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Atoms, Electrons and Change (Scientific American Library) [Hardcover]

Peter W. Atkins

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Book Description

19 July 1991
A century and a half ago the pioneering physicist and chemist Michael Faraday delivered a celebrated series of lectures that attempted to explain the inner workings of matter through the chemical history of a candle. "There is no better, there is no more open door by which you can enter into the study of natural philosophy", Faraday told his audience. Now the distinguished chemist P.W. Atkins follows in Faraday's footsteps, using his predecessor's deceptively simple theme to show how far we have come in understanding the remarkable chemical reactions that govern everything from how candles burn to how life functions. While Faraday could say little more than that a chemical reaction changes a substance's appearance and properties, chemists today understand reactions in terms of the rearrangement of atoms and electrons. Atkins - tracing the course of a carbon atom released by a flaming candle - explores the complex forces that operate at the atomic and sub atomic levels to drive these rearrangements.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 243 pages
  • Publisher: Scientific American Library; First Printing edition (19 July 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0716750287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0716750284
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 22.4 x 2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 403,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the Best 17 Jan 2013
By Lawrence Koenig - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What? Read about chemistry and molecular bonding and enjoy it? Absolutely!!This book was written when Sci Am was still SCI AM--wonderful words and diagrams helping you learn much about your (or God's) world --its everyday wonders revealed!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 13 Sep 2013
By laser_mechanic - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Even for a non-chemist or physicist, this is an excellent book. It reminds me of
the old format of Scientific American magazine, which had some excellent authors
(still good, however a shadow of its former self).
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, Layman-Level Chemistry Treatment 2 May 2014
By Frank Wm Carr - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book covers many fascinating things about the wonders of chemistry, including the 1) long-abandoned "Usanovich" acid-base theory, which unites precipitation, redox and radical reactions with standard acid-base theory, 2) kinetics, energy, and catalysis, 3) bonding orientations, and 4) the fascinating topic of photosynthesis, as well as bioluminescence. Overall a great read!
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