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From Atoms to Molecules: Studies in the History of Chemistry from the 19th Century

Series: Variorum Collected Studies Series

By: Colin A Russell

340 pages, 25 b/w illus


Hardback | Feb 2010 | #187945 | ISBN-13: 9780754668558
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £85.00 $111/€97 approx

About this book

The focus of this volume is the history of organic chemistry, which arose improbably out of early speculations about the construction of chemical compounds, and in particular their electrochemical nature. The rise of electrochemistry and the work of Berzelius were critical in this regard, and receive much attention in the first few chapters in this book. Aspects of the contributions of Frankland and those of Kekule and Hofmann are considered, together with the miscellaneous functions of organic synthesis and the origins of conformational analysis.

Questions of chemical organisation are germane to the whole sequence of events and are briefly summarized before the whole last hundred years of organic chemistry are placed in historical perspective.


Introduction; 'Rude and disgraceful beginnings': a view of the history of chemistry from the 19th century; The electrochemical theory of Sir Humphry Davy - I: the voltaic pile and electrolysis; Ibid. II: Electrical interpretations of chemistry; Ibid. III: The evidence of the Royal Institution manuscripts; The electrochemical theory of Berzelius - I: origins of the theory; Ibid II: An electrochemical view of matter; Berzelius and the atomic theory; Introduction to Essai sur la Theorie des Proportions Chimiques et sur l'influence chimique de l'Electricite, by J.J. Berzelius; Chemistry on the edge of Europe: growth and decline in Sweden; The archives of Sir Edward Frankland: resources, problems and methods; Chemical techniques in a pre-electronic age: the remarkable apparatus of Edward Frankland; Kekule and Frankland: a psychological puzzle?; Early concepts of aromatic substitution, 1; August Wilhelm Hofman, cosmopolitan chemist; The changing role of synthesis in organic chemistry; The origins of conformational analysis; Advances in organic chemistry over the last 100 years; Chemical bonds 1841-1991: 150 years of the British chemical community; Index.

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Professor Colin A. Russell, The Open University and the University of Cambridge. UK.

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