From Stars To Stalagmites: How Everything Connects
Feynman once selected, as the single most important statement in science, that everything is made of atoms. It follows that the properties of everything depend on how these atoms are joined together, giving rise to the vast field we know of today as chemistry. In this unique book specifically written to bridge the gap between chemistry and the layman, Braterman has put together a series of linked essays on chemistry related themes that are particularly engaging.
The book begins with the age of the earth, and concludes with the life cycle of stars. In between, there are atoms old and new, the ozone hole mystery and how it was solved, synthetic fertilisers and explosives, reading the climate record, the extraction of metals, the wetness of water, and how the greenhouse effect on climate really works. A chapter in praise of uncertainty leads on to the “fuzziness” and sharing of electrons, and from there to molecular shape, grass-green and blood-red, the wetness of water, and molecular recognition as the basis of life.
Organised in such a way as to illustrate and develop underlying principles and approaches, this book will appeal to anyone interested in chemistry, as well as its history and key personalities. Where many other titles have failed, this book succeeds brilliantly in capturing the spirit and essence of chemistry and delivering the science in easily digestible terms.