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Chemistry: A Very Short Introduction [#417]
Chemistry: A Very Short Introduction [#417]
  • First published as the hardback What is Chemistry? The infrastructure of the modern world
  • A lively authoritative introduction, celebrating the importance of chemistry
  • Explains its basic structures, principles, and applications
  • Demonstrates the vital place chemistry plays in cutting-edge developments, such as nanotechnology and smart materials

Most people remember chemistry from their schooldays as largely incomprehensible, a subject that was fact-rich but understanding-poor, smelly, and so far removed from the real world of events and pleasures that there seemed little point, except for the most introverted, in coming to terms with its grubby concepts, spells, recipes, and rules. Peter Atkins wants to change all that. 

In this Very Short Introduction to Chemistry, he encourages us to look at chemistry anew, through a chemist's eyes, in order to understand its central concepts and to see how it contributes not only towards our material comfort, but also to human culture. Atkins shows how chemistry provides the infrastructure of our world, through the chemical industry, the fuels of heating, power generation, and transport, as well as the fabrics of our clothing and furnishings. 

By considering the remarkable achievements that chemistry has made, and examining its place between both physics and biology, Atkins presents a fascinating, clear, and rigorous exploration of the world of chemistry - its structure, core concepts, and exciting contributions to new cutting-edge technologies. 


1: Its origins, scope, and organization
2: Its principles: atoms and molecules
3: Its principles: energy and entropy
4: Its reactions
5: Its techniques
6: Its achievements
7: Its future
Further reading

About the author: 

Peter Atkins, Fellow of Lincoln College, University of Oxford
Peter Atkins is the author of about 70 books, including the world-renowned and widely used Physical Chemistry, now in its 10th edition. He won the Grady-Stack award for science journalism in 2016. After graduating from the University of Leicester and a post-doctoral year in the University of California, Los Angeles, he returned to Oxford in 1965 as Fellow of Lincoln College and University Lecturer (later Professor) in physical chemistry. He retired in 2007, but continues to write and lecture worldwide.

"...made me realise that science and poetic language can make for a perfect blend Most popular science books try to astound the reader with images of colourful reactions - Chemistry has nothing in that vein but instead surprises with vivid descriptions and creative analogies." - Education in Chemistry

"I heartily recommend this book it is an enjoyable read both for chemists and non-chemists alike" - Chemistry World

Product details

ISBN : 9780199683970

Peter Atkins
128 Pages
111 x 174 mm
Pub date
Feb 2015
Very Short Introductions
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Chemistry: A Very Short Introduction [#417]

Chemistry: A Very Short Introduction [#417]

Chemistry: A Very Short Introduction [#417]