Cover image for Chemical sciences in the 20th century : bridging boundaries
Chemical sciences in the 20th century : bridging boundaries
Reinhardt, Carsten.
Publication Information:
Weinheim ; New York : Wiley-VCH, [2001]

Physical Description:
xviii, 281 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
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Electronic Access:
Table of contents
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QD15 .C44 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Chemistry in the last century was characterized by spectacular growth and advances, stimulated by revolutionary theories and experimental breakthroughs. Yet, despite this rapid development, the history of this scientific discipline has achieved only recently the status necessary to understand the effects of chemistry on the scientific and technological
culture of the modern world.
This book addresses the bridging of boundaries between chemistry and the other "classical" disciplines of science, physics and biology as well as the connections of chemistry to
mathematics and technology.
Chemical research is represented as an interconnected patchwork of scientific specialties, and this is shown by a mixture of case studies and broader overviews on the history of organic chemistry, theoretical chemistry, nuclear- and cosmochemistry, solid state chemistry, and biotechnology. All of these fields were at the center of the development of twentieth century chemistry, and the authors cover crucial topics such as the emergence of new subdisciplines and
research fields, the science-technology relationship, and national styles of scientific work.
This monograph represents a unique treasure trove for general historians and historians of science, while also appealing to
those interested in the theoretical background and development of modern chemistry.

Author Notes

Carsten Reinhardt and Roald Hoffmann are the authors of Chemical Sciences in the 20th Century: Bridging Boundaries, published by Wiley.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

During the 20th century, chemistry was characterized by enormous growth and advances, spurred on by revolutionary theories and experimental breakthroughs. This chemistry had lasting effects on the scientific and technological culture of modern times. The essays in this volume, based on papers given at a 1999 conference, vary considerably in breadth and depth, and are early steps toward a history of the chemical sciences in the 20th century. Areas covered include research fields and boundaries; theoretical and quantum chemistry; radiochemistry, nuclear chemistry, and cosmochemistry; solid state chemistry; and biotechnology. The authors are acknowledged experts in the field and each essay has an extensive reference list. There are surprisingly few illustrations. For historians of the sciences, upper-division undergraduates through professionals. H. Goldwhite California State University, Los Angeles

Table of Contents

Roald HoffmannChristoph MeinelCarsten ReinhardtPeter J. T. Morris and Anthony S. Travis and Carsten ReinhardtNikos PsarrosAna Simoes and Kostas GavrogluAndreas KarachaliosMarika Blondel-MegrelisXavier RoqueBrigitte Van TiggelenRuth Lewin SimeHelge KraghPeter J. T. MorrisNicolas RasmussenYasu FurukawaMary Jo NyeBernadette Bensaude-Vincent
Forewordp. v
Prefacep. IX
List of Contributorsp. XVII
Disciplines, Research Fields, and their Boundariesp. 1
References and Notesp. 13
1. Research Fields and Boundaries in Twentieth-Century Organic Chemistryp. 14
1.1 Physical Organic Chemistryp. 14
1.2 Physical Instrumentation and Organic Chemistryp. 20
1.3 Bioorganic Chemistryp. 29
1.4 Conclusionp. 38
References and Notesp. 38
Part I Theoretical Chemistry and Quantum Chemistry
2. Theoretical Quantum Chemistry as Science and Discipline: Some Philosophical Remarks on a Historical Issuep. 45
2.1 The Quarrel of the Facultiesp. 45
2.2 Theoretical Quantum Chemistry: Establishing a New Science in the Twentieth Centuryp. 46
2.3 Giovanni Battista Bonino: Pioneer of the New Science and Founder of a New Discipline in Italyp. 48
2.4 Jean Barriol: The French Versionp. 49
References and Notesp. 50
3. Issues in the History of Theoretical and Quantum Chemistry, 1927-1960p. 51
3.1 Introductionp. 51
3.2 Re-thinking Reductionism or the Chemists' Uneasy Relation with Mathematicsp. 51
3.3 Convergence of Diverging Traditions: Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematicsp. 56
3.4 The Role of Textbooks in Building a Discourse for Quantum Chemistryp. 62
3.5 The Ontological Status of Resonancep. 64
3.6 The Status of the Chemical Bondp. 68
3.7 The Impact of Computers in Quantum Chemistry: the Split of the Communityp. 70
References and Notesp. 72
4. Giovanni Battista Bonino and the Making of Quantum Chemistry in Italy in the 1930sp. 75
4.1 Introductionp. 75
4.2 Early Careerp. 76
4.3 Bonino and the Beginning of Infrared Spectroscopy in Italyp. 77
4.4 The Scientific and Political Contextp. 79
4.5 Scientific Contacts in Germany and Austria, 1931-1934p. 83
4.6 Early Contributions to Quantum Chemistryp. 86
4.7 Bonino's Place within Contemporary Researchp. 89
4.8 The Advent of Group Theory in Bonino's Workp. 90
4.9 Bonino's Quantum Mechanical Concept of Coordinationp. 92
4.10 Encroaching Political Developmentsp. 94
4.11 Conclusionp. 98
References and Notesp. 99
5. Between Disciplines: Jean Barriol and the Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory in Nancyp. 105
5.1 Inspirationsp. 106
5.2 Mathematicsp. 108
5.3 Quantum Chemistryp. 110
5.4 Pragmatismp. 111
5.5 Foundationsp. 112
5.6 Experimentp. 114
5.7 Jean Barriol's Theoretical Chemistryp. 115
References and Notesp. 117
Part II From Radiochemistry to Nuclear Chemistry and Cosmochemistry
6. From Radiochemistry to Nuclear Chemistry and Cosmochemistryp. 121
6.1 Physical Evidence in Chemical Disciplinesp. 122
6.2 Identification and Productionp. 124
6.3 Natural Versus Artificial Elementsp. 126
6.4 Discipline Dynamicsp. 127
References and Notesp. 129
7. The Discovery of New Elements and the Boundary Between Physics and Chemistry in the 1920s and 1930s. The Case of Elements 43 and 75p. 131
7.1 Rhenium: A Successp. 132
7.2 A Failure: Masuriump. 137
7.3 A Comparison: From Hunting to Breedingp. 139
7.4 The End of a Research Traditionp. 140
References and Notesp. 142
8. The Search for Artificial Elements and the Discovery of Nuclear Fissionp. 146
References and Notesp. 158
9. From Geochemistry to Cosmochemistry: The Origin of a Scientific Discipline, 1915-1955p. 160
9.1 Introductionp. 160
9.2 Nineteenth-Century Backgroundsp. 161
9.3 Chemists, Element Formation, and Stellar Energyp. 164
9.4 Victor Moritz Goldschmidt and the Transition from Geo- to Cosmochemistryp. 169
9.5 Geochemistry and the Shell Model of Nuclear Structurep. 175
9.6 Chemistry in Spacep. 176
9.7 Chemical Cosmogony and Interstellar Moleculesp. 178
9.8 The Emergence of Cosmochemistryp. 180
9.9 Conclusionp. 183
References and Notesp. 183
Part III Solid State Chemistry and Biotechnology
10. Between the Living State and the Solid State: Chemistry in a Changing Worldp. 193
10.1 Biotechnology and the Myth of a Recent "Biotech Revolution"p. 194
10.2 Polymer Sciencep. 195
10.3 At the Boundariesp. 196
10.4 A Composite Field of Researchp. 198
10.5 Conclusionp. 200
References and Notesp. 200
11. Biotechnology Before the "Biotech Revolution": Life Scientists, Chemists and Product Development in 1930s-1940s Americap. 201
11.1 Hormones: "Master Molecules" of Life Between the Warsp. 203
11.2 Pharmaceuticals in Peace and Warp. 210
11.3 Conclusionp. 218
References and Notesp. 224
12. Polymer Science: From Organic Chemistry to an Interdisciplinary Sciencep. 228
12.1 Macromolecular Chemistry as a New Branch of Organic Chemistryp. 229
12.2 From Macromolecular Chemistry to Polymer Science: Staudinger, Mark, and the Naming of a Disciplinep. 231
12.3 The Rise of Polymer Physicsp. 233
12.4 The Biological Nexusp. 237
12.5 The Problem of Interdisciplinary Sciencep. 238
12.6 Polymer Science versus Macromolecular Science: Continuing Strifep. 240
References and Notesp. 241
13. At the Boundaries: Michael Polanyi's Work on Surfaces and the Solid Statep. 246
13.1 Polanyi on Scientific Ideals and Scientific Practicep. 246
13.2 The Potential Theory of Adsorption, 1914-1932p. 248
13.3 Diffraction and the Solid Statep. 250
13.4 Rewards and Recognition in the Scientific Communityp. 252
References and Notesp. 254
14. The New Science of Materials: A Composite Field of Researchp. 258
14.1 From Metallurgy to Solid State Physicsp. 259
14.2 From Reinforced Plastics to Composite Materialsp. 262
14.3 From Composite to Complex Structures ... Through Biomimeticsp. 266
14.4 A Future for Chemists?p. 267
References and Notesp. 269
Indexp. 271