A Mole of Chemistry: An Historical and Conceptual Approach to Fundamental Ideas in Chemistry, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

A Mole of Chemistry

An Historical and Conceptual Approach to Fundamental Ideas in Chemistry, 1st Edition

By Caroline Desgranges, Jerome Delhommelle

CRC Press

214 pages | 100 B/W Illus.

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A Mole of Chemistry: An Historical and Conceptual Approach to Fundamental Ideas in Chemistry is intended for students in their undergraduate years, including science, engineering and humanities majors, who need to learn the basics of chemistry. This is a companion textbook which provides a unique perspective on how the main scientific concepts describing nature were discovered and, eventually, how modern chemistry was born. The book makes use of context found in history, philosophy and the arts to better understand the development of chemistry, and contains as few mathematical equations as possible. The focus is then set on scientific reasoning, making this book a great companion and addition to traditional chemistry textbooks.


· A companion for a general chemistry textbook and provides an historical approach to fundamental chemistry

· Presents origins of fundamental ideas in chemical science and the focus is then set on scientific reasoning

· User friendly and with as few mathematical equations as possible

Table of Contents

Introduction to Modern Chemistry: The beginning of Scientific Reasoning

1. The Century of Philosophy or the Age of Reason

2. The Rise of Experimental Chemistry

3. The Chemical Revolution

4. First Atomic Theories

5. Stoichiometry

6. Atoms and Molecules

7. Avogadro’s Number

Chap1: Introduction to the Kinetic Theory of Gases: The Ideal Gas Concept

1. A Wild Spirit Named Gas

2. Fountains Stories in Florence, Italy

3. Existence of Vacuum and Atmospheric Pressure

4. Boom of Experimental Chemistry and First Empirical Laws

5. From the Law of Combined Gases to the Ideal Gas Law

6. From Rationalism to the Advent of Modern Mathematics

7. From Motion to Action or the Birth of Analytic Mechanics

8. From Games of Chance to the Maxwell-Boltzmann Statistical Mechanics

9. From Agitation to Collisions or the Kinetic Theory of Gases

10. From Ideal Gas to Real Gas Behavior

Chap2: Introduction to Thermodynamics: The Heat Concept

1. A Question of Heat or a Matter of Temperature

2. First Theories and the Emergence of an “Element of Heat”

3. Successes and Failures of the Caloric Theory

4. The “Dutch Golden Age” and the Birth of the Idea of Engine

5. The Advent of Steam Machines

6. The Concept of Efficiency and the Industrial Revolution

7. Birth of a Dynamic Theory of Heat or Thermodynamics

8. Constitution and Laws of Thermodynamics

9. The Central Role of Entropy

10. Beyond Equilibrium: The Rise of Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics

Chap3: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics: Wave-Particle Duality Concept

1. Birth of a Particle Theory of Light

2. New Developments Prompt a Wave Theory of Light

3. The Dawn of Spectroscopy

4. Blackbody Radiation and Ultraviolet Catastrophe

5. Discovery of the Electron and First Atomic Models

6. Radioactivity and Rutherford’s Nuclear Model

7. Wave-Particle Duality…A Reality

8. Photoelectric Effect and Discovery of the Photon

9. First Quantum-Based Theory

10. From the Computation of Quantum Properties to Quantum Computing

Chap4: Introduction to Electrochemistry: Electron Transfer

1. The Birth of Electricity and of the Electric Fluid

2. Electricity and Magnetism: Towards Electromagnetism

3. Volta’s Pile and the Birth of Electrochemistry

4. Faraday and the Laws of Electrolysis

5. Conductivity of Solutions and Dissociation Theory

6. Electrolysis and the “Atom” of Electricity

7. Order and Periodicity in the Properties of Elements

8. Chemical Bonding and Lewis Structures

9. Valence, Oxidation Number and Redox Processes

10. Electronegativity and Quantum Electrochemistry

Chap5: Introduction to Chemical Reactivity: Proton Transfer

1. Early Observations and Concepts for Acidity and Basicity

2. Arrhenius and the First Acid-Base Theory

3. Protonation and the Brönsted-Lowry Theory

4. A General Approach: Lewis Acids and Bases

5. The Interesting Case of Water

6. Titration and Chemical Analysis

7. Relative Strength and Chemical Hardness

8. Carbanions and Carbon-Carbon Bond Formation

9. Carbocations: Reaction Mechanisms and “Magic Acids”

10. Solvent Effects, Proticity and Beyond

Chap6: Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry: Role of Symmetry

1. Symmetry, Aesthetics and Golden Ratio

2. Number Theory, Group Theory and Group Representations

3. X-Rays and the Advent of Crystallography

4. Molecular Symmetry, Spectroscopy and Crystal Structure

5. Crystal Field Theory, Magnetism and Colors

6. The Development of Catalysis

7. Adsorption: from Physisorption to Chemisorption

8. The Discovery of Polymorphism

9. Polymers and Macromolecules

10. Nanotechnology: Exploring the “Room at the Bottom”

About the Authors

Dr Caroline Desgranges earned a DEA in Physics in 2005 at the University Paul Sabatier – Toulouse III (France) and a PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of South Carolina (USA) in 2008.

Dr Jerome Delhommelle earned his PhD in Chemistry at the University of Paris XI-Orsay (France) in 2000. He is currently working as an Associate Professor in Chemistry at the University of North Dakota.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Chemistry / General
SCIENCE / Chemistry / Organic
SCIENCE / Chemistry / Physical & Theoretical