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JCE ChemEd Xchange provides a place for sharing information and opinions. Currently, articles, blogs and reading lists from ChemEd X contributors are listed below. We plan to include other items that the community wishes to share through their contributions to ChemEd X.

Hal Harris's picture

The Search for Superstrings, Symmetry, and the Theory of Everything

Mon, 03/01/1999 - 00:00 -- Hal Harris

For most of us chemists, our knowledge of the universe is pretty good from the atomic level upward, but when students ask us (as they sometimes do) about what it is that holds the nucleus together, or what a "string" is, or about quarks, leptons, and any of the other particles that are not electrons, protons, or neutrons, we begin to mumble.

Hal Harris's picture

Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge

Tue, 12/01/1998 - 00:00 -- Hal Harris

As soon as I heard about "Consilience", I figured it would likely be a "Pick of the Month", but I delayed buying it until it became available as a paperback through a book club (I buy just about all the books that appear in this column). This, the most recent book by the renowned Harvard entomologist E. O. Wilson, was worth waiting for.

Hal Harris's picture

What Remains To Be Discovered: Mapping the Secrets of the Universe, the Origins of Life, and the Future of the Human Race

Sun, 11/01/1998 - 00:00 -- Hal Harris

A year ago, a book entitled "The End of Science" by John Horgan claimed that there was nothing of significance left for science to uncover. It was not a "Hal's Pick" because I thought it was seriously mistaken, echoing the smug predictions of a century ago, just before the revolutions of quantum mechanics and relativity blew the lid off of classical science.

Hal Harris's picture

Strange Brains and Genius: The Secret Lives of Eccentric Scientists and Madmen

Tue, 09/01/1998 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

Some of the most incendiary minds of science have also verged on pathology; a few of them clearly have been mentally ill. Cliff Pickover describes the quirks and eccentric behaviors of some of these people, including Nikola Tesla (Chapter 1!), Oliver Heaviside, Richard Kirwan, Henry Cavendish, Francis Galton, and Theodore Kaczynski, among others.

Hal Harris's picture

Women in Chemistry: Their Changing Roles from Alchemical Times to the Mid-Twentieth Century

Sat, 08/01/1998 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

Until relatively recently, chemistry was a career from which women were discouraged or excluded entirely. Therefore, in sieving through history for evidence of their contributions, Marelene and Geoffrey Rayner-Canham have had to dig very deeply indeed. For that reason, most of the names in this book (Laura Linton, Jane Marcet, Rachel Lloyd, for example) will be unfamiliar.

Hal Harris's picture

Molecules at an Exhibition: Portraits of Intriguing Materials in Everyday Life

Thu, 07/02/1998 - 02:00 -- Hal Harris

John Emsley writes about chemistry for the lay person, but manages to bring to light facts and anecdotes that will delight chemists and chemical educators. What is "the worst smell in the world"? - and how is it used to protect us? What radioactive element is used in smoke detectors? What's the secret of Coca Cola? What chemical turns men on?

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