A Choice Outstanding Academic Title (2005)
“This is a wonderful and entertaining book. The title reflects the authors’ desire that their work be considered a primer for the curious adult…I cannot think of any chemistry book I have read that has been more successful than this one in meeting such an ambitious goal…extremely well-written. The tone and pacing are reader-friendly…This would be a great book club selection…would also be a great book for the chemistry teacher at the high school level or introductory college level…I give the book my strongest recommendation.”
—Journal of Chemical Education“Think of this as a chemistry education condensed into a single book: a lightning tour of the field for the uninitiated."
—Publishers Weekly“The discussions presented are well written and accurate…It would be a useful supplemental text for an introductory high school or college chemistry course…the lab demonstrations alone would be an excellent resource for the junior high or high school science teacher.”
—Science Books & Films“If chemistry was never your cup of tea, you’ll become a convert with The Joy of Chemistry ... With a simple set of grocery store chemicals and a good pair of safety goggles, adults can rediscover the basics of chemistry while having fun. Even though it’s not written for students, this book’s common sense safety advice and the sense of wonder that pervades every pages will inspire general science teachers to adapt many of these explorations for the classroom.”
For many, chemistry is perceived as a burdensome affair, weighed down with mathematics and restricted to well-guarded research facilities. While these facets of chemistry are certainly of paramount importance, laboratories and calculators do not necessarily convey the inherent beauty of chemistry or the excitement of chemistry at work.
This book challenges the perception of chemistry as too difficult to bother with and too clinical to be any fun. Cathy Cobb and Monty L. Fetterolf, both professional chemists and experienced educators, introduce readers to the magic, elegance, and, yes, joy of chemistry. From the fascination of fall foliage and fireworks, to the functioning of smoke detectors and computers, to the fundamentals of digestion (as when good pizza goes bad!), the authors illustrate the concepts of chemistry in terms of everyday experience, using familiar materials.
The authors begin with a bang—a colorful bottle rocket assembled from common objects you find in the garage—and then present the principles of chemistry using household chemicals and friendly, nontechnical language. They guide the reader through the basics of atomic structure, the nature of molecular bonds, and the vibrant universe of chemical reactions. Using analogy and example to illuminate essential concepts such as thermodynamics, photochemistry, electrochemistry, and chemical equilibrium, they explain the whys and wherefores of chemical reactions. Hands-on demonstrations, selected for their ease of execution and relevance, illustrate basic principles, and lively commentaries emphasize the fun and fascination of learning about chemistry.
This delightful and richly informative book amply proves that chemistry can appeal to our intuition, logic, and—if we’re willing to get down and dirty—our sense of enjoyment too.
Book Binding: Paperback
Shipping Weight: 1lbs
Cathy Cobb is the highly acclaimed author of Magick, Mayhem, and Mavericks: The Spirited History of Physical Chemistry and, with H. Goldwhite, Creations of Fire: Chemistry’s Lively History from Alchemy to the Atomic Age. She is currently an instructor of calculus and physics at Aiken Preparatory School and an adjunct professor of chemistry at the University of South Carolina at Aiken.
Monty L. Fetterolf is professor of chemistry at the University of South Carolina at Aiken.