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Chemistry explores the way atoms interact, the constitution of the stars, and the human genome. Knowledge of chemistry makes it possible for us to manufacture dyes and antibiotics, metallic alloys, and other materials that contribute to the necessities and luxuries of human life. In Transforming Matter, noted historian Trevor H. Levere emphasizes that understanding the history of these developments helps us to appreciate the achievements of generations of chemists.
Levere examines the dynamic rise of chemistry from the study of alchemy in the seventeenth century to the development of organic and inorganic chemistry in the age of government-funded research and corporate giants. In the past two centuries, he points out, the number of known elements has quadrupled. And because of synthesis, chemistry has increasingly become a science that creates much of what it studies.
Throughout the book, Levere follows a number of recurring themes: theories about the elements, the need for classification, the status of chemical science, and the relationship between practice and theory. He illustrates these themes by concentrating on some of chemistry's most influential and innovative practitioners. Transforming Matter provides an accessible and clearly written introduction to the history of chemistry, telling the story of how the discipline has developed over the years.
Review: In 1980, writes historian Trevor Levere, University of California physicists turned an "unimaginably small sample of bismuth into gold," turning one element into another through the medium of a particle accelerator. We call such things experimental science; a medieval scholar would have called it alchemy, a lay observer magic--all of which, by Levere's account, describe modern chemistry.
The history of chemistry is being rewritten every day, notes Levere. In the last three decades alone, more than 7.5 million chemical compounds have been discovered, while great advances have been made in our understanding of the chemical composition of the heavens and our own planet. Locating its origins in ancient and medieval alchemy, the quest to divine the nature of the universe, Levere traces the development of chemistry over a series of conceptual forward steps: from Francis Bacon's development of experimental method to Lavoisier's elucidation of the part of oxygen in combustion and respiration, from Mendeleyev's invention of the periodic table of the elements to the manufacture of modern microcircuitry (which, Levere observes, "involves nearly one hundred different chemical processes").
Much as science has progressed, the author notes, the alchemical aspects of chemistry have not disappeared, as that California experiment shows. What lies ahead is anyone's guess, but, Levere concludes, the history of chemical science is one of ever-changing boundaries, and "there is no reason to assume that this fluidity will come to a sudden stop." --Gregory McNamee
Titolo: Transforming Matter: A History of Chemistry ...
Casa editrice: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Data di pubblicazione: 2001
Condizione libro: very good
Descrizione libro The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001. Condizione libro: Good. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Codice libro della libreria GRP9597977
Descrizione libro The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001. Condizione libro: Fair. Shows definite wear, and perhaps considerable marking on inside. Codice libro della libreria GRP88924811
Descrizione libro The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria SONG080186609X
Descrizione libro The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Good. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Codice libro della libreria 080186609X
Descrizione libro The Johns Hopkins University P, 2001. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Never used!. Codice libro della libreria P11080186609X