Chemistry
Featured Items
Grand Obsession: Madame Curie and Her World
Grand Obsession
Madame Curie and Her World
Hardcover      ISBN: 0385261357

Tells of the lives and revolutionary work of Curie and her husband Pierre, whose work with radiation had an enormous impact on modern physics, and whose legacy was carried on by their daughter and son-in-law

The Elements
The Elements
Paperback      ISBN: 0233005935

What links the Taj Mahal and our skeleton? Calcium. The Eiffel Tower and our blood? Iron. Everything in the known universe is made up of one of the elements.

Popular-science writer Jack Challoner takes us on an illustrated tour of the Periodic Table, revealing the mystery of how the material world works. This definitive guide covers all 118 elements, with their vital statistics, main compounds, uses, and fascinating histories.

Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood
Uncle Tungsten
Memories of a Chemical Boyhood
Paperback      ISBN: 0375704043

Long before Oliver Sacks became a distinguished neurologist and bestselling writer, he was a small English boy fascinated by metals-also by chemical reactions (the louder and smellier the better), photography, squids and cuttlefish, H.G. Wells, and the periodic table. In this endlessly charming and eloquent memoir, the author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Awakenings chronicles his love affair with science and the magnificently odd and sometimes harrowing childhood in which that love affair unfolded.

In Uncle Tungsten we meet Sacks' extraordinary family, from his surgeon mother (who introduces the fourteen-year-old Oliver to the art of human dissection) and his father, a family doctor who imbues in his son an early enthusiasm for housecalls, to his "Uncle Tungsten," whose factory produces tungsten-filament lightbulbs. We follow the young Oliver as he is exiled at the age of six to a grim, sadistic boarding school to escape the London Blitz, and later watch as he sets about passionately reliving the exploits of his chemical heroes-in his own home laboratory. Uncle Tungsten is a crystalline view of a brilliant young mind springing to life, a story of growing up which is by turns elegiac, comic, and wistful, full of the electrifying joy of discovery.
Symphony in C: Carbon and the Evolution of (Almost) Everything
Symphony in C
Carbon and the Evolution of (Almost) Everything
Paperback      ISBN: 0393358623

Carbon. It's in the fibers in your hair, the timbers in your walls, the food that you eat, and the air that you breathe. It's worth billions of dollars as a luxury and half a trillion as a necessity, but there are still mysteries about the element that can be both diamond and coal. Where does it come from, what does it do, and why, above all, does life need it? With poetic storytelling, Robert M. Hazen leads us on a global journey through the origin and evolution of life's most essential and ubiquitous element.

The Ingredients: A Guided Tour of the Elements
The Ingredients
A Guided Tour of the Elements
Hardcover      ISBN: 0192841009

In The Ingredients, Philip Ball blends history and science as he offers an illuminating look at our centuries-long struggle to understand the nature of the physical world.
It's been a long journey from the ancient belief in four elements--earth, water, fire, air--to the hundred plus elements that occupy the modern periodic table, and Ball makes a perfect tour guide, highlighting the many points of interest on the way. He introduces us to key scientists such as Lavoisier, who named oxygen, proved that water is not an element, demolished the ancient 4-elements theory, and lost his head to the guillotine. Ball highlights the unexpected opportunities for making useful things from the riches found on the periodic table. We learn, for instance, that the seemingly useless argon (after the Greek argos, 'lazy'--because it did nothing) makes perfect filler for light bulbs, because no matter how hot the bulb gets, argon won't react. Likewise, silicon, a very poor conductor of electricity (hence the label semiconductor) is perfect for computer chips, because the slow movement of electrons is easier to manipulate. Ball shows us how to read the periodic table and he recounts Mendeleyev's tale of discovering the correct form to the table "in a dream." He also explains the difficulties of defining and identifying the elements, the principles behind the formation of synthetic elements, and the ways in which particular elements (gold, iron, oxygen) shaped culture and technology.
From the alchemical quest for the Philosopher's Stone to the legend of the Midas touch, The Ingredients provides an engaging look at the elements that make up the world we live in.

The Case Against Sugar
The Case Against Sugar
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 0307701646
From the best-selling author of Why We Get Fat, a groundbreaking, eye-opening expos that makes the convincing case that sugar is the tobacco of the new millennium: backed by powerful lobbies, entrenched in our lives, and making us very sick.

Among Americans, diabetes is more prevalent today than ever; obesity is at epidemic proportions; nearly 10% of children are thought to have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. And sugar is at the root of these, and other, critical society-wide, health-related problems. With his signature command of both science and straight talk, Gary Taubes delves into Americans' history with sugar: its uses as a preservative, as an additive in cigarettes, the contemporary overuse of high-fructose corn syrup. He explains what research has shown about our addiction to sweets. He clarifies the arguments against sugar, corrects misconceptions about the relationship between sugar and weight loss; and provides the perspective necessary to make informed decisions about sugar as individuals and as a society.
Mad Science 2: Experiments You Can Do at Home, But Still Probably Shouldn't
Mad Science 2
Experiments You Can Do at Home, But Still Probably Shouldn't
Hardcover      ISBN: 1579129323
Best-selling author Theodore Gray is back with all-new, spectacular experiments that demonstrate basic principles of chemistry and physics in thrilling, and memorable ways.

For nearly a decade, Theodore Gray has been demonstrating basic principles of chemistry and physics through exciting, sometimes daredevil experiments that he executes, photographs, and writes about for his monthly Popular Science column "Gray Matter," as well as his bestselling, award-winning books The Elements, Molecules, Reactions, and How Things Work.
This books now collects Gray's Popular Science columns, along with hundreds of photographs -- many of which are never-before-seen. The second volume includes mad-scientist experiments, which features dramatic, enlightening, and often daring projects, such as demonstrating the Leidenfrost effect; crushing a tomato between two small magnets to show the power of neodymium-iron-boron magnets; and creating trinkets out of solid mercury to demonstrate how the state of matter depends very much on the temperature at which it exists.

Other experiments include:
  • A foil boat floating on an invisible sea
  • DIY X-ray photos
  • A bacon lance that cuts steel
  • Charging a smart phone with apples and pennies
  • And dozens more
The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America
The Invention of Air
A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America
Paperback      ISBN: 1594484015
From the bestselling author of How We Got To Now, The Ghost Map and Farsighted, a new national bestseller: the "exhilarating"( Los Angeles Times) story of Joseph Priestley, "a founding father long forgotten"(Newsweek) and a brilliant man who embodied the relationship between science, religion, and politics for America's Founding Fathers.

In The Invention of Air, national bestselling author Steven Johnson tells the fascinating story of Joseph Priestley--scientist and theologian, prot g of Benjamin Franklin, friend of Thomas Jefferson--an eighteenth-century radical thinker who played pivotal roles in the invention of ecosystem science, the discovery of oxygen, the uses of oxygen, scientific experimentation, the founding of the Unitarian Church, and the intellectual development of the United States. As he did so masterfully in The Ghost Map, Steven Johnson uses a dramatic historical story to explore themes that have long engaged him: innovative strategies, intellectual models, and the way new ideas emerge and spread, and the environments that foster these breakthroughs.
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
The Disappearing Spoon
And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
Paperback      ISBN: 0316051632
From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes incredible stories of science, history, finance, mythology, the arts, medicine, and more, as told by the Periodic Table.

Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why is gallium (Ga, 31) the go-to element for laboratory pranksters?

The Periodic Table is a crowning scientific achievement, but it's also a treasure trove of adventure, betrayal, and obsession. These fascinating tales follow every element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, and in the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. The Disappearing Spoon masterfully fuses science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, and discovery -- from the Big Bang through the end of time.

Though solid at room temperature, gallium is a moldable metal that melts at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. A classic science prank is to mold gallium spoons, serve them with tea, and watch guests recoil as their utensils disappear.
The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another
The Alchemy of Us
How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another
Paperback      ISBN: 0262542269
In the bestselling tradition of Stuff Matters and The Disappearing Spoon a clever and engaging look at materials, the innovations they made possible, and how these technologies changed us. Finalist for the 41st Los Angeles Times Book Award in Science and Technology and selected as one of the Best Summer Science Books Of 2020 by Science Friday.

In The Alchemy of Us, scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez examines eight inventions--clocks, steel rails, copper communication cables, photographic film, light bulbs, hard disks, scientific labware, and silicon chips--and reveals how they shaped the human experience. Ramirez tells the stories of the woman who sold time, the inventor who inspired Edison, and the hotheaded undertaker whose invention pointed the way to the computer. She describes, among other things, how our pursuit of precision in timepieces changed how we sleep; how the railroad helped commercialize Christmas; how the necessary brevity of the telegram influenced Hemingway's writing style; and how a young chemist exposed the use of Polaroid's cameras to create passbooks to track Black citizens in apartheid South Africa. These fascinating and inspiring stories offer new perspectives on our relationships with technologies.