Strange Chemistry

Strange Chemistry : The Stories Your Chemistry Teacher Wouldn't Tell You

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Description

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
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Product details

  • Paperback | 364 pages
  • 156 x 228 x 19mm | 558g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • 1119265266
  • 9781119265269
  • 605,553

Back cover copy

Did you know that many components of foods come from quite unexpected sources, for instance, Gummi Bears(R) are actually made from cows, Junior Mints(R) are shiny because they are coated with bug secretions, and many packaged luncheon meats have viruses added to them?

Strange Chemistry opens the audience's eyes to the extra-ordinary scientific secrets hiding in the everyday objects around them. The book covers broad subjects that touch on everyday life, including the chemistry of poisons, illicit drugs, explosives, foods, common household products, and radiation.

Readers will find the information not only intriguing, but also absorbing and edgy. Unlike other science interest books, Strange Chemistry focuses on the darker, wilder side of chemistry, which, unfortunately, most authors and chemistry teachers tend to avoid.

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.
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Table of contents

Dedication Preface Chapter 1: If you do not know anything chemistry, this chapter is for you 1.1 Representing Atoms and Molecules in Chemistry 1.2 Neurotransmitters 1.3 Intermolecular Forces Chapter 2: The Only True Aphrodisiac and Other Chemical Extremes 2.1 Death is its Withdrawal Symptom! 2.2 What is the Number One Cause of Liver Failure in the U.S.? 2.3 The Most Addictive Substance Known 2.4 40 Million Times Deadlier Than Cyanide 2.5 The Most Abused Drug in the U.S. 2.6 What is the Only Known Aphrodisiac? 2.7 The Most Consumed Psychoactive Substance 2.8 40,000 Tons of Aspirin 2.9 How Bitter is the Bitterest? 2.10 $62.5 Trillion per Gram 2.11 What is the Most Abundant Source of Air Pollution? 2.12 Where Did That Rash Come From? 2.13 It Would Take an Elephant on a Pencil 2.14 The Largest Industrial Accident in World History 2.15 What is the Most Important Chemical Reaction? 2.16 References Chapter 3: The Poisons in Everyday Things 3.1 Why is Antifreeze Lethal? 3.2 Aquadots: What a Difference a Carbon Makes! 3.3 How can Visine(R) Kill You? 3.4 Death by BENGAY(R) 3.5 It s in 93% of people in the U.S. 3.6 The Dreaded...Apricot Pits? 3.7 Honey Intoxication 3.8 The DMSO Patient 3.9 Deadly Helium Balloons 3.10 The 2007 Pet Food Recall 3.11 Mercury in Vaccines and Eye Drops? 3.12 The World s Deadliest Frog 3.13 Leaded Candy 3.14 Why not Drink "Real" Root Beer? 3.15 The Killer Fog 3.16 Nail Polish or Nail Poison? 3.17 Game Board Danger 3.18 What Molecule Killed "Weird Al" Yankovic s Parents? 3.19 Deadly Popcorn 3.20 Even Water can be Poisonous 3.21 References Chapter 4: Why Old Books Smell Good and Other Mysteries of Everyday Objects 4.1 The Smell of Old Books and the Hidden Vanilla extract Underworld 4.2 That Smell is You! 4.3 Electric Blue 4.4 The World s Most Abundant Organic Compound 4.5 Chalk Used to be Alive 4.6 Decaffeinated? Try Deflavored! 4.7 Bad Blood 4.8 The Problem with Dry Cleaning 4.9 The Smell of Dead Fish 4.10 How to Make a Spark 4.11 The New Car Smell 4.12 A Gecko Can t Stick to it! 4.13 Why Are Day Glow Colors and Highlighter Pens So Bright? 4.14 Why Your White Clothes are not Really White? 4.15 How can Spray-On Sunscreen be Dangerous? 4.16 There is Ink in that Paper 4.17 Vomit and Sunless Tanners 4.18 Formaldehyde: Funerals, Flooring, and Outer Space 4.19 References Chapter 5: Bath Salts and Other Drugs of Abuse 5.1 What are the Dangers of Bath Salts? 5.2 What to do If You Want Your Skin to Turn Blue 5.3 The Flesh-Rotting Street Drug 5.4 How does a Breathalyzer Detect a Blood Alcohol Level? 5.5 How to Become a Brewery 5.6 How was a Painkiller Used to Free Hostages? 5.7 The Secret Ingredient in Coca-Cola(R) 5.8 Why is Crack Cocaine so Addicting? 5.9 Cocaine Smuggling vs. Methamphetamine Manufacture 5.10 What Basic Common Ingredient is Needed to Make the Drugs Vicodin(R), Percocet(R), Oxycontin(R) & Percodan(R)? 5.11 Drug Money is Right 5.12 What Percentage of Americans use Prescription Drugs? 5.13 Are you Ready for Powdered Alcohol? 5.14 Ecstasy is Ruining the Rainforests 5.15 How are Moldy Bread, Migraine Headaches, LSD, and the Salem Witch Trials all Related? 5.16 References Chapter 6: Why Oil is Such a Big Part of Our Lives 6.1 What Material is used to Make Roughly 80% of all Pharmaceuticals? 6.2 Why do Scientists Think Oil Comes from Fossilized Plants and Animals? 6.3 How is Oil Made? 6.4 Where is Most of the Carbon in the World? 6.5 The Most Widely Recycled Material in the US 6.6 What Material is used to Make Asphalt? 6.7 How Oil Helped to Save the Whales 6.8 References Chapter 7: Why Junior Mints Are Shiny and Other Weird Facts about Your Food 7.1 Why is Gum Chewy? 7.2 The Problem with Gummi Bears 7.3 What is the Easiest Way to Peel a Tomato? 7.4 Another Way to Eat Insect Parts! 7.5 Why is High Fructose Corn Syrup More Consumed than Sugar? 7.6 What Causes Rancid Butter to Stink? 7.7 Why Does Mint Make Your Mouth Feel "Cold? 7.8 It s Probably Not Really Fresh Squeezed 7.9 Why are Viruses Added to Some Sandwich Meat? 7.10 What is Margarine Made From? 7.11 Why are Junior Mints Shiny? 7.12 References Chapter 8: The Radioactive Banana and Other Natural Radioactivity 8.1 Where Does the Helium we use in Balloons Come From? 8.2 The First Person to Win Two Nobel Prizes 8.3 Where is the Radioactive Material in YOUR House? 8.4 Which Elements were First Detected in Radioactive Fallout from a Nuclear Bomb? 8.5 Radioactivity in Wristwatches, Exit Signs, & H-Bombs 8.6 The Earth is One Giant Nuclear Reactor 8.7 Are Nuclear Reactors Natural ? 8.8 Are Your Gemstones Radioactive? 8.9 Radon: The Radioactive Gas in Your Home 8.10 The Radioactive Banana 8.11 References Chapter 9: Chemistry is Explosive! 9.1 How do Bullets Work? 9.2 What is the Most Commonly Used Explosive in North America? 9.3 What Non-Nuclear Substance is the Most Explosive? 9.4 What Poison is used as an Explosive in Airbags? 9.5 Explosive Heart Medicine 9.6 References Chapter 10: The Chemistry in Breaking Bad and other Popular Culture 10.1 How Does Methamphetamine act as a Stimulant? 10.2 What is Pseudo, and how is it Related to Methamphetamine? 10.3 What is Ricin? 10.4 The Thalidomide Disaster 10.5 What Is Phosphine Gas, and Why Is It a Potential Murder Weapon? 10.6 Acetylcholine, Pesticides, and Nerve Gas 10.7 References Chapter 11: Why You Shouldn t Use Illegally Made Drugs: The Real Reason 11.1 Why you Shouldn t use Illegally Made Drugs 11.2 The Tragic Case of the Frozen Addicts 11.3 References Index
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Review Text

"Behind every chemist is a teacher who, by their enthusiasm, has made the subject interesting to his or her pupils. Dr. Farmer is such a teacher who has gone to great pains to make his subject relevant to his audience ... The author has composed over a hundred articles on various topics across the whole spectrum of chemistry ranging from the initial chapter on the nature of the chemical bond to the composition of road asphalt ... [this book] should be possessed by every chemistry teacher and I cannot recommend it too highly." Chromatographia, December 2017

"A chemistry professor teaches "the stories your chemistry teachers wouldn't tell you" through short, accessible lessons on drugs, deadly household items, mysteries of ordinary objects, and more ... Each lesson is no more than a few pages long and successfully shows how relevant chemistry is in everyday life ...The short sections and accessible language will keep readers' attention, and the frequent addition of molecular structures could be a useful addition to chemistry courses. An engaging chemistry lesson that also serves as an encyclopedia to understanding the world around us." Kirkus, January 2018
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Review quote

"Behind every chemist is a teacher who, by their enthusiasm, has made the subject interesting to his or her pupils. Dr. Farmer is such a teacher who has gone to great pains to make his subject relevant to his audience ... The author has composed over a hundred articles on various topics across the whole spectrum of chemistry ranging from the initial chapter on the nature of the chemical bond to the composition of road asphalt ... [this book] should be possessed by every chemistry teacher and I cannot recommend it too highly." Chromatographia, December 2017



"A chemistry professor teaches "the stories your chemistry teachers wouldn't tell you" through short, accessible lessons on drugs, deadly household items, mysteries of ordinary objects, and more ... Each lesson is no more than a few pages long and successfully shows how relevant chemistry is in everyday life ...The short sections and accessible language will keep readers' attention, and the frequent addition of molecular structures could be a useful addition to chemistry courses. An engaging chemistry lesson that also serves as an encyclopedia to understanding the world around us." Kirkus, January 2018


"The book is definitely recommended for chemists at all levels and to their students." Dansk Kemi, October 2018
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About Steven Farmer

Steven Farmer, PhD, 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.
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Rating details

28 ratings
4.21 out of 5 stars
5 43% (12)
4 36% (10)
3 21% (6)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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