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SpringerBriefs in History of Chemistry

The Quest for Aqua Vitae

The History and Chemistry of Alcohol from Antiquity to the Middle Ages

Authors: Rasmussen, Seth C.

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  • National winner of the Gourmand Award for "Best Drinks History Book"
  • Provides the first concise overview of the early history of alcohol
  • Gives a description of the history of alcohol via fermentation then isolation
  • Describes the use of alcohol in the chemical arts and medicine
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eBook $54.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-06302-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $69.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-06301-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, is one of the most ubiquitous chemical compounds in the history of the chemical sciences. The generation of alcohol via fermentation is also one of the oldest forms of chemical technology, with the production of fermented beverages such as mead, beer and wine predating the smelting of metals. By the 12th century, the ability to isolate alcohol from wine had moved this chemical species from a simple component of alcoholic beverages to both a new medicine and a powerful new solvent. Of course, this also began the long tradition of production of liqueurs and strong spirits for consumption. The use of alcohol as a fuel, however, did not occur until significantly later periods. This volume presents a general overview of the early history and chemistry of alcohol production and isolation, as well as a discussion of its early uses in both the chemical arts and medicine.

About the authors

Seth C. Rasmussen is Professor of Chemistry at North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Washington State University in 1990 and his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Clemson University in 1994, under the guidance of Prof. John D. Peterson. As a postdoctoral associate at the University of Oregon, he then studied conjugated organic polymers under Prof. James E. Hutchison. In 1997, he accepted a teaching position at the University of Oregon, before moving to join the faculty at NDSU in 1999. Active in the fields of materials chemistry and the history of chemistry, his research interests include the design and synthesis of conjugated materials, photovoltaics (solar cells), organic light emitting diodes, the application of history to chemical education, the history of materials, and chemical technology in antiquity. As both author and editor, Prof. Rasmussen has contributed to books in both materials and history and has published more than 50 research papers. He is a member of various international professional societies including the American Chemical Society, Materials Research Society, Alpha Chi Sigma, Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry, and the International History, Philosophy & Science Teaching Group. Professor Rasmussen currently serves as the Program Chair for the History of Chemistry division of the American Chemical Society and as Series Editor for Springer Briefs in Molecular Science: History of Chemistry.

Reviews

“This brief monograph is part of the ‘SpringerBriefs History of Chemistry’ series (a subseries of ‘SpringerBriefs in Molecular Science’). Rasmussen (North Dakota State Univ.), a recognized historian of chemistry, is also the series editor. … The book is well documented with copious footnotes that include brief biographies of many of the figures involved in this history, and full references. … Summing Up: Recommended. All general, academic, and professional history of chemistry collections.” (H. Goldwhite, Choice, Vol. 52 (5), January, 2015)

“The book is well written, extensively referenced, and covers a range of scholarly material on ethanol production from several disciplines. The result is a convincing and erudite study of the early history of this most attractive of compounds, and one that I recommend highly for all chemists and their libraries.” (John Nicholson, Chemistry World, December, 2014)


Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $54.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-06302-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $69.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-06301-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Quest for Aqua Vitae
Book Subtitle
The History and Chemistry of Alcohol from Antiquity to the Middle Ages
Authors
Series Title
SpringerBriefs in History of Chemistry
Copyright
2014
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-06302-7
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-06302-7
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-06301-0
Series ISSN
2212-991X
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 111
Number of Illustrations
31 b/w illustrations, 16 illustrations in colour
Topics