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Molecules: The Elements and the Architecture of Everything Hardcover – October 15, 2014
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About the Author
Theodore Gray is the author of The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe; Theo Gray's Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do At Home, But Probably Shouldn't; Mad Science 2: Experiments You Can Do At Home, But Still Probably Shouldn't; and Popular Science magazine's "Gray Matter" column. With his company Touch Press, Gray is the developer of best-selling iPad and iPhone apps, including The Elements, Solar System, Disney Animated, The Orchestra, The Waste Land, and Skulls by Simon Winchester. He lives in Urbana, Illinois.
Nick Mann is the photographer of The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe. Aside from having photographed more elements and compounds than probably anyone in the world, he is an accomplished landscape, sports, and event photographer. He lives in Urbana, Illinois.
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Top Customer Reviews
"The Elements" and "Molecules" look very similar, but there are some subtle differences due to the difference in their subjects. The Elements was primarily a beautiful picture book and catalog of all the elements. But that made it somewhat more abstract since most of us rarely interact directly with more than a handful of elements, and their atomic nature is less a part of every day experience. The text was mostly interesting trivia for each element.
Molecules on the other hand moves up a layer from atoms to molecular compounds, and as such it comes a step closer to our daily experience. The Elements was a book you mostly looked at, but Molecules is a book you'll want to READ since it's jam packed full of interesting and useful information about the chemistry of nature and human industry.
It's still just as lavishly illustrated and beautifully produced as The Elements, but there's much more depth here because the author is not compelled to cover "all" of anything as was the case in the earlier book (where honestly there are a lot of pretty boring or obscure elements).
Amazon's "Look Inside" feature lets you see what most of the book looks like if you want to see examples of the topics covered, but it does a good job of covering (in an interesting and visual way) both the chemistry of how atoms become molecules and then the properties of various molecular species, as well as numerous higher level applications and what sort of molecules we experience through our senses (color, scent, taste, etc.) as well as those with biological applications (painkillers for example).
A great gift for a child or anyone about to begin their study of the sciences, especially chemistry.
It's a book with a very high signal to noise ratio, one that will leave you feeling smarter after you read it.
If you get this book, I highly recommend that you also purchase the author's other book Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe. Both books are worthwhile purchases for any person.
This is primarily a picture book, so he's got pictures of everything. Many types of animal pee can be bought, and he shows how they are packaged. A drawback to elements is that most are gray -- with molecules, most are white, but he varies that up by showing the end products, such as many types of rope. Turns out cats and parrots each favor one particular type of rope. I didn't realize how toxic wallpaper could be -- see his section on Paris green (copper acetoarsenite).
It's a big book, gorgeously photographed. What sets it apart from a DK picture book is that he's got great stories interspersed with the interesting facts on every page. In the opening, he talks of historic reactions involving the oil of vitriol -- "but I still haven't told you what this stuff is yet". I didn't remember, but I continued to let him tell the story and show the pictures.