SpringerBriefs in History of Chemistry

From the Molecular World

A Nineteenth-Century Science Fantasy

Authors: Rocke, Alan J.

  • A light hearted, yet profound examination of the chemistry and physics in the nineteenth century
  • Revealing tour of nineteenth century debates concerning chemical theory
  • Richly annoted and equipped with an illuminating preface
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  • ISBN 978-3-642-27416-9
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  • ISBN 978-3-642-27415-2
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About this book

Hermann Kopp (1817–1892) is best remembered today as a historian of chemistry, but during his lifetime he was one of the most eminent chemists of his day, and one of the earliest pioneers of physical chemistry.  Late in his career he wrote an endearing fantasy about personified molecules.  Published in 1882, Aus der Molecular-Welt (From the Molecular World) portrayed the intimate details of what might actually be happening in the sub-microscopic world; the atoms and molecules we meet there have agency, personalities, sometimes even dialog.  Filled with appealing tropes, humor, and whimsical asides, Kopp’s short book provided an examination of the chemistry and physics of his day that was always light-hearted on the surface, but often surprisingly profound.  Properly interpreted, the book provides a revealing tour of nineteenth-century debates concerning chemical theory.  It is here translated into English, richly annotated, and equipped with an illuminating preface by a leading historian of chemistry.  It provides entertaining reading to practicing chemists, as well as new insights to historians of science.

About the authors

Educated first as a chemist, Alan J. Rocke earned a Ph.D. in history of science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1975.  Today he is the Henry Eldridge Bourne Professor of History at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where he has been teaching since 1978.  Rocke is the author of five books and nearly fifty journal articles on the history of chemistry, especially the theoretical development of the science in Europe during the course of the nineteenth century. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 2000 received the Dexter Award from the American Chemical Society for lifetime achievement in the history of chemistry.

Reviews

From the reviews:

“Rocke has now provided a full translation of Kopp’s book, with an extensive introduction and explanatory footnotes … . Rocke’s translation is a welcome reminder that we still have much to learn about chemists and chemistry in the nineteenth century, and we should be thankful that he has made Kopp’s fertile imagination more accessible to non-German-speaking readers.” (Peter J. Ramberg, Ambix, Vol. 60 (2), May, 2013)

“The premise of the book is a tour of an aerarium … made up of containers into which one could peer to gain visual insights into the world of atoms and molecules. … it will appeal to historians of chemistry with a particular interest into what was going on in our subject in the second half of the 19th century.” (Alan Dronsfield, Chemistry World, August, 2012)

Table of contents (2 chapters)

  • Introduction: The Molecular World of Hermann Kopp

    Rocke, Alan J. (et al.)

    Pages 1-27

  • From the Molecular World

    Rocke, Alan J. (et al.)

    Pages 29-104

Buy this book

eBook n/a
  • ISBN 978-3-642-27416-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Softcover n/a
  • ISBN 978-3-642-27415-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
From the Molecular World
Book Subtitle
A Nineteenth-Century Science Fantasy
Authors
Series Title
SpringerBriefs in History of Chemistry
Copyright
2012
Publisher
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright Holder
The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-642-27416-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-642-27416-9
Softcover ISBN
978-3-642-27415-2
Series ISSN
2212-991X
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VII, 105
Number of Illustrations and Tables
1 illustrations in colour
Topics