Ten Beautiful Experiments in Chemistry
Philip Ball (Author)
Devising and performing a scientific experiment is an art, and it is common to hear scientists talk about the 'beauty' of an experiment. What does this mean in chemistry, the experimental science par excellence? And what are the most beautiful chemical experiments of all time? This book offers ten suggestions for where beauty might reside in experimental chemistry. In some cases the beauty lies in the clarity of conception; sometimes it is a feature of the instrumental design. But for chemistry, there can also be a unique beauty in the way atoms are put together to make new molecules, substances not known in nature. The ten experiments described here offer a window into the way that chemists think and work, and how what they do affects the rest of science and the wider world. This book aims to stimulate the reader to think anew about some of the relationships and differences between science and art, and to challenge some of the common notions about particular 'famous experiments'. Elegant Solutions: Ten Beautiful Experiments in Chemistry is accessible to all readers, including those without a scientific background and can provide an unusual point of entry into some of the basic concepts of chemistry. Phillip Ball is a renowned, prolific, award winning science writer.
It is rare for a book on chemistry to involve such feelings of awe as this one does. Elegant Solutions is an absolute delight, completely fulfilling Armstrong's words about the chemist being full of feeling. Wherever you work in chemistry, this book will have something to help you, to set you thinking, and to make you proud of your professional calling. Make sure you get a copy.
Source : Education in Chemistry, March 2006 (John Nicholson)
One of Ball's objectives is to encourage us to think about what an experiment is and what role experiments play in the evolution of science.The whole book is full of vivid characters, pointed anecdote and insightful comment, and is a delight to read. It is accessible to any reasonably well-motivated non-chemist, and would make a fine present for such a person.
Source : Chemistry & Industry, 15th May 2006 (Martyn Berry)
"...wonderful, compelling read...""...will be of interest to chemistrs and historians alike. This is a timely and very welcome achievement."
Source : Ambix, Vol 54, No 1 March 2007, Pedro Cintas
This is a delightful (beautiful?) book that deserves a wide audience......The book contains ten chapters that do more than describe individual experiments; they put it in the context of contemporary thought and attitudes and the characters of the chemists themselves.It should be read by A-level students to put their learning in context and by undergraduates to examine the experimental process....an excellent addition to Phillip Ball's growing list of popular science titles.
Source : Physical Sciences Educational Reviews, Volume 8, Issue 2, October 2007 (Roy Lowry)
This book is particularly strong in that it is readily accessible by a general readership. It provokes you to think about how aesthetic values are related to experimental virtues.
Source : Joachim Schummer,
I highly recommend Ball's book, which makes much of chemistry. Accessible to the nonchemist.
Source : Bulletin for the History of Chemistry, Vol 31, Number 1 (2006) (Leo B Slater)