Cohesion: A Scientific History of Intermolecular Forces

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Overview

Why does matter stick together? Why do gases condense to liquids, and liquids to solids? This book is a detailed historical account of how some of the leading scientists of the past three centuries have tried to answer these questions. Organized into four broad periods of advances in understanding, the first three are associated with Newton, Laplace and van der Waals, while the fourth gives an account of the successful use in the twentieth century of quantum and statistical mechanics to resolve most of the remaining problems.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Rowlinson has crowned a distinguished research career by writing a detailed technical history of the field in which he has made so many important contributions...I cannot praise this book enough." William B. Jensen, University of Cincinnati

"An intricate and intriguing saga...The book admirably fulfills its stated aim of serving historians of science and also physicists or physical chemists curious about the roots of modern approaches to intermolecular forces...Students of molecular science (and their teachers!) would do well to consult Rowlinson's book to see how discussions of topics such as capillarity, surface tension of liquids, elasticity of solids, and gas imperfection gain uncommon clarity from historical perspective, which brings out underlying assumptions and perplexing aspects often obscured in current texts. Those concerned about science literacy—either for the general public or for the coming generation of professionals—will find much material useful for seasoning their sermons." Physics Today

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521673556
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/30/2005
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Sir John Rowlinson is Dr Lee's Professor of Chemistry Emeritus in the department of chemistry at the University of Oxford.

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Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Introduction and summary; 2. Newton; 3. Laplace; 4. Van der Waals; 5. Resolution; Indexes.

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