- Paperback: 274 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press, U.S.A.; New Ed edition (31 May 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0192862065
- ISBN-13: 978-0192862068
- Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 1.5 x 13 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 176,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Molecules At An Exhibition: Portraits of Intriguing Materials in Everyday Life Paperback – 31 May 2001
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'A broad audience, regardless of whether it has a background in chemistry, will enjoy browsing and reading it.' Nature
popular science writing at its best. It is educational, interesting, may prove inspirational and..deserves to find a very wide readership (THES)
highly readable and entertaining (New Scientist)
About the Author
John Emsley is Science Writer in Residence at the Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine. A regular broadcaster on scientific topics, Emsley wrote the "Molecule of the Month" column for The Independent from 1990 to 1996. He lives in London.
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Top Customer Reviews
He has organized his subjects thematically in broad areas such as health, transport, and the environment, with eight galleries of a dozen portraits each. The history of each is traced, with information on its structure, origin, and its role in our world. Some substances, such as selenium, prove unexpectedly vital. Others, such as Sarin, the terrorists' nerve gas, began innocuously enough but have been adopted for evil purposes. Still others hold the key to the secret of chocolate, how Teflon sticks to pans, and possibly a clean, renewable fuel for the future. All are interesting.
The alchemy is Emsley's transmutation of chemistry into entertaining instruction.
(The "score" rating is an ineradicable feature of the page. This reviewer does not "score" books.)
Anyone with a general interest in chemistry or even just science would enjoy this book; it is full of interesting facts.
A vast knowledge of chemistry is not needed, I am merely an A-level chemist myself!!
Read it and I hope you love it half as much as I have.
We have here, a serious chemist, university lecturer in chemistry for 25 years, amongst other credits, who is also that wonderful thing A WRITER. Someone with knowledge, someone who can make that knowledge fun, fascinating, accessible - but not offensively `for dummies' for those of us who are interested in the subject but lack the will or the skill to plough through earnest, dry and dustily academic tomes on the subject. The overall flavour is of someone talking you through juicily fascinating pieces of chemical gossip!
Emsley cleverly arranges the chemistry he 'exhibits' into different galleries, and pretends to be a tour guide walking us through the rooms. An informative and entertaining tour guide. So we have, for example, a gallery devoted to metals which are essential for the body's health such as calcium, copper, tin etc. In each 'gallery' he explores a range of uses of each material.Other 'galleries' molecules that are malevolent (poisons), molecules in the home - surfectants, disinfectants etc, molecules 'that stalk the earth' for example, air, water - each gallery is fascinating!
Curiously, he doesn't come across as being particularly environmentally conscious, passing without undue emotion such worrying pieces of information as `known reserves of tin will last only about 30 years at the current rate of consumption' `exploitable reserves of copper are expected to last for only another 50 years' And for anyone who thinks, well, that's still ages away, this book was published in 1998. There has been no 'revised edition' Yes.Read more ›
John Emsley writes brilliantly with a slight sense of sarcasm, which is very amusing. I particularly enjoyed the section on polymers, despite knowing next to nothing about them.
As I read it during my GCSEs, I didn't quite understand all of the chemistry involved. However, I got most of it as it wasn't too difficult.
I got a few funny looks from people when I read this, but who cares? The book is fantastic.
I would definitely recommend this book (even though it is a little outdated) and I think I shall have to read it again soon.
The result is an intriguing book, written in an enthusiastic and friendly style. It doesn't take much understanding of chemistry to follow Emsley and he offers interesting perspectives to everyday materials. Molecules at an Exhibition is a good and entertaining way to increase one's knowledge on chemistry. (Review based on the Finnish translation.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this book arrived with pages falling out i have had to stick them back not happy it was described as good, but at least 40 pages have had to be stuck back. Read morePublished 24 months ago by sally-jo murphy
I have to confess that after reading his first brilliant book 'Natures Building Blocks' that i did not envisage that he could have matched it. Read morePublished on 11 Dec. 2013 by David Morris
This books shows how chemisty is in all aspects of modern life and how we take all the painstaking work of Chemists often for granted. A little out of date but still facilating. Read morePublished on 12 Nov. 2012 by DGB
Just a good book introducing you to a wide range of chemicals and their uses to society and yourself! Read morePublished on 10 Nov. 2012 by James Gyles
Educational and engaging, this is a fun book. I bought it for the section on material, but enjoyed the rest of it too. Well written, a great way to take science to the masses.Published on 23 Oct. 2011 by Mrs A