Molecules: A Very Short Introduction

Molecules: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback Very Short Introductions

By (author) Philip Ball

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 184 pages
  • Dimensions: 107mm x 173mm x 15mm | 159g
  • Publication date: 27 November 2003
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0192854305
  • ISBN 13: 9780192854308
  • Illustrations note: numerous halftones and line drawings
  • Sales rank: 130,462

Product description

The processes in a single living cell are akin to that of a city teeming with molecular inhabitants that move, communicate, cooperate, and compete. In this Very Short Introduction, Philip Ball explores the role of the molecule in and around us - how, for example, a single fertilized egg can grow into a multi-celled Mozart, what makes spider's silk insoluble in the morning dew, and how this molecular dynamism is being captured in the laboratory, promising to reinvent chemistry as the central creative science of the century. 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.

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Author information

Philip Ball is a science writer and a consultant editor for Nature, where he was formerly an editor for physical science for over 10 years. He writes about all areas of science for the international press, and has broadcast on TV and radio. His previous books include Designing the Molecular World, The Self-Made Tapestry, H20: A Biography of Water and The Ingredients: A Guided Tour of the Elements . He holds a degree in chemistry from Oxford University and a doctorate in physics from Bristol University. He lives in London, where his Homunculus Theatre Company occasionally performs on a shoestring budget.

Review quote

Review from previous edition If the intimate workings of molecules seem invisible, through Philip Ball's lively pros we see them-coming to life, helping us live. A special delight of this excellent book is the tie that emerges between the wondrous molecules of nature and those chemists make in the laboratory. Ronald Hoffmann, Chemistry Nobel Laureate 1981 Almost no aspect of the exciting advances in molecular research studies at the beginning of the 21st Century has been left untouched and in so doing, Ball has presented an imaginative, personal overview, which is as instructive as it is enjoyable to read. Harry Kroto, Chemistry Nobel Laureate 1996 At no point does Stories of the Invisible sacrifice sound science for sound bites - we are in the hands of a scholar and true believer. John Emsley Nature 20/08/2001 This is a very readable and non-technical survey ... All of the ingredients of a good work of ficiton are here. It really is a good bedtime read for all. THES 04/01/2002 Stories of the Invisible is a lucid account of the way that chemists see the molecular world ... the text is enriched with many historical and literature references, and is accessible to the reader untrained in chemistry THES, 04/01/2002

Table of contents

1. Engineers of the Invisible: Making molecules ; 2. Vital Signs: The molecules of life ; 3. Take the Strain: Materials from molecules ; 4. The Burning Issue: Molecules and energy ; 5. Good Little Movers: Molecular motors ; 6. Delivering the Message: Molecular communication ; 7. The Chemical Computer: Molecular informatoin ; Notes and Further Reading