John Wiley & Sons Strange Chemistry Cover This book includes thorough, easy-to-understand explanations of over 100 incredible truths of real s.. Product #: 978-1-119-26526-9 Regular price: $55.98 $55.98 Auf Lager

Strange Chemistry

The Stories Your Chemistry Teacher Wouldn't Tell You

Farmer, Steven


1. Auflage August 2017
364 Seiten, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-119-26526-9
John Wiley & Sons


This book includes thorough, easy-to-understand explanations of over 100 incredible truths of real science. The book covers broad subjects that touch on everyday life, including the chemistry of poisons, illicit drugs, explosives, foods, common household products, and radiation. Readers will find the information not only intriguing, but also absorbing and edgy. Unlike other science interest books, Strange Chemistry focuses on the darker, wilder side of chemistry, which, unfortunately, most authors and chemistry teachers tend to avoid.

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This book opens the audience's eyes to the extraordinary scientific secrets hiding in everyday objects. Helping readers increase chemistry knowledge in a fun and entertaining way, the book is perfect as a supplementary textbook or gift to curious professionals and novices.

* Appeals to a modern audience of science lovers by discussing multiple examples of chemistry in everyday life
* Addresses compounds that affect everyone in one way or another: poisons, pharmaceuticals, foods, and illicit drugs; thereby evoking a powerful emotional response which increases interest in the topic at hand
* Focuses on edgy types of stories that chemists generally tend to avoid so as not to paint chemistry in a bad light; however, these are the stories that people find interesting
* Provides detailed and sophisticated stories that increase the reader's fundamental scientific knowledge
* Discusses complex topics in an engaging and accessible manner, providing the "how" and "why" that takes readers deeper into the stories

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

1 If You Do Not Know Any Chemistry, This Chapter Is For You 1

Representing Atoms and Molecules in Chemistry 1

Neurotransmitters 7

Intermolecular Forces 11

2 The Only True Aphrodisiac and Other Chemical Extremes 15

Death Is ItsWithdrawal Symptom! 15

What Is the Number One Cause of Liver Failure in the United States? 18

The Most Addictive Substance Known 21

40 Million Times DeadlierThan Cyanide 24

The Most Abused Drug in the United States 27

What Is the Only Known Aphrodisiac? 28

The Most Consumed Psychoactive Substance 30

40,000 Tons of Aspirin 33

How Bitter Is the Bitterest? 34

$62.5 Trillion per Gram 36

What Is the Most Abundant Source of Air Pollution? 39

Where DidThat Rash Come From? 41

ItWould Take an Elephant on a Pencil 43

The Largest Industrial Accident inWorld History 46

What Is the Most Important Chemical Reaction? 49

Further Reading 53

3 The Poisons in Everyday Things 63

Why Is Antifreeze Lethal? 63

Aqua Dots:What a Difference a Carbon Makes! 66

How Can Visine Kill You? 68

Death by BENGAY 70

It Is in 93% of People in the United States 72

The Dreaded...Apricot Pits? 75

Honey Intoxication 79

The DMSO Patient 81

Deadly Helium Balloons 82

The 2007 Pet Food Recall 83

Mercury in Vaccines and Eye Drops? 87

TheWorld's Deadliest Frog 88

Leaded Candy 89

Why not Drink "Real" Root Beer? 90

The Killer Fog 92

Nail Polish or Nail Poison? 93

Game Board Danger 94

What Molecule Killed "Weird Al" Yankovic's Parents? 96

Deadly Popcorn 98

EvenWater Can Be Poisonous 99

Further Reading 101

4 Why Old Books Smell Good and Other Mysteries of Everyday Objects 113

The Smell of Old Books and the Hidden Vanilla Extract Underworld 113

That Smell Is You! 117

Electric Blue 118

TheWorld's Most Abundant Organic Compound 120

Chalk Used to Be Alive 122

Decaffeinated? Try Deflavored! 123

Bad Blood 125

The Problem with Dry Cleaning 128

The Smell of Dead Fish 131

How to Make a Spark 133

The "New Car Smell" 133

A Gecko Cannot Stick to It! 135

Why Are Day Glow Colors and Highlighter Pens So Bright? 137

Why Your White Clothes Are not Really White? 139

How Can a Spray-on Sunscreen Be Dangerous? 141

There Is Ink inThat Paper 141

Vomit and Sunless Tanners 143

Formaldehyde: Funerals, Flooring, and Outer Space 144

Further Reading 148

5 Bath Salts and Other Drugs of Abuse 157

What Are the Dangers of Bath Salts? 157

What to Do If YouWant Your Skin to Turn Blue 163

The Flesh-Rotting Street Drug 165

How Does a Breathalyzer Detect a Blood Alcohol Level? 167

How to Become a Brewery 168

HowWas a Painkiller Used to Free Hostages? 171

The Secret Ingredient in Coca-Cola 173

Why Is Crack Cocaine So Addicting? 174

Cocaine Smuggling versus MethamphetamineManufacture 177

What Basic Common Ingredient Is Needed toMake the Drugs Vicodin , Percocet , Oxycontin , and Percodan ? 177

Drug Money Is Right 181

What Percentage of Americans Use Prescription Drugs? 182

Are You Ready for Powdered Alcohol? 183

Ecstasy Is Ruining the Rain Forests 185

How Are Moldy Bread, Migraine Headaches, LSD, and the Salem Witch Trials All Related? 187

Further Reading 193

6 Why Oil Is Such a Big Part of Our Lives 201

What Substance Is Used to Make 80% of All Pharmaceuticals? 201

Why Do ScientistsThink Oil Comes From Fossilized Plants and Animals? 205

How Is Oil Made? 207

Where Is Most of the Carbon in theWorld? 209

The MostWidely Recycled Material in the United States 209

What Material Is Used to Make Asphalt? 210

How Oil Helped to Save theWhales 211

Further Reading 213

7 WhyJuniorMints Are Shiny and Other Weird Facts about Your Food 217

Why Is Gum Chewy? 217

The Problem with Gummi Bears 220

What Is the EasiestWay to Peel a Tomato? 223

AnotherWay to Eat Insect Parts! 224

Why Is High Fructose Corn Syrup More Consumed than

Sugar? 226

What Causes Rancid Butter to Stink? 229

Why Does Mint Make Your Mouth Feel "Cold?" 232

It Is Probably Not Really Fresh Squeezed 234

Why Are Viruses Added to Some Sandwich Meat? 236

What Is Margarine Made From? 239

Why Are Junior Mints Shiny? 241

Further Reading 244

8 The Radioactive Banana and Other Examples of Natural Radioactivity 251

Where Does the Helium We Use in Balloons Come From? 253

Who Was the First Person to Win Two Nobel Prizes? 255

Where Is the Radioactive Material in YOUR House? 257

Which Elements Were First Detected in Radioactive Fallout from a Nuclear Bomb? 258

Radioactivity in Wrist watches, Exit Signs, and H-Bombs 260

The Earth Is One Giant Nuclear Reactor 262

Are Nuclear Reactors "Natural"? 263

Are Your Gemstones Radioactive? 265

Radon: The Radioactive Gas in Your Home 267

The Radioactive Banana 269

Further Reading 271

9 Chemistry Is Explosive! 277

How Do BulletsWork? 277

What Is the Most Commonly Used Explosive in North

America? 280

What Non-nuclear Substance Is the Most Explosive? 282

What Poison Is Used as an Explosive in Airbags? 283

Explosive Heart Medicine 285

Further Reading 287

10 The Chemistry in Breaking Bad and Other Popular Culture 291

How Does Methamphetamine Act as a Stimulant? 291

What Is "Pseudo," and How Is It Related toMethamphetamine? 294

What Is Ricin? 297

The Thalidomide Disaster 298

What Is Phosphine Gas, and Why Is It a PotentialMurder Weapon? 300

Acetylcholine, Pesticides, and Nerve Gas 301

Further Reading 310

11 Why You Should Not Use Illegally Made Drugs: The Organic Chemistry Reason 315

Why You Shouldn't Use Illegally Made Drugs 315

The Tragic Case of the Frozen Addicts 320

Further Reading 326 Index 327
"Behind every chemist is a teacher who, by their enthusiasm, has made the subject interesting to his or her pupils. Dr. Farmer is such a teacher who has gone to great pains to make his subject relevant to his audience ... The author has composed over a hundred articles on various topics across the whole spectrum of chemistry ranging from the initial chapter on the nature of the chemical bond to the composition of road asphalt ... [this book] should be possessed by every chemistry teacher and I cannot recommend it too highly." Chromatographia, December 2017

"A chemistry professor teaches "the stories your chemistry teachers wouldn't tell you" through short, accessible lessons on drugs, deadly household items, mysteries of ordinary objects, and more ... Each lesson is no more than a few pages long and successfully shows how relevant chemistry is in everyday life ...The short sections and accessible language will keep readers' attention, and the frequent addition of molecular structures could be a useful addition to chemistry courses. An engaging chemistry lesson that also serves as an encyclopedia to understanding the world around us." Kirkus, January 2018
STEVEN FARMER, Ph.D., has worked as a chemistry instructor at California State University, Sacramento and at University of California, Davis. Currently, he holds the position of Professor of Chemistry at Sonoma State University (SSU). Dr. Farmer is a seasoned teacher with over a decade of experience teaching general chemistry, organic chemistry, and advanced organic synthesis courses. He has earned six teaching awards, including the Sarlo Excellence in Teaching Award, which is given to only one of the over 500 SSU faculty each year. He performs research involving chemical education and is actively involved in giving outreach lectures to the public.