From man's first exploration of natural materials and their transformations to today's materials science, chemistry has always been the central discipline that underpins both the physical and biological sciences, as well as technology.
In this Very Short Introduction, William H. Brock traces the unique appeal of this fundamental science throughout history. Covering alchemy, early-modern chemistry, pneumatic chemistry and Lavoisier's re-interpretation of chemical change, the rise of organic and physical chemistry, and the transforming power of synthesis, Brock explores the extraordinary and often puzzling transformations of natural and artificial materials, as well as the men and women who experimented, speculated, and explained matter and change.
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Writing a short book about a long history is not easy; but it would be hard to think of anybody more qualified to do it than Bill Brock. * David Knight, Annals of Science *
Writing a concise introduction to this subject which, at the same time, should be accessible to the general reader, is therefore a task which is not to be underestimated. William Brock, one of the most accomplished scholars of the subject, demonstrates with this book that he is more than capable of the task. * British Journal of the History of Science *
I can thoroughly recommend this brief tour of our all-embracing science. * Chemistry World *
Brock manages to make a very dull and dense subject both attractive and interesting - something I could never accuse my old Chemistry teacher of doing. * Stephen Craggs, Northern Echo *
1: On the nature of stuff
2: The analysis of stuff
3: Gases and atoms
4: Types and hexagons