From Stars to Stalagmites: How Everything Connects

From Stars to Stalagmites: How Everything Connects

by Paul S Braterman


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789814324977
Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Company, Incorporated
Publication date: 05/01/2012
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

Introduction ix

1 The Age of the Earth - An Age-Old Question Who thought what and when, and why 1

2 Atoms Old and New From Democritus to Rutherford 22

3 The Banker Who Lost His Head Lavoisier, gunpowder, revolution, and the birth of modern chemistry 39

4 From Particles to Molecules, with A Note On Homoeopathy Dalton, Avogadro, Cannizzaro; why did it take so long for the penny to drop? 51

5 The Discovery of the Noble Gases - What's so New About Neon? A tiny difference in density leads to a whole new group of elements 75

6 Science, War, and Morality; The Tragedy of Fritz Haber Ammonia, explosives, fertiliser, gas warfare, and the most unintended of consequences 86

7 The Ozone Hole Story - A Mystery with Three Suspects Volcano, refrigerator, or jet plane? 112

8 Rain Gauge, Thermometer, Calendar, Warning What a stalagmite tells us about climate past; what history tells us about climate future 129

9 Making Metal Iron from the sky 136

Philistines and Phoenicians

Domestic uses of arsenic

Eros in Piccadilly

The jet age

10 In Praise of Uncertainty 162

Unavoidable, and a good thing too

11 Everything is Fuzzy 174

And the smaller, the fuzzier

Waves are particles

Particles are waves

Crisis in the atom

12 Why Things Have Shapes 190

Lewis's magic cubes

Stealing, sharing, double counting

The power of repulsion

13 Why Grass is Green or Why Our Blood is Red 209

An old question answered

From sunlight to sugar

A brief history of colour vision

Blood and iron

14 Why Water is Weird 217

Fragile bonds

Floating ice and foreign policy

Molecular recognition and the molecules of life

15 The Sun, The Earth, The Greenhouse 226

Yellow-hot sun, infrared-warm Earth

When it comes to carbon dioxide, more is more

Disinformation and denialism

16 In The Beginning 241

From Big Bang to small planet

The birth and death of stars

Size matters

The making of the elements

Vital dust

Endnotes 253

Glossary 286

Index 301

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