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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

Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem

Wed, 12/01/1999 - 00:00 -- Hal Harris

In about 1637, a French mathematical genius named Pierre de Fermat wrote in the margin of his copy of Arithmetica by Pythagorus, that he could prove that there were no solutions to the simple variation on Pythagorus' Theorem, az + bz = czwhen a, b, and c are integers and z is larger than two.

Hal Harris's picture

Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything

Fri, 10/01/1999 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

I bought "Faster" because of talent the author had shown for rendering extremely complicated science for the interested layperson. "Chaos", published in 1987 was a wonderful book, and Gleick's next one, "Genius: The Life and Times of Richard Feynman", also won a National Book Award. (I haven't read that one, however.) "Faster" is a good book, but was nevertheless something of a disappointment.

Hal Harris's picture

The Heretic's Daughter

Thu, 09/02/1999 - 02:00 -- Hal Harris

Dava Sobel describes the correspondence to Galileo Galilei from his daughter, Virginia, who was a nun in the Convent of San Matteo, near Florence. Virginia, who took the religious name Maria Celeste, was a kind of apothecary in her convent, and she did her best to provide elixirs and pills to protect Galileo from the plague, along with weekly letters of news and encouragement.

Hal Harris's picture

The Sun in the Church

Wed, 09/01/1999 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

In "The Sun in the Church", J. L. Heilbron describes the practical problem that faced the Church, in determining when Easter should be celebrated (the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox) and how it supported research to resolve that matter (and also the problem of a church year that didn't match the solar one) without quite conceding that the earth orbits the sun.

Hal Harris's picture

The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition

Sun, 08/01/1999 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

This year's exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History of artifacts from the 1915 scientific expedition to Antarctica led by Sir Ernest Shackleton has been accompanied by the publication of Caroline Alexander's book, which includes the documenting photographs of Frank Hurley (some of which could be seen on the Museum's Web site).

Hal Harris's picture

How to Predict Everything

Thu, 07/01/1999 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

Physicist J. Richard Gott of Princeton published a provocative article in Nature back in 1993, that described a simple method for the estimation of the likely lifetime of "things" on the basis solely of the length of their existence to date.

Hal Harris's picture

Traces of the Past: Unraveling the Secrets of Archaeology Through Chemistry

Sat, 05/01/1999 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

The reach of analytical chemistry is amazing even to chemists! Joseph Lambert, a Professor of analytical chemistry at Northwestern University describes in this fascinating book how chemistry is used to study stone, glass, pottery, organic materials, metals, and human remains.

Hal Harris's picture

Profile: The Lord of the Flies

Fri, 04/02/1999 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

Seymour Benzer sounds like a biologist to whom I would enjoy talking about science. He came to his present research interests after a good start to a career in physics, and after avoiding biology courses at Brooklyn College because they were too much like natural history and with too little deductive science.

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