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Magick, Mayhem, and Mavericks: The Spirited History of Physical Chemistry
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Magick, Mayhem, and Mavericks: The Spirited History of Physical Chemistry

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  14 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Science popularizer Cathy Cobb takes a unique approach to explaining the concepts of physical chemistry by telling the story of the geniuses and eccentrics who made groundbreaking discoveries in this fascinating field that bridges chemistry, physics, and mathematics. The result is entertaining and illuminating.
Her tale is about the colorful varieties of human character as...more
Hardcover, 420 pages
Published November 1st 2002 by Prometheus Books (first published October 31st 2002)
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I'm probably not the target audience for this book, since I’ve had several years of “the calculus” (as Cobb calls it) and taken two semesters of college freshman General Chemistry. My review is possibly overly harsh. With that said, here are my thoughts on the book.

It's not true that Tycho Brahe "could go out and make a sighting; come in, have dinner, make another sighting, come in, have dinner, then make another sighting-- all without worrying that the planets might have moved out of view." (1...more
Lissa Notreallywolf
Cobb's explanation of mysterious things (like what calculus does) is excellent and I much appreciated her analogies in explaining complex chemical issues. I took about fifteen pages of notes on the book, many of which were questions I would like to explore. However, about halfway through the book-basically after spectroscopy, I found myself quite restless with the author's writing style and no longer could grasp the physics as well, possibly because I find calculus mysterious. Cobb is an excelle...more
David R.
The later chapters are impenetrable to non-chemists.
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