Cover image for World of chemistry
World of chemistry
Young, Robyn V., 1958-
Publication Information:
Detroit : Gale Group, [2000]

Physical Description:
ix, 1360 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 29 cm
Articles on theories, discoveries, concepts, and notable people in chemistry.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QD33 .W873 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
QD33 .W873 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material

On Order



"World of Chemistry is a single-volume, subject-specific resource of chemistry aimed at students. It contains more than 1,200 entries covering many topics in the field including chemicals, theories, discoveries, concepts, people that have demonstrated significant impact upon the field, and recent developments that may have future impact.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

These titles provide information on important individuals and concepts in chemistry and health in an encyclopedic format. They are part of a series that also includes World of Biology [RBB S 1 99]. World of Chemistry contains more than 1,000 entries, from Abel, John Jacob (American pharmacologist) and Absorption spectroscopy to Zirconium, Zosimos of Panopolis (Egyptian alchemist), and Zsigmondy, Richard (German colloidal chemist). This volume will prove useful for learners who need basic information on introductory concepts (e.g., Acids and bases, Buffers, Lone pair, Periodic table) as well as those interested in more advanced topics. Entries treat scientific laws and physical constants, scientific instrumentation and techniques, and phenomena and processes, such as Dehydration, Endothermic reactions, and Polarization of light. Excellent information can be found on important compounds, all elements, and functional groups such as alcohols and ketones. In addition, more than 400 entries give biographical information on important scientists in chemistry-related fields from ancient times to the present. Several entries provide general background on major subdisciplines in chemistry, such as Immunochemistry, Materials chemistry, and Polymer chemistry. World of Health contains about 1,400 entries, many of them brief biographies of important personalities in health and medicine. Other entries give information on diseases, disorders, and conditions or describe drugs, medical procedures, and equipment. Still others treat concepts related to the practice of medicine and the health-care system, such as Durable power of attorney for health care, Medical ethics, and Sports medicine. Each entry for disease or disorder includes details on alternative treatments, and there are several main entries relating to alternative medicine (Acupuncture and acupressure, Massage, Meditation, Tai chi). Entries are arranged in alphabetical order in both resources, with cross-references indicated within the text in bold. Additional cross-references are listed at the end of some entries. Both publications suffer from lapses in editing in the text of the entries and in cross-references within the entries. The latter appears to be caused by an overreliance on automated indexing. There are many instances where cross-references lead one down the wrong path (for example, to Sodium instead of Sodium chloride). In other examples, the cross-reference is not indicated at all. However, the works use accessible language to explain terms, and the writing level and degree of detail is appropriate for the intended audience of high-school students and the general public. Completing the volumes are high-quality indexes, chronologies of important events, and bibliographies listing books, articles, and Web sites. Both volumes are light on illustrations. The strengths of these resources are the accessible writing style and the fact that they contain information on both individuals and scientific concepts. Some information is duplicative of other Gale reference products that many libraries already own. Entries for health conditions and disorders in World of Health are reproduced almost exactly from Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine [RBB Mr 1 99]. Biographical sketches in both books are identical to those found in other Gale products such as Notable Black American Scientists [RBB Fe 15 99] and Notable Women Scientists (1999). If these other Gale titles are not already part of the collection, then World of Chemistry and World of Health would be good investments for the high-school or public library.

Library Journal Review

This one-volume encyclopedia from Gale contains 1400 alphabetical entries that provide concise information about various aspects of health and medicineDinformation that is always in demand. These include diseases, organs, systems, drugs, medical and surgical procedures, and biographies of scientists and physicians who made important discoveries. The book also has a chronology of medical history from 5000 B.C.E. through 1999. The articles are easy to understand, and ample cross-references will help readers find related information. The biographies include many women scientists as well as researchers from all over the world. Most have pictures, though these illustrations are sometimes awkwardly placed on the page after the article. Although the information here is readily available in other sources, such as The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine (LJ 2/15/99) and the Encyclopedia of World Biography (Gale, 1998. 2d ed.), this will be a useful source for school, consumer, health, and smaller public libraries that do not own the larger, more expensive sources.DBarbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Young's work does not fill the void caused by the failure to update Van Nostrand Reinhold Encyclopedia of Chemistry, ed. by Douglas M. Considine (4th ed., 1984). It offers more than 1,000 entries on all aspects of chemistry and some 400 biographical sketches. Among its flaws is the referencing structure. Words printed in boldface indicate a related entry, but about 90 percent of the entries refer simply to "chemistry." At the same time, important concepts pertinent to an entry are not cross-referenced; e.g., the article "Acids and Bases" provides no link to the article on the hydronium ion because this exact phrase is not used in the article. See also references are employed sporadically. The excellent index is a better tool to lead readers to additional information. The articles are unsigned and vary in quality. A particularly bad example, "Elements, Chemical," tries to explain in two pages a subject to which Van Nostrand gave 20; it is poorly organized and has too many parenthetical explanations and numerous misspellings. The biographical sketches are much better; they include many lesser-known scientists, including women and minorities. The sources consulted are listed in an appendix, without links to any of the articles. Some of the sources consulted are dubious: one Web site contains the lecture notes from a college class. Macmillian Encyclopedia of Chemistry, ed. by Joseph J. Lagowski (4v., CH, Mar'98) is more reliable; keep your Van Nostrand. ; Gateway Community-Technical College