- Paperback: 393 pages
- Publisher: Prometheus Books (January 26, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591027713
- ISBN-13: 978-1591027713
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Joy of Chemistry: The Amazing Science of Familiar Things
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From Publishers Weekly
Think of this as a chemistry education condensed into a single book: a lightning tour of the field for the uninitiated. What the work lacks in depth is made up for in breadth, covering all the material of a general chemistry course along with organic, inorganic and analytical chemistry and biochemistry; there's even a chapter on forensic chemistry. Cobb and Fetterolf, professors of chemistry at the University of South Carolina, avoid math and focus on real-world examples. They explain everything from flatulence (the chemical composition of intestinal gas) to pizza cheese (why mozzarella rather than, say, parmesan?). This may sound a lot like the dozens of introductory chemistry books on the market. But unlike most others, this book comes with a lab component (supplies not included). Every chapter is preceded by an experiment (some quite complicated) using household goods, though someone inexperienced in laboratory techniques may find the directions difficult to follow. The explanations of principles fly past, and Cobb and Fetterolf avoid oversimplifying the chemistry, which may leave some readers confused. Whether or not readers fully understand the principles of chemistry by the end of the book, they will at least have a better understanding of the world around them and enough everyday trivia to hold their own at a cocktail party. B&w illus.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Cathy Cobb (Aiken, SC) is the author of Crime Scene Chemistry for the Armchair Sleuth (with Monty L. Fetterolf and Jack G. Goldsmith); Magick, Mayhem, and Mavericks: The Spirited History of Physical Chemistry; and Creations of Fire: Chemistry’s Lively History from Alchemy to the Atomic Age (with H. Goldwhite). She is currently an instructor of calculus and physics at Aiken Preparatory School and an adjunct professor of chemistry at the University of South Carolina at Aiken.
Monty L. Fetterolf (Aiken, SC) is the coauthor with Cathy Cobb and Jack G. Goldsmith of Crime Scene Chemistry for the Armchair Sleuth. He is a professor of chemistry at the University of South Carolina at Aiken.
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Top Customer Reviews
The first book I got was a great book on the individual elements. that still wasn't what I was looking for. This book by Cobb and Fetterolf was exactly what I was looking for. Not only did it have experiments that I can use as demonstrations prior to my student's own labs, but it also provides significant background and understanding into all the important chemistry concepts. Loads of black and white illustrations, and just a good book overall. I noticed the first review on the back of the book was by the author of our current chemistry textbook, Timberlake...thought that was funny though not necessarily a selling point originally for me.
I didn't get the title "The Joy of Chemistry" until they mentioned the other two famous books with titles beginning with "The Joy of ...." Cute trick. Won't be selling this book off any time in the near future, as I am just now finishing reading it the first time and now I am going back with a 'fine-tooth' comb over the entire book and take out what I can use for different chemistry labs and classrooms.
The focus on The Joy of Chemistry is not only on theory but how chemistry fits into the real world. For this reason, writers Cathy Cobb and Monty Fetterolf not only offer real-life illustrations but also provide experiments for the reader to try out. For example, an early chapter on the periodic table is preceded by the recipe for an experiment that exposes copper and aluminum wire to lye to show how two different metals react to a chemical. Then the chapter itself discusses the table and how it is derived, and how certain groups have similar chemical reactions; since copper and aluminum are not in the same group, they react differently.
The majority of the book deals with the ways chemistry works, from reactions to solutions to crystallization. The second portion of the book discusses various types of chemistry, including organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, biochemistry and analytical chemistry.
Even if you're not inclined to do the experiments (I wasn't), there is still plenty of good, informative material in this book. There are little mistakes here and there such as one point where the text states that two like magnetic poles attract each other, but overall, there aren't many flaws. If your knowledge of chemistry is weak - or if you're just looking for a refresher - The Joy of Chemistry will be a good resource.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It has cool explanations, it is very clear and the examples are the best!!
I would recommed this book to teachers and students.