Illustrated with remarkable new full-color images--indeed, one or more on every page--and written by one of the world's leading authorities on the subject, Reactions offers a compact, pain-free tour of the inner workings of chemistry.
Reactions begins with the chemical formula almost everyone
knows--the formula for water, H2O--a molecule with an "almost
laughably simple chemical composition." But Atkins shows that water
is also rather miraculous--it is the only substance whose solid
form is less dense than its liquid (hence ice floats in water)--and
incredibly central to many chemical reactions, as it is an
excellent solvent, being able to dissolve gases and many solids.
Moreover, Atkins tells us that water is actually chemically
aggressive, and can react with and destroy the compounds dissolved
in it, and he shows us what happens at the molecular level when
water turns to ice--and when it melts.
Moving beyond water, Atkins slowly builds up a toolkit of basic
chemical processes, including precipitation (perhaps the simplest
of all chemical reactions), combustion, reduction, corrosion,
electrolysis, and catalysis. He then shows how these fundamental
tools can be brought together in more complex processes such as
photosynthesis, radical polymerization, vision, enzyme control, and
Peter Atkins is the world-renowned author of numerous best-selling
chemistry textbooks for students. In this crystal-clear,
attractively illustrated, and insightful volume, he provides a
fantastic introductory tour--in just a few hundred colorful and
lively pages - for anyone with a passing or serious interest in