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The Same and Not the Same Paperback – April 15, 1997

5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0231101394 ISBN-10: 0231101392 Edition: 0th

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The Same and Not the Same + Not Just Science: Questions Where Christian Faith and Natural Science Intersect + Chemistry in Focus: A Molecular View of Our World (Available Titles OWL)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Hoffmann . . . has never given up his lifelong campaign to illuminate the beauties of chemistry for the unenlightened . . . . The Same and Not the Same consists of roughly equal parts art and science, and its relaxed style, uncomplicated explanations, and clever illustrations could qualify it as a primer for chemistry haters. -- Malcolm W. Browne New York Times Book Review

This [is a] refreshing, often controversial panorama of science as it is really conducted by talented, fallible human beings . . . by one of America's most respected chemists and joint winner of the 1991 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. -- Biologist

Review

Hoffmann... has never given up his lifelong campaign to illuminate the beauties of chemistry for the unenlightened.... The Same and Not the Same consists of roughly equal parts art and science, and its relaxed style, uncomplicated explanations, and clever illustrations could qualify it as a primer for chemistry haters.

(Malcolm W. Browne, New York Times Book Review)
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Product Details

  • Series: George B. Pegram Lecture
  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (April 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231101392
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231101394
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #473,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By John Rachlin on December 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
This collection of essays about the nature and practice of chemistry is as rich and diverse as the subject itself. It describes what it is like to be a chemist and the undercurrent of ideas that define chemistry as a unique and worthy endeavor. This book should be must reading for every student of science. With its clear and lucid style, it reminded me in some ways of my other favorite author, Stephen Jay Gould. I couldn't put it down. One last comment: The heavy coated paper adds clarity and crispness to the words and illustrations, well worth the extra cost. Very nice. Thanks Columbia University Press.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Godfrey T. Degamo on March 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
(8 out of 10)
Roald Hoffman has several objectives in this book: to lift chemistry from zealous physical reductionism, to show the artistic side of chemistry, to show the humanity of chemistry, and -of course, throughout- to present chemistry.
Regarding reductionism, Hoffman argues essentially this: Quantum physics does not reduce chemistry to a rich Lego Set where chemists just permute new combinations of atoms. What mother worries about solving a wave equation when enjoying the experience of her newborn? Physics may describe all phenomena, but its descriptions are unsatisfactory with increasing layers of abstraction; chemistry is one of these abstractions.
Hoffman lifts chemistry from reductionism by simply presenting what chemists deal with everyday. Many of these questions have an epistemological flavor to them. For instance, what molecules make up this substance? How do I know for sure that this molecule that I have synthesized is exactly the one found in nature? In what manner does a chemical reaction proceed, e.g., what are the reactionary intermediate molecules on the way to the final product? What is the best way to represent this molecule on paper? This more philosophical presentation of chemistry, preserves the book from being `stale' as more test tube chem books may suffer from. It is also easy to see that these questions do not involve a bit of quantum physics at all.
Perhaps unique among the sciences, chemistry creates itself with every new reaction mechanism >imagined<, and every new molecule synthesized. Because of that, Hoffman argues, chemistry is much closer to the Arts than any other science. He then explores this in depth, showing us the steps to synthesizing cubane, a beautifully simple carbon molecule that looks like a cube.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert S. Hollis on June 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a recent college grad with ca hemistry minor, and I decided to read this after one of my chemistry professors recommended it. However, I found that even with my limited background in chemistry, a lot of it was like reading an extremely concise overview of the topics I covered in my classes. On the other hand, I found myself thinking much of the time that a lot of the material in the book might be difficult to grasp in full depth for someone who hasn't had at least 1 or 2 college-level chemistry classes. I feel it's not really a book you'd read to learn about, or advance your knowledge of chemistry. It was nice to be reminded, in a non-technical matter, of many of the topics I learned about in chemistry throughout college however. It's probably a good book to read if you're a high school senior or college freshman who is on the fence about majoring in chemistry.
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By Lucy on July 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is almost new, and I like it!! The book is amazing. My friend recommended me to buy this book!Great book!
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By Elwin on March 10, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has all this little things most chemistry books overlook. These include the ethics of being a chemist.
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