Napoleon's Buttons is the fascinating account of seventeen groups of molecules that have greatly influenced the course of history. These molecules provided the impetus for early exploration, and made possible the voyages of discovery that ensued. The molecules resulted in grand feats of engineering and spurred advances in medicine and law; they determined what we now eat, drink, and wear. A change as small as the position of an atom can lead to enormous alterations in the properties of a substance-which, in turn, can result in great historical shifts. With lively prose and an eye for colorful and unusual details, Le Couteur and Burreson offer a novel way to understand the shaping of civilization and the workings of our contemporary world.
From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes incredible stories of science, history, finance, mythology, the arts, medicine, and more, as told by the Periodic Table. Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why is gallium (Ga, 31) the go-to element for laboratory pranksters?* The Periodic Table is a crowning scientific achievement, but it's also a treasure trove of adventure, betrayal, and obsession. These fascinating tales follow every element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, and in the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. THE DISAPPEARING SPOON masterfully fuses science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, and discovery--from the Big Bang through the end of time. *Though solid at room temperature, gallium is a moldable metal that melts at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. A classic science prank is to mold gallium spoons, serve them with tea, and watch guests recoil as their utensils disappear.
K.C. Nicolaou - Winner of the Nemitsas Prize 2014 in Chemistry Here, the best-selling author and renowned researcher, K. C. Nicolaou, presents around 40 natural products that all have an enormous impact on our everyday life. Printed in full color throughout with a host of pictures, this book is written in the author's very enjoyable and distinct style, such that each chapter is full of interesting and entertaining information on the facts, stories and people behind the scenes. Molecules covered span the healthy and useful, as well as the much-needed and extremely toxic, including Aspirin, urea, camphor, morphine, strychnine, penicillin, vitamin B12, Taxol, Brevetoxin and quinine. A veritable pleasure to read.
In Cathedrals of Science, Patrick Coffey describes how chemistry got its modern footing-how thirteen brilliant men and one woman struggled with the laws of the universe and with each other. They wanted to discover how the world worked, but they also wanted credit for making those discoveries, and their personalities often affected how that credit was assigned. Gilbert Lewis, for example, could be reclusive and resentful, and his enmity with Walther Nernst may have cost him the Nobel Prize; Irving Langmuir, gregarious and charming, "rediscovered" Lewis's theory of the chemical bond and received much of the credit for it. Langmuir's personality smoothed his path to the Nobel Prize over Lewis. Coffey deals with moral and societal issues as well. These same scientists were the first to be seen by their countries as military assets. Fritz Haber, dubbed the "father of chemical warfare," pioneered the use of poison gas in World War I-vividly described-and Glenn Seaborg and Harold Urey were leaders in World War II's Manhattan Project; Urey and Linus Pauling worked for nuclear disarmament after the war. Science was not always fair, and many were excluded. The Nazis pushed Jewish scientists like Haber from their posts in the 1930s. Anti-Semitism was also a force in American chemistry, and few women were allowed in; Pauling, for example, used his influence to cut off the funding and block the publications of his rival, Dorothy Wrinch. Cathedrals of Science paints a colorful portrait of the building of modern chemistry from the late 19th to the mid-20th century.
Presents scientific answers to a series of miscellaneous questions, covering such topics as "Why are bubbles round," "Why are the Earth, Sun, and Moon all spinning," and "How you can tell the temperature by listening to a cricket."
Describes Napoleon Bonaparte's invasion of Egypt in 1798, the first attack on a Middle Eastern country by a Western power in modern times, examining Napoleon's military victories, his declaration of himself as emperor, the introduction of the Napoleonic Code, and the legacy of his expedition. Reprint.
The bestselling popular science author reveals “the connections between what we teach in chemistry courses and the world in which . . . [we] live” (ChemEd X). Interesting anecdotes and engaging tales make science fun, meaningful, and accessible. Separating sense from nonsense and fact from fiction, these essays cover everything from the ups of helium to the downs of drain cleaners, and provide answers to numerous mysteries, such as why bug juice is used to color ice cream and how spies used secret inks. Mercury in teeth, arsenic in water, lead in the environment, and aspartame in food are also discussed. Mythbusters include the fact that Edison did not invent the light bulb and that walking on hot coals does not require paranormal powers. The secret life of bagels is revealed, and airbags, beer, and soap yield their mysteries. These and many more surprising, educational, and entertaining commentaries show the relevance of science to everyday life. “A delightful and informative read. Dr. Schwarcz tells it like it is, whether the subject is light at heart or as weighty as death.” —The Cosmic Chemist “Fascinating [this book] is, thanks to the author’s lively style and contagious enthusiasm for chemistry, and his ability to make it accessible . . . connects the dots between such unlikely events as the madness of King George III and the royal fondness for sauerkraut; and between gluten, the molecular make-up of trans-fatty acids, and how the cookie crumbles.” —Montreal Review of Books
'The history, science, art, literature and everyday applications of all the elements from aluminium to zinc' The Times Everything in the universe is made of them, including you. Like you, the elements have personalities, attitudes, talents, shortcomings, stories rich with meaning. Here you'll meet iron that rains from the heavens and noble gases that light the way to vice. You'll learn how lead can tell your future while zinc may one day line your coffin. You'll discover what connects the bones in your body with the Whitehouse in Washington, the glow of a streetlamp with the salt on your dinner table. Unlocking their astonishing secrets and colourful pasts, Periodic Tales is a voyage of wonder and discovery, showing that their stories are our stories, and their lives are inextricable from our own. 'Science writing at its best. A fascinating and beautiful literary anthology, bringing them to life as personalities. If only chemistry had been like this at school. A rich compilation of delicious tales' Matt Ridley, Prospect 'A love letter to the chemical elements. Aldersey-Williams is full of good stories and he knows how to tell them well' Sunday Telegraph 'Great fun to read and an endless fund of unlikely and improbable anecdotes' Financial Times
Patrice Gueniffey, the leading French historian of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic age, takes up the epic narrative at the heart of this turbulent period: the life of Napoleon himself, from his boyhood in Corsica, to his meteoric rise during the Italian and Egyptian campaigns, to his proclamation as Consul for Life in 1802.