Curious Tales from Chemistry

Curious Tales from Chemistry : The Last Alchemist in Paris and Other Episodes

3.38 (77 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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This is a book about discovery and disaster, exploitation and invention, warfare and science - and the relationship between human beings and the chemical elements that make up our planet. Lars Ohrstrom introduces us to a variety of elements from S to Pb through tales of ordinary and extraordinary people from around the globe. We meet African dictators controlling vital supplies of uranium; eighteenth-century explorers searching out sources of precious metals;
industrial spies stealing the secrets of steel-making. We find out why the Hindenburg airship was tragically filled with hydrogen, not helium; why nail-varnish remover played a key part in World War I; and the real story behind the legend of tin buttons and the downfall of Napoleon. In each chapter, we find
out about the distinctive properties of each element and the concepts and principles that have enabled scientists to put it to practical use. These are the fascinating (and sometimes terrifying) stories of chemistry in action.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 137 x 195 x 17mm | 202g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 51 black and white line drawings and halftones
  • 0198743920
  • 9780198743927
  • 29,254

Table of contents

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Review quote

Most of the tales are fascinating and truly relevant to the element's place in history. ... The Last Alchemist in Paris is recommended for those with more than a passing interest in science, people willing to take the time to slow down and follow the explanations provided with each equation and to appreciate Ohrstrom's enjoyment of the elegance of chemistry drawing. --fangirlnation
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About Lars OEhrstroem

Lars OEhrstroem is a Swedish inorganic chemist who has also worked in France, Botswana, Switzerland, and the USA. He was educated at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and currently he is professor at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. At Chalmers he has devoted much time to teaching and curriculum development for the first year chemistry courses and recently he has made a number of popular science podcasts for Chemistry
World magazine. His main research interest is in Metal-Organic Frameworks, which are new types of potentially porous materials with budding technological applications, especially in green and sustainable chemical manufacturing.
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Rating details

77 ratings
3.38 out of 5 stars
5 6% (5)
4 36% (28)
3 47% (36)
2 9% (7)
1 1% (1)
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