Illustrated with remarkable new full-color images--indeed, one or more on every page--and written by one of the world's leading authorities on the subject,Reactionsoffers a compact, pain-free tour of the inner workings of chemistry. Reactionsbegins with the chemical formula almost everyone knows--the formula for water, H2O--a molecule with an "almost laughably simple chemical composition." But Atkins shows that water is also rather miraculous--it is the only substance whose solid form is less dense than its liquid (hence ice floats in water)--and incredibly central to many chemical reactions, as it is an excellent solvent, being able to dissolve gases and many solids. Moreover, Atkins tells us that water is actually chemically aggressive, and can react with and destroy the compounds dissolved in it, and he shows us what happens at the molecular level when water turns to ice--and when it melts. Moving beyond water, Atkins slowly builds up a toolkit of basic chemical processes, including precipitation (perhaps the simplest of all chemical reactions), combustion, reduction, corrosion, electrolysis, and catalysis. He then shows how these fundamental tools can be brought together in more complex processes such as photosynthesis, radical polymerization, vision, enzyme control, and synthesis. Peter Atkins is the world-renowned author of numerous best-selling chemistry textbooks for students. In this crystal-clear, attractively illustrated, and insightful volume, he provides a fantastic introductory tour--in just a few hundred colorful and lively pages - for anyone with a passing or serious interest in chemistry.
Atkins introduces readers to the basic tools of chemistry and explores the miraculous properties of the one of the most basic chemical compounds, H2O.