This book is one of ten that were published by Doubleday & Company, Inc. Notall of the books centered on chemistry and like science. Most just coveredanything Isaac Asimov wondered about. These Essays date back quite aways with arange from January 1959 to April 1966. INORGANIC CHEMISTRYThe Weighting GameThis i found to be the most boring in the whole book.
It coverschemical atomic weight and physical atomic weight. It also gives chemicalmethods that determine the atomic weight. Slow burnThis is a description of how Isaac newton contributed to the field ofchemistry along with what civilizations thought of chemistry. Then he talksabout a pathologically shy, absentminded, stuffy, women-hating chemist.
Thisman did make some discoveries about inflammable gas and proved water to be anoxide. The Element of PerfectionAsimov talks about astronomers in the mid 1800’s, and how they made thespectroscope. Only then does he start to mention a element a french chemistbelived to be new or maybe just a heavier from of nitrogen. Inert gases andthere liquefaction points are then listed along when they when fisrt liquefiedby a chemist. Welcome, Stranger!This talks about the rarest of stable enert gases, xenon. It also tellswhy that in 1962 so many expirements were done involving this gas.
Fisrt itdefines the word gas, and talks about different types in about four pages. Thenshe talks about how it is combined with flourine to form a poison. Death in the LabratoryHere Asimov talks about how scientists have died due to poor labconditions and other matters. He also tells you a few way to poison youself ina lab such as mixing xenon and flourine.
He then goes off and explains howflourine was used and discovered along with who died in this process. A fewother poisonous chemical compounds are also mentioned. To Tell a ChemistThis is Isaac Asimov’s way of telling if someone is chemist or not. Thetwo questions are: (1) How do you pronounce UNIONIZED? and (2) what is a mole?He feels that if you can say un-EYE-on-ized and talk for hours about molecularweight to define mole, then you must be a chemist.
NUCLEAR CHEMISTRYThe Evens Have ItConcluded here is how isotopes are impractical and how to identify them. He then descibes how an isotope is constructed. also he says an element with aneven atomic number is without stable or semi-stable elements, execpt nineelements. Thus the Earth is of the even/even form having isotopes wtih an evennumber of neutrons. ORGANIC CHEMISTRYYou, Too, Can Speak GaelicHere you are given basic instrucions on how to pronouce seventeensylable words.
His example is para-dimethylaminobenzaldehyde (PA-ruh-dy-METH-il-a-MEE-noh-ben-ZAL-duh-hide). He then tells the origin and evolution of thedifferent words for methyl and ethyl alcohol along with there atomic structure. BIOCHEMISTRYThe Haste-makersAsimov talks about catalysts and the origins. He tells how a catalystworks and what causes it to. Also, he proves that a catalyst is in no waymagical after having a lecture about this from his editor.
In the end catalystare made of enzymes that cause life. Life’s BottleneckThis deals with how man is dumping phosphorus into the ocean due toplumbing. this is mixing up the ocean and the sea floor causing phosphorus tostay at the bottom of ocean instead of circulating. Also, sewage dumping is amajor pollutant for the ocean. The Egg and WeeAsimov talks about and contemplates how all life can be placed in a eggwhich is so small. He ends by talking about the volume and number of atomscertain viruses contain along with who died studying them.
That’s LifeExplanations of life are given here. Asimov talks about people theoriesand definitions of life over past years. People tried to say what was livingand what was dead by definitions that were there own counter example. A lenghtydefinition was presented at the end with no loopholes that were detectable. Not as We Know ItCovered here are different posibile backgrounds for sustaining life. Water is the background we live off.
The closest he compared is ammonia due tosimilarities in water they share. Asimov, a detailed science fiction author,also metions such alterantives as vaporous, metal, energy, and mental beings. These would live in space, energy, stars, hyperspace. GEOCHEMISTRYRecipe for a PlanetThis was written when the united states and the former Soviet Union wereattempting to drill into the center of the Earth. This project, Mohole ,haslong since been abandoned. Ideas are presented about possible center of theEarth such as iron or olivine (a magnesium iron silicate).
The percentages bywieght are given for the different substance that make up the Earth in thesepeople’s theories. At the end is a recipe to construct a planet as somewhat ofa joke. No More Ice Ages?This deals with the fact that by having coal and oil buring power plants,we are giving off too much carbon dioxide. That may cause another ice age or aworld wide tropic. It also deals with how nuclear waste from power plants isbeing dispoed of.
GENERALThe Noblemen of ScienceIsaac Asimov decided to write this essay after he was called by areporting wanting to know who three frenchmen were that had just won the nobelprize. Since he didn’t know he decided to make a list of all pepople who had wonthe nobel preize in the fields of physics, chemistry, and medicine. He alsosupplied the country in which each scientist recieved his or her undergradutetraining. The Isaac WinnersThere are people that Isaac Asimov feel are the best in the field ofscience; so he made The Isaac Winners. This award is named after Isaac Newton(besides who else could it be).
Asimov has made a list of seventy – two peoplehe feels are the contedors. Then, after listing and giving a brief descriptionof the canidates, he gives you a list of how many people think in what language. Most thought in English, while the least thought in Russian. Then he list histop ten in alphabetical order giving there religion and nationality..