity with Markoff sequences. For the chapter on Markoff chains, a basic understanding of matrix algebra is required. The book is not particularly suitable for a beginner. Sufficient elaboration of basic concepts in the theory of stochastic processes and a connection with the early principles of probability theory are lacking. Readers with some familiarity in the subject will find the treatment of Markoff processes rewarding. It is well illustrated with interesting applications and problems. On the whole the presentation is clear and well motivated, with a rich collection of good problems. However, a certain lack of proportion is evident. For example, the Fokker-Planck equation, a central topic in the theory of Markoff processes, is merely quoted without even an outline of a proof, whereas Wald’s identity, a less central topic in the context of this volume, is well documented. The main criticism is directed to the treatment of non-Markovian processes. Such important areas as ergodicity, prediction theory, spectral analysis deserve a more thorough coverage. ATHANASIOS PAPOULIS Department of Electrical Engineering Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn Farmingdale, New York

PHYSICS OF NUCLEAR REACTORS,by D. Jakeman. 356 pages, diagrams, illustr. 6 X 9 in. New York, American Elsevier Pub., Co., 1966. Price, $10.00. The author has provided a concise account of the basic nuclear physics from which the analysis of fission reactions was developed. This book may fill a considerable need for an up-to-date text or reference in the physics of nuclear fission reactors. Beginning with an introductory presentation of nuclear fission, neutron cross sections and chain reactions (Chap. 1) the author proceeds with the behavior of neutrons in non-multiplying materials, slowing down with capture and thermalisation of neutrons (Chaps. 2, 3, 4). There follows three principal topics of the behavior of neutrons in multiplying systems, fast reactors and thermal reactors (Chaps. 5, 6, 7). The book concludes with a brief discussion of the nuclear fuels,

Vol. 282,No. 6, December1966

and a combined analysis of the reactivity changes and control of nuclear reactors (Chaps. 8, 9). Depth of treatment varies from one chapter to another. Neutron thermalisation in solid and liquid moderators is a basic problem of great complexity, especially if the crystal and chemical binding effects on the rotational and vibrational (besides translational) levels of neutron spectrum are taken into consideration. The author has succeeded, however, in dealing with thii problem, in addition to the heavy gas model, simply by selecting the scattering laws compared with the experimental data of phonon energy spectra in graphite, light water and heavy water to show the results of neutron thermaliaation obtained from these common moderators. Most of the calculated and experimental data concerning the physical properties and the reactor design parameters given in this book are heavily related to the graphitemoderated, gas-cooled reactors. This, indeed, reflects the author’s work, experience and interest in British power reactors. References to each topic are given at the ends of chapters. This is a work best suited as a graduate course for those specializing in nuclear reactor physics. BENJAMIN M. MA Department of Nuclear Engineering

Iowa State University Ames, Iowa

AND RELATED REACTIONS, by SULFONATION E. E. Gilbert. 529 pages, diagrams, 6 X 9 in. New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1965. Price, $16.50.

Sulfonation reactions, and products and processes related to them, represent an area of utmost technical importance. This industrial emphasis and the complexity of many of the systems involved has generally discouraged academic and other investigators from undertaking much-needed critical studies of mechanistic and structural details. However, as shown in this book, the impressive technical advances, together with those excellent fundamental studies which have nevertheless been made, now form a strong basis for further work. This book of eight chapters, with about 2700 references, mirrors the author’s wealth