The 100 Most Important Chemical Compounds: A Reference Guide

Friday, September 19, 2008

By Richard L. Meyers and Rusty L. Meyers

Call Number: TP9 .M94 2007

What is a chemical compound? Compounds are substances that are two or more elements combined together chemically in a standard proportion by weight. Compounds are all around us – they include familiar things, such as water, and more esoteric substances, such as triuranium octaoxide, the most commonly occurring natural source for uranium. This reference guide gives us a tour of 100 of the most important, common, unusual, and intriguing compounds known to science. Each entry gives an extensive explanation of the composition, molecular formula, and chemical properties of the compound. In addition, each entry reviews the relevant chemistry, history, and uses of the compound, with discussions of the origin of the compound’s name, the discovery or first synthesis of the compound, production statistics, and uses of the compound.

The 100 Most Important Chemical Compounds provides readers not only with the understanding of the chemistry of these substances and the practical uses of these compounds, but also includes numerous interesting historical details about the scientific discoveries:
-Hannibal employed acetic acid in crossing the Alps
-A disgruntled family doctor’s pleas to do medical research leads to the use of insulin to treat diabetes -Charles Francis Hall’s research as a high school student resulted in a cheap process to produce aluminum and the founding of ALCOA
-A bitter priority dispute among several doctors over the discovery of ether as an anesthetic lead to suicide, prison, and early deaths.
-Dupont scientists researching the production of CFCs accidentally produced a white waxy substance now known as Teflon
-A chemist synthesized methylphenidate and administered it to his wife Rita. He named the compound after her — Ritalin

The reference guide includes a glossary, a guide to further reading, and numerous chemical illustrations to help illuminate the text.

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