A fascinating collection of the pictures, figures, and diagrams that chemists create to explain their craft
In A Chemical History Tour, Arthur Greenberg took readers on a wild romp through the history of chemistry, introducing the unique characters, sometimes bizarre theories, and novel experiments that ultimately produced the modern science. Now Greenberg returns with more tales of chemistry glory, lovingly chronicling the extraordinary artwork that alchemists and chemists have produced in their pursuit of understanding the nature of matter in The Art of Chemistry: Myths, Medicines, and Materials.
The Art of Chemistry employs 187 figures (including 16 full-color plates) to illuminate 72 essays on the mythical origins, wondrous experiments, and adventurous explorers in the annals of chemistry. Greenberg divides his delightful study into eight sections:
- Spiritual and Mythological Roots
- Stills, Cupels, and Weapons
- Medicines, Purges, and Ointments
- An Emerging Science
- Two Revolutions in France
- A Young Country and a Young Theory
- Specialization and Systemization
- Some Fun
Each section tracks chemistry's incremental progress from myth to modern science, featuring the figures and diagrams that early chemists used to explain their craft. Along the way, readers will meet the deadly basilisk and the fabulous phoenix that populated the lore of pre-modern chemistry, learn the contributions to chemistry of the American natural philosopher Benjamin Franklin, and encounter Antoine Lavoisier, the father of modern chemistry and perhaps France's greatest economist.
Greenberg also examines our fundamental connections with science through two personal essays, one on an adolescent friend who improbably (but perhaps inevitably) became a world-renowned entomology professor and the other on his quest to discover his own chemical heritage. The Art of Chemistry is sure to inform and entertain anyone interested in our eternal quest to know the natural world.