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The Chemical World

You haven't read a chemistry book since high school? Maybe you chickened out of O-Chem? Check out some of these titles and give those molecules another chance. They can even help you cook!


Selected Books

Cobb, Cathy and Harold Goldwhite
Creations of Fire: Chemistry's Lively History from Alchemy to the Atomic Age
QD11 .C59 1995
Chemical technology has fostered the development of civilizations, altered the course of wars, generated the industrial revolution and created the petroleum and plastics that fuel and shape our modern world.
Cobb, Cathy
The Joy of Chemistry: The Amazing Science of Familiar Things
QD35.C56 2005
Using hands-on demonstrations with familiar materials to illustrate the concepts of chemistry in terms of everyday experience, this book was selected as an Outstanding Academic Title by the American Library Association.
Cobb, Cathy
Magick, Mayhem, and Mavericks: The Spirited History of Physical Chemistry
QD452.C63 2002
Science populariser Cathy Cobb takes a unique approach to explaining the concepts of physical chemistry by telling the story of the geniuses and eccentrics who made groundbreaking discoveries in this field that bridges chemistry, physics and mathematics.
Coffey, Patrick
Cathedrals of Science: The Personalities and Rivalries That Made Modern Chemistry
Q180.55.D57 C64 2008
Coffey (history of science and technology, U. of California, Berkeley) uses the lives of the first wave of physical chemists in Europe and America, particularly Gilbert Lewis and Irving Langmuir, to trace the development of the field.
Field, Simon (Simon Quellen)
Why There's Antifreeze in Your Toothpaste: The Chemistry of Household Ingredients
QD471.F565 2008
Decoding more than 150 cryptic ingredients, this handbook explains each component's structural formula, offers synonymous names, and describes its common uses.
Freinkel, Susan
Plastic: A Toxic Love Story
TP1120.F74 2011
We've produced as much plastic in the past decade as we did in the entire twentieth century. Plastics draw on dwindling fossil fuels, leach harmful chemicals, litter landscapes, and destroy marine life. Can we live without it?
Grosberg, A. IU.
Giant Molecules: Here, There, and Everywhere
QD381.G755 2011
In this updated edition, the Russians Grosberg and Khokhlov explain polymer chemistry to general readers who have a bit of scientific background. Their topics include what a polymer molecule looks like, polymers in nature, the physics of high elasticity, globular proteins and folding, the dynamics of polymer fluids, and the mathematics of fractals as complicated polymer structures.
Jay, Mike
The Atmosphere of Heaven: The Unnatural Experiments of Dr. Beddoes and His Sons of Genius
R489.B4 J39 2009
At the Pneumatic Institution (both laboratory and hospital) in Bristol, England, at the end of the eighteenth century, the maverick doctor Thomas Beddoes and his colleagues experimented with gases, discovering the mind-altering properties of nitrous oxide or laughing gas.
Joachim, David
The Science of Good Food: The Ultimate Reference on How Cooking Works
q TX651.J63 2008x
Organized from A to Z, this highly readable book has more than 1,800 entries that clearly explain the physical and chemical transformations which govern all food preparation and cooking. See more books on the science of cooking.
Kean, Sam
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
QD466.K37 2010
The Periodic Table is one of man's crowning scientific achievements. But it's also a treasure trove of stories of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession.
Le Couteur, Penny
Napoleon's Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History
QD37.L34 2003
Napoleon's Buttons is the fascinating account of seventeen groups of molecules that have greatly influenced the course of history.
Schwarcz, Joseph A.
Dr. Joe and What You Didn't Know: 99 Fascinating Questions about the Chemistry of Everyday Life
QD37.S37 2003x
Dr. Joe Schwarcz (McGill University Office for Science and Society) produces a weekly radio program and newspaper column, "Dr. Joe," about everyday chemistry. If you enjoy this collection of questions and answers, he has several more to entertain you. Or you can check out his blog: Chemically Speaking.
Wolke, Robert L. and Marlene Parrish
What Einstein Told His Cook 2 - The Sequel : Further Adventures in Kitchen Science
TX652.W6432 2005x
Wolke is a chemistry professor emeritus at Pitt and his wife, Marlene Parrish, is a food writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. This is a sequel to their first book What Einstein Told His Cook : Kitchen Science Explained and both explain the chemistry behind cooking.

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