Strange Chemistry: The Stories Your Chemistry Teacher Wouldn't Tell You (英語) ペーパーバック – 2017/7/17
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This book opens the audience’s eyes to the extraordinary scientific secrets hiding in everyday objects. Helping readers increase chemistry knowledge in a fun and entertaining way, the book is perfect as a supplementary textbook or gift to curious professionals and novices.
• Appeals to a modern audience of science lovers by discussing multiple examples of chemistry in everyday life
• Addresses compounds that affect everyone in one way or another: poisons, pharmaceuticals, foods, and illicit drugs; thereby evoking a powerful emotional response which increases interest in the topic at hand
• Focuses on edgy types of stories that chemists generally tend to avoid so as not to paint chemistry in a bad light; however, these are the stories that people find interesting
• Provides detailed and sophisticated stories that increase the reader’s fundamental scientific knowledge
• Discusses complex topics in an engaging and accessible manner, providing the “how” and “why” that takes readers deeper into the stories
STEVEN FARMER, Ph.D., has worked as a chemistry instructor at California State University, Sacramento and at University of California, Davis. Currently, he holds the position of Professor of Chemistry at Sonoma State University (SSU). Dr. Farmer is a seasoned teacher with over a decade of experience teaching general chemistry, organic chemistry, and advanced organic synthesis courses. He has earned six teaching awards, including the Sarlo Excellence in Teaching Award, which is given to only one of the over 500 SSU faculty each year. He performs research involving chemical education and is actively involved in giving outreach lectures to the public.
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.
And what a text! I couldn't put it down. You wouldn't think a chemistry professor could write so engagingly, but then you wouldn't think a software engineer could, either, and yet you're reading this! Each chapter takes five to ten minutes, and covers some fascinating subject you've probably always wondered about.
Toxic honey, blue methamphetamine, deadly carfentanyl, radioactive bananas, LSD cooking, various poisons in the medicine chest and so on. If it can get you high, poison you, or blow you up - then it's probably in the book. As an inordinately curious person, I love these cornucopias of esoterica. Throughout, there's a frisson of forbidden knowledge. It scratches the same itch, in me, as "The Anarchist's Cookbook", but does so in a way that's A) devoid of violent leftist politics, and B) scientifically accurate (q.v. "Musa Sapientum Bananadine").
Browse the table of contents, and if you think the topic headings look interesting, get the book. You won't be disappointed.