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Preface; Introduction; 1. Simple substances; 2. Fuels, fats and soaps; 3. Synthetic and natural polymers; 4. Taste, smell, and pain; 5. Sight and colour; 6. The light and the dark; 7. Life.
P. W. Atkins is a fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, and Professor of Physical Chemistry. His works include The Periodic Kingdom, Atoms, Electrons, and Change as well as the best-selling textbook Physical Chemistry.
'... the book is a treasure trove, and I defy anyone not to find some new and surprising fact about a subject thought familiar.' Chemistry & Industry 'We need to be reminded that matter, ordinary matter, is mysterious and magical ... In Atkins' delightful book, the Cinderella of chemistry begins to look a lot like a beautiful princess.' The Boston Globe From reviews of the first edition: 'This is undoubtedly the most beautiful chemistry book ever written ...' New Scientist 'The cast list is sublimely eclectic: from corn to cannabis and from silk to civet cats; from vanilla to Viagra, and from the smell of death to the start of life ... this thoroughly readable, handsomely illustrated work - less a formal textbook, more a vade-mecum of chemical diversity - should encourage many more people to fiddle with compounds. Chemists' shelves should stock it. Chemistry World 'The author's deep enthusiasm for his discipline ... is unmistakably felt throughout this beautifully produced volume.' The Chemical Educator