Synopses & Reviews
More than any other science, the history of chemistry is intimately linked to human history. Chemical technology has fostered the development of civilizations, altered the course of wars, generated the industrial revolution, and created the petroleum and plastics that fuel and shape our modern world. In this fascinating and significant book Cathy Cobb and Harold Goldwhite, two respected scientists and writers, have teamed up to present a wonderfully rich story of chemistry - celebrating not only theories and breakthroughs, but the provocative times and personalities that shaped this amazing science and brought it to life.
he history of chemistry is a story of human endeavor-and as er T ratic as human nature itself. Progress has been made in fits and starts, and it has come from all parts of the globe. Because the scope of this history is considerable (some 100,000 years), it is necessary to impose some order, and we have organized the text around three dis cemible-albeit gross--divisions of time: Part 1 (Chaps. 1-7) covers 100,000 BeE (Before Common Era) to the late 1700s and presents the background of the Chemical Revolution; Part 2 (Chaps. 8-14) covers the late 1700s to World War land presents the Chemical Revolution and its consequences; Part 3 (Chaps. 15-20) covers World War I to 1950 and presents the Quantum Revolution and its consequences and hints at revolutions to come. There have always been two tributaries to the chemical stream: experiment and theory. But systematic experimental methods were not routinely employed until the 1600s-and quantitative theories did not evolve until the 1700s-and it can be argued that modem chernistry as a science did not begin until the Chemical Revolution in the 1700s. xi xii PREFACE We argue however that the first experiments were performed by arti sans and the first theories proposed by philosophers-and that a rev olution can be understood only in terms of what is being revolted against."
In this fascinating history, Cathy Cobb and Harold Goldwhite celebrate not only chemistry's theories and breakthroughs but also the provocative times and personalities that shaped this amazing science and brought it to life. Throughout the book, the reader will meet the hedonists and swindlers, monks and heretics, and men and women laboring in garages and over kitchen sinks who expanded our understanding of the elements and discovered such new substances as plastic, rubber, and aspirin. Creations of Fire expands our vision of the meaning of chemistry and reveals the oddballs and academics who have helped shape our world.
"More than any other science, the history of chemistry is intimately linked to human history. Chemical technology has fostered the development of civilizations, altered the course of wars, generated th"
Includes bibliographical references (p. 449-451) and index.