Molecules: A Very Short Introduction [#101]
Molecules: A Very Short Introduction [#101]


  • Popular science writing at its very best
  • Takes newcomers to the subject all the way up to current research in new areas of chemistry
  • A non-traditional approach to chemistry, focusing on what chemistry might become during this century, rather than a survey of its past
  • Concentrates on molecules in living systems, and on how synthetic chemistry often takes its inspiration from organic molecules

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.


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


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 WorldThe 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 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


ISBN : 9780192854308

Philip Ball
184 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Molecules: A Very Short Introduction [#101]

Molecules: A Very Short Introduction [#101]

Molecules: A Very Short Introduction [#101]