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Stories of the Invisible: A Guided Tour of Molecules

Stories of the Invisible: A Guided Tour of Molecules Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

If atoms are letters, writes Philip Ball, then molecules are words. And through these words, scientists have uncovered many fascinating stories of the physical world. In Stories of the Invisible, Ball has compiled a cornucopia of tales spun by these intriguing, invisible words.

Spiced with quotations from Primo Levi, Flann O'Brien, and Thomas Pynchon, Stories of the Invisible takes us on a tour of a world few of us knew existed. The author describes, for instance, the remarkable molecular structure of spider's silk--a material that is pound for pound much stronger the steel--and shows how the Kevlar fibers in bulletproof vests were invented by imitating the alignment of molecules found in the spider's amazing thread. We also learn about the protein molecules that create movement, without which bacteria would be immobile, cells could not divide, there would be no reproduction and therefore no life. The book describes molecules shaped like miniature sculptures, containers, soccer balls, threads, rings, levers and geodesic domes, all made by sticking atoms together. Perhaps most important, Ball provides a fresh perspective on the future of molecular science, revealing how researchers are promising to reinvent chemistry as the central creative science of the 21st century. Indeed, molecular chemists will someday be able to manufacture a synthetic yet living cell and to create machines the size of bacteria, tools which they can then use to assemble new molecules to order.

Today we can invent molecules that can cure viral infections, store information, or help hold bridges together. In Stories of the Invisible, Philip Ball takes us inside an incredibly small world that has a major impact on our lives.

Synopsis:

If atoms are letters, writes Philip Ball, then molecules are words. And through these words, scientists have uncovered many fascinating stories of the physical world. In Stories of the Invisible, Ball has compiled a cornucopia of tales spun by these intriguing, invisible words.

Spiced with quotations from Primo Levi, Flann O'Brien, and Thomas Pynchon, Stories of the Invisible takes us on a tour of a world few of us knew existed. The author describes, for instance, the remarkable molecular structure of spider's silk--a material that is pound for pound much stronger the steel--and shows how the Kevlar fibers in bulletproof vests were invented by imitating the alignment of molecules found in the spider's amazing thread. We also learn about the protein molecules that create movement, without which bacteria would be immobile, cells could not divide, there would be no reproduction and therefore no life. The book describes molecules shaped like miniature sculptures, containers, soccer balls, threads, rings, levers and geodesic domes, all made by sticking atoms together. Perhaps most important, Ball provides a fresh perspective on the future of molecular science, revealing how researchers are promising to reinvent chemistry as the central creative science of the 21st century. Indeed, molecular chemists will someday be able to manufacture a synthetic yet living cell and to create machines the size of bacteria, tools which they can then use to assemble new molecules to order.

Today we can invent molecules that can cure viral infections, store information, or help hold bridges together. In Stories of the Invisible, Philip Ball takes us inside an incredibly small world that has a major impact on our lives.

About the Author

Philip Ball is a science writer and consultant editor for Nature. He is the author of Self-Made Tapestry, Designing the Molecular World, and H2O: A Biography of Water. He lives in London.

Table of Contents

1. Engineers of the Invisible: Making molecules

Product Details

ISBN:
9780192802149
Subtitle:
A Guided Tour of Molecules
Author:
Ball, Philip
Author:
null, Philip
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Location:
New York
Subject:
General science
Subject:
Chemistry
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Volume:
72
Publication Date:
20011025
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
40 halftones and line illus
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
5.000 x 7.700 in 0.519 lb

Related Subjects

Science and Mathematics » Biology » Molecular
Science and Mathematics » Chemistry » General

Stories of the Invisible: A Guided Tour of Molecules
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$ In Stock
Product details 224 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780192802149 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , If atoms are letters, writes Philip Ball, then molecules are words. And through these words, scientists have uncovered many fascinating stories of the physical world. In Stories of the Invisible, Ball has compiled a cornucopia of tales spun by these intriguing, invisible words.

Spiced with quotations from Primo Levi, Flann O'Brien, and Thomas Pynchon, Stories of the Invisible takes us on a tour of a world few of us knew existed. The author describes, for instance, the remarkable molecular structure of spider's silk--a material that is pound for pound much stronger the steel--and shows how the Kevlar fibers in bulletproof vests were invented by imitating the alignment of molecules found in the spider's amazing thread. We also learn about the protein molecules that create movement, without which bacteria would be immobile, cells could not divide, there would be no reproduction and therefore no life. The book describes molecules shaped like miniature sculptures, containers, soccer balls, threads, rings, levers and geodesic domes, all made by sticking atoms together. Perhaps most important, Ball provides a fresh perspective on the future of molecular science, revealing how researchers are promising to reinvent chemistry as the central creative science of the 21st century. Indeed, molecular chemists will someday be able to manufacture a synthetic yet living cell and to create machines the size of bacteria, tools which they can then use to assemble new molecules to order.

Today we can invent molecules that can cure viral infections, store information, or help hold bridges together. In Stories of the Invisible, Philip Ball takes us inside an incredibly small world that has a major impact on our lives.

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