Strange Chemistry: The Stories Your Chemistry Teacher Wouldn't Tell You 1st Edition
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An engaging chemistry lesson that also serves as an encyclopedia to understanding the world around us. -Kirkus Reviews
Aimed at 16-18 and 18+ students, this is an excellent book, thoroughly recommended to teacher and lectures. Put it on your bookshelf and consult it often -Education in Chemistry
Behind every chemist is a teacher who, by their enthusiasm, has made the subject interesting to his or her pupils. Dr. Farmer is such a teacher who has gone to great pains to make his subject relevant to his audience.
In spite of the US bias, it would be churlish of me to criticize this book which is one that should be possessed by every chemistry teacher and I cannot recommend it too highly.
What is the most important chemical reaction? Steven Farmer says it'sthe Haber process N2 + 3H2 → 2NH3, which is used to makefertilizer.Without it, half the ice-free land mass on Earth would beneeded to grow food instead of 15%, and 40% of the people on Earth would starve. That's one of the bedtime stories you could tell your childrenafter reading this fascinating book. It's written in layman's terms, and almost anyone would get something out of it. In our chemical- anddrug-filled world knowing this stuff can save your life. Moreimportantly, it could get people interested in chemistry . . . and maybe even biochemistry . . . and inorganic .. . .Watch for this stuff toshow up on TV someday-Review from Randombio.com
From the Author
If you are interested in learning some more strange chemistry check out my blog at:
Here is a few spoilers discussed in Strange Chemistry.
Did you know that:
80% of the nitrogen found in human bodies comes from a chemical reaction?
Acetaminophen is one of the leading causes of liver failure in the U.S.?
Most pharmaceuticals are made from compounds derived from petroleum?
Most nail polishes contain a known carcinogen?
The production of the street drug Ecstasy is literally destroying the rainforests?
Viruses are commonly added to sandwich meat?
Many gemstones have been irradiated in a nuclear reactor?
- Paperback : 364 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1119265266
- ISBN-13 : 978-1119265269
- Dimensions : 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
- Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
- Publisher : Wiley; 1st edition (July 17, 2017)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This is NOT a book like “The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements” , Napoleons Buttons or What Einstein told his Cook. I have read all of these, and did not need any sort of comprehension review. This book is a step up in complexity, filled with many, many organic chemistry structures. I am sure organic chemists will understand all the subtleties.
If you have a reasonable science background, and are willing to be humble enough to read the introductory chapter, this book is eye opening, fascinating, scary and very educational. I did not, for example, know that one the most common causes of acute liver failure is acetaminophen overdose. I also learned why crack cocaine is so addictive from the chemical explanation, the number one recycled material in the US (nope it is NOT aluminum or glass) its pavement. Pavement. Along with many, many other facts that I was shocked to learn I think I have a bit of a grasp of organic chemistry now. This is the sort of book where I kept saying to my husband “listen to this….” and then reading whole sections.
I read the chapter on Radioactivity to my college students (hey, that is really physics) over the course of a couple of weeks. They asked for me to keep reading, in fact I started reading at the end of the class period because otherwise they were pestering me to keep reading. The section on if gemstones are radioactive was hugely popular. I learned two things from this, even college students enjoy being read to out loud, and I knew nothing about how gemstones are colored.
This is not “lite science” this is heavily researched (and all the refs are given) detailed and heavy duty chemistry with application to the real world. It is informative while also remaining entertaining.
Truly one of the most interesting books I have read all year. Highly recommend, especially if you know any organic chemistry.
Briefly, the book is remarkable. It can be read by a wide audience, but covers things adequately for the chem freaks like myself.
The book tantalized and informed...until page 93. A brief mention of the Donora, PA smog neglects to talk about the dangers of fluorine. Perhaps the author just went with the Google default explanation. I had to add "fluorine" to my query for Google to show links pointing to the real culprit.
One miss in one hundred pages is awfully impressive. Still, fluorine is so deadly, and its uses so varied and prevalent, this has me raising the question, "Did the author decide to go light on fluorine so that he could get published?"
Still and all the book is a gem and worth a read.