Asimov on ChemistryThe Book Asimov on Chemistry by Isaac Asimov is a collection of seventeen essays that he wrote for The Magazine of Fantasy and ScienceFiction. This book is one of ten that were published by Doubleday & Company, Inc. Not all of the books centered on chemistry and like science. Most just covered anything Isaac Asimov wondered about. These Essays date back quite away with a range from January 1959 to April 1966. INORGANIC CHEMISTRYThe Weighting Game This I found to be the most boring in the whole book. It covers chemical atomic weight and physical atomic weight. It also gives chemical methods that determine the atomic weight. Slow burn is a description of how Isaac newton contributed to the field of chemistry along with what civilizations thought of chemistry. Then he talks about a pathologically shy, absentminded, stuffy, women-hating chemist.
This man did make some discoveries about inflammable gas and proved water to be an oxide. The Element of PerfectionAsimov talks about astronomers in the mid-1800’s, and how they made the spectroscope. Only then does he start to mention an element a french chemist believed to be new or maybe just a heavier form of nitrogen. Inert gases and their liquefaction points are then listed along when they when first liquefied by a chemist. Welcome, Stranger! This talks about the rarest of stable inert gases, xenon. It also tells why that in 1962 so many experiments were done involving this gas. First, it defines the word gas and talks about different types in about four pages. Then he talks about how it is combined with fluorine to form a poison. Death in the LabratoryHere Asimov talks about how scientists have died due to poor lab conditions and other matters. He also tells you a few ways to poison yourself in a lab such as mixing xenon and fluorine. He then goes off and explains how fluorine was used and discovered along with who died in this process.
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A few other poisonous chemical compounds are also mentioned. To Tell a ChemistThis is Isaac Asimov’s way of telling if someone is a chemist or not. The two questions are: (1) How do you pronounce UNIONIZED? and (2) what is amole? He feels that if you can say un-EYE-on-size and talk for hours about molecular weight 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 describes how an isotope is constructed. also, he says an element with an even atomic number is without stable or semi-stable elements, except nine elements. Thus the Earth is of the even/even form having isotopes with an even number of neutrons. ORGANIC CHEMISTRYYou, Too, Can Speak GaelicHere you are given basic instructions on how to pronounce seventeen syllable words. His example is para-dimethyl amino benzaldehyde (PA-ruh-dy-METH-il-a-MEE-noh-ben-ZAL-duh-hide). He then tells the origin and evolution of the different words for methyl and ethyl alcohol along with their atomic structure.
BIOCHEMISTRY. The Haste makes Asimov talks about catalysts and the origins. He tells how a catalyst works and what causes it to. Also, he proves that a catalyst is in no way magical after having a lecture about this from his editor. In the end, catalysts are made of enzymes that cause life. Life’s BottleneckThis deals with how man is dumping phosphorus into the ocean due to plumbing. this is mixing up the ocean and the seafloor causing phosphorus to stay at the bottom of the ocean instead of circulating. Also, sewage dumping is a major pollutant for the ocean. The Egg and WeeAsimov talks about and contemplates how all life can be placed in an egg that is so small. He ends by talking about the volume and number of atoms certain viruses contain along with who died studying them. That’s LifeExplanations of life are given here. Asimov talks about people’s theories and definitions of life over past years. People tried to say what was living and what was dead by definitions that were their own counter-example.
A lengthy definition was presented at the end with no loopholes that were detectable. Not as We Know it covered here are different possible backgrounds for sustaining life. Water is the background we live off. The closest he compared is ammonia due to the similarities in water they share. Asimov, a detailed science fiction author, also mentions such alternatives 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 were attempting to drill into the center of the Earth. This project, Mohole, has long since been abandoned. Ideas are presented about the possible centers of the Earth such as iron or olivine (a magnesium iron silicate).
The percentages weight are given for the different substances that make up the Earth in these people’s theories. In the end, is a recipe to construct a planet as somewhat of a joke. No More Ice Ages? This deals with the fact that by having coal and oil-burning power plants, we are giving off too much carbon dioxide. That may cause another ice age or worldwide tropic. It also deals with how nuclear waste from power plants is being disposed of. general Noblemen of ScienceIsaac Asimov decided to write this essay after he was called by reporting wanting to know who three Frenchmen were that had just won the Nobel prize. Since he didn’t know he decided to make a list of all people who had won the Nobel prize in the fields of physics, chemistry, and medicine.
He also supplied the country in which each scientist received his or her undergraduate training. The Isaac WinnersThere are people that Isaac Asimov feels are the best in the field of science; 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 people he feels are the contenders. Then, after listing and giving a brief description of the candidates, 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 lists his top ten in alphabetical order giving their religion and nationality.