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Thursday, June 03, 2021

Review: Molecules - The Elements and the Architecture of Everything

 I bought Molecules hoping Bowen would read it. He showed no interest but I read it and loved it! Chemistry was one of my favorite subjects in high school, and this book reminded me so much of what was fun about it. There's a great explanation of valence, electron shells, and even the quantum nature of atoms, and it's not dumbed down in any way and accurate. There's an explanation of what organic chemistry is vs inorganic chemistry (something my high school never got to), and then great diagrams and explanations of the various substances and how they work and differ from each other.

At times Theodore Gray waxes poetic:

Flowers are known for sometimes looking dramatically different under ultraviolet (UV) light. That’s because bees see further into the UV spectrum than we do, and the colors and patterns of flowers are for their benefit, not ours. It turns out that many organic compounds absorb some light in the UV range that bees can see, so while nearly all organic compounds are white to us, to bees more of them look colored. What colors are they? We have no words for these hues. Their names can be spoken only in the dance language of the bees as they tell their tales of the paths they have flown and the flowers they have seen. (Kindle Loc 2996)

What a great book. Recommended!


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