A sweeping history of tragic genius, cutting-edge science, and the Haber-Bosch discovery that changed billions of lives--including your own. At the dawn of the twentieth century, humanity was facing global disaster: Mass starvation was about to become a reality. A call went out to the world’ s scientists to find a solution. This is the story of the two men who found it: brilliant, self-important Fritz Haber and reclusive, alcoholic Carl Bosch. Together they discovered a way to make bread out of air, built city-sized factories, and saved millions of lives. But their epochal triumph came at a price we are still paying. The Haber-Bosch process was also used to make the gunpowder and explosives that killed millions during the two world wars. Both men were vilified during their lives; both, disillusioned and disgraced, died tragically. The Alchemy of Air is the extraordinary, previously untold story of a discovery that changed the way we grow food and the way we make war–and that promises to continue shaping our lives in fundamental and dramatic ways.
A profile of pioneering scientists Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch describes their seminal discovery of a way to pull nitrogen out of the air to create synthetic fertilizer, a process that offered a solution to the critical food shortage confronting a growing global population but also led to the development of the gunpowder and explosives that killed millions during the World Wars. 30,000 first printing.
A profile of pioneering scientists Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch describes their seminal discovery of a way to pull nitrogen out of the air to create synthetic fertilizer, a process that offered a solution to the critical food shortage confronting a growing global population but also led to the development of the gunpowder and explosives that killed millions during the World Wars. 30,000 first printing.
This long-awaited biography of Fritz Haber, now abridged by the author and translated into English, illuminates the life of one of the most gifted yet controversial figures of the 20th century. Haber was a pioneer in electrochemistry and thermodynamics and won the Nobel Prize for his synthesis of ammonia, a process essential for both fertilizer and explosives. His dedication to work spurred his efforts to increase support for scientific study in Germany; yet it also helped cause the breakdown of his two marriages. His ardent patriotism led him to develop chemical weapons for World War I and to try to extract gold from seawater, to help pay for Germany's huge war reparations. Yet Haber, a Jew by birth, was exiled from his homeland in 1933 by the Nazi party and died shortly after.
A sweeping history of the discovery of the world's first antibiotic, sulfa, and its seminal influence on the fields of medicine and science looks at key figures in the battle against disease, how sulfa changed the way in which doctors treated patients, and how it transformed how new drugs are developed, approved, and sold. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.
A profile of pioneering scientists Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch describes their seminal discovery of a way to pull nitrogen out of the air to create synthetic fertilizer, a process that offered a solution to the critical food shortage confronting a growing global population but also led to the development of the gunpowder and explosives that killed millions during the World Wars. 30,000 first printing.
Tracing the career of Linus Pauling, one of the century's greatest American scientists and the only person to win two unshared Nobel prizes, a meticulouly researched chronicle shows how Pauling revolutionized chemistry and examines his controversial politics. 20,000 first printing.
"A gleeful, poetic book…Like the best natural histories, Dirt is a kind of prayer." —Los Angeles Times Book Review "You are about to read a lot about dirt, which no one knows very much about." So begins the cult classic that brings mystery and magic to "that stuff that won't come off your collar." John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Saint Phocas, Darwin, and Virgil parade through this thought-provoking work, taking their place next to the dung beetle, the compost heap, dowsing, historical farming, and the microscopic biota that till the soil. Whether William Bryant Logan is traversing the far reaches of the cosmos or plowing through our planet’s crust, his delightful, elegant, and surprisingly soulful meditations greatly enrich our concept of "dirt," that substance from which we all arise and to which we all must return.
In January 1934, as Hitler's shadow began to fall across Europe, a short, bald man carrying a German passport arrived at the Hotel Euler in Basle. He seemed haunted and restless, as though he urgently needed to be elsewhere. Fritz Haber, Nobel laureate in chemistry, confidante of Albert Einstein and German war hero, had arrived in Basle a broken man and, three days later, he died leaving an uncertain legacy. For some, the great German chemist was a benefactor of humanity, winner of a Nobel prize for inventing a way to nourish farmers' fields with nitrogen captured from the air. For others, he was a war criminal who personally supervised the unleashing of chlorine clouds against British, French and Canadian troops in World War I. Tragedy marked his life. A week after the first gas attack in 1915, Haber's wife took his pistol and shot herself. And in 1933, when Hitler came to power, 'the Jew Haber' was among the first scientists driven out of Germany. Within a year, Haber was dead - denied honour both in his homeland and abroad. No life reveals the moral paradox of science - its capacity to create and destroy - more clearly than Fritz Haber's. Between Genius and Genocide is a story filled with ambition, patriotism, hubris and tragedy, set amidst huge technological advances, arms races, mounting imperialism and war.
Naming and defining the alienating features of everyday life in consumer society, an impassioned critique of modern capitalism argues that the countervailing impulses that exist within deep alienation present an authentic alternative to nihilistic consumerism. Original.
Selected writings share the late scientist's views on chemistry, education, the structure of matter, proteins, nuclear politics, fallout, and nutritional medicine
Soil Fertility and Fertilizers: An Introduction to Nutrient Management, Eighth Edition, provides a thorough understanding of the biological, chemical, and physical properties affecting soil fertility and plant nutrition. Covering all aspects of nutrient management for profitable crop production, the text pays particular attention to minimizing the environmental impact of soil and fertilizer management. The eighth edition of this proven text has been substantially revised to reflect rapidly advancing knowledge and technologies in both plant nutrition and nutrient management.
This fascinating new volume provides a comprehensive yet concise overview of the chemical aspects of some of the major innovations and changes that occurred during the 20th century, relating chemical structures and properties to real-life applications. Developed for a course taught by the author for several years at UVA, the author covers the important and consequential developments in chemistry and explains their everyday, real-life applications. These include such topics as consumer products, fossil fuel use, polymers, agriculture, food production, nutrition, explosives, and drugs. The section Molecular Biology and Its Applications includes examples of the application of biotechnology and genetic engineering. The book answers such questions as • What does "octane number" mean? • What is "Spandex"? • What are all the ingredients in my frozen pizza and why are they there? • What is in my favorite headache remedy and how does it work? • How can medications affect mental outlook and function? • How are genetically modified organisms obtained and how are they used? Broad in scope, The Chemical Century provides understandable examples of discoveries and their applications along with brief anecdotal information on some to the major contributors and the circumstances under which the discoveries were made. Interspersed in most of the chapters are brief summaries discoveries. These sections include a variety of biographical, historical, or political/economic background pertaining to the particular subject. The major economic, environmental, and regulatory aspects are touched upon as well. For example, the book considers hydrocarbon fuels and their role in global warming; the issue of residues in foods; and multi-drug resistance and antibiotics. There is little detailed chemistry, but the material is clear in describing chemical structures and in relating those structures to the properties of the materials. The book includes numerous figures and tables to illustrate and convey complicated information. Many chemical structures, including about 50 schemes with multiple structures, are clearly and simply presented as well.
Make history come alive! This book helps librarians and teachers as well as readers themselves find books they will enjoy—titles that will animate and explain the past, entertain, and expand their minds.
Why music doesn't add up, what The Simpsons can teach us about science, whether Juana la Loca wasn't crazy after all, and what's behind the gaseous veil of Saturn's moon Titan ' these are just some of the questions addressed in the more than 70 reviews and essay reviews from the years 2000 to 2009 collected in this volume. They cover books about science, ranging from the academic to the popularized kind, but there are also books about cultural topics and even a few novels scattered in for good measure. Most of these books reviewed haven't found a massive amount of attention, although some of them should have, at least in the reviewer's opinion. And even if the book under review wasn't all that good, the format of an essay review allows the author to have a go at presenting the subject matter his own way. All in all, a reflection of what happened during the noughties in the worlds of science and culture, and off the beaten track.
From cooking to medicine, from engineering to art, chemistry—the science of molecules—is everywhere. A celebration of the molecules of chemistry, Every Molecule Tells a Story celebrates the molecules responsible for the experiences of everyday life: the air we breathe; the water we drink; the chemicals that fuel our living; the steroids that give us sex; the colours of the seasons; the drugs that heal us; and the scented molecules that enrich our diet and our encounters with each other. You can’t see them, but you know that they are there. Unveiling the structures of poisonous "natural" substances and beneficial man-made molecules, this book brushes away any preconceived notions about chemistry to demonstrate why and how molecules matter.
This book offers an original combination of cultural and narrative theory with an empirical study of identity and political action. It is at once a powerful critique of rational choice theories of action and a solution to the historiographical puzzle of why Sweden went to war in 1630. Erik Ringmar argues that people act not only for reasons of interest, but also for reasons of identity, and that the latter are, in fact, more fundamental. Deploying his alternative, non-rational theory of action in his account of the Swedish intervention in the Thirty Years War, he shows it to have been an attempt on behalf of the Swedish leaders to gain recognition for themselves and their country. Further to this, he demonstrates the importance of questions of identity to the study of war and of narrative theories of action to the social sciences in general.
Cultural theorist Rushkoff reveals how corporations have come to dominate all aspects of life--including our inner lives--and what to do about it. In tracing the roots of corporatism from the Renaissance to today, Rushkoff reveals the way it supplanted social interaction and local commerce and came to be regarded as a pre-existing condition of our world.
In the final decades of the nineteenth century, three brilliant and visionary titans of America’s Gilded Age—Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and George Westinghouse—battled bitterly as each vied to create a vast and powerful electrical empire. In Empires of Light, historian Jill Jonnes portrays this extraordinary trio and their riveting and ruthless world of cutting-edge science, invention, intrigue, money, death, and hard-eyed Wall Street millionaires. At the heart of the story are Thomas Alva Edison, the nation’s most famous and folksy inventor, creator of the incandescent light bulb and mastermind of the world’s first direct current electrical light networks; the Serbian wizard of invention Nikola Tesla, elegant, highly eccentric, a dreamer who revolutionized the generation and delivery of electricity; and the charismatic George Westinghouse, Pittsburgh inventor and tough corporate entrepreneur, an industrial idealist who in the era of gaslight imagined a world powered by cheap and plentiful electricity and worked heart and soul to create it. Edison struggled to introduce his radical new direct current (DC) technology into the hurly-burly of New York City as Tesla and Westinghouse challenged his dominance with their alternating current (AC), thus setting the stage for one of the eeriest feuds in American corporate history, the War of the Electric Currents. The battlegrounds: Wall Street, the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, Niagara Falls, and, finally, the death chamber—Jonnes takes us on the tense walk down a prison hallway and into the sunlit room where William Kemmler, convicted ax murderer, became the first man to die in the electric chair. Empires of Light is the gripping history of electricity, the “mysterious fluid,” and how the fateful collision of Edison, Tesla, and Westinghouse left the world utterly transformed. From the Hardcover edition.
The compelling history of the long-sought discovery of ammonia synthesis and its vital role in the modern industrial world.

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