Objects of Chemical Inquiry

ed. by Ursula Klein and Carsten Reinhardt

April 2014 xvii+382 pp., illustrated, 7 x 10, pb, ISBN 978-0-88135-460-7, $52.00*

Objects of Chemical Inquiry

Leading historians of chemistry present fascinating case studies illuminating broad array of objects of inquiry in modern chemistry, from the eighteenth century until today. These include everyday items such as glass as well as invisible chemical entities, accessible only through networks of experimentation and theory.

*Distribution outside The Americas  by Koninklijke Brill N.V., Leiden, The Netherlands, ISBN 978-90-04-27496-9


“…This collection is a must for anyone wanting to get a sense of the cutting-edge scholarship in the history of chemistry and related sciences. The quality is almost invariably high…the riches of Objects of Chemical Inquiry are fully matched by its potential to stimulate valuable new work.”—Isis, March 2016

Table of Contents

Ursula Klein
Carsten Reinhardt

Chapter 1

Unveiling Glass’s Mysteries 1
Lavoisier, Loysel And The First Chemical Treatise On Glass (1765–1799)
Marco Beretta

Chapter 2

Klaproth’s Discovery Of Uranium 21
Ursula Klein

Chapter 3

Vinegar And Oil 47
Materials And Representation In Organic Chemistry
Alan J. Rocke

Chapter 4

The Curious Case Of Coniine 61
Constructive Synthesis And Aromatic Structure Theory
Catherine M. Jackson

Chapter 5
Alfred Nobel, “Creative Bricoleur” Who Invented A Smokeless Military Powder (Ballistite) 103
Seymour H. Mauskopf

Chapter 6
Partial Valence, Residual Affinity, And Early Stereochemistry 141
Peter J. Ramberg

Chapter 7

Representing The Experimental Atom 171
Charlotte Bigg

Chapter 8

Reactivity And Its Contexts 203
Stephen J. Weininger

Chapter 9

Reaction Intermediates And Transition States 237
States Of Matter Or States Of Mind?
Mary Jo Nye

Chapter 10

The Synergy Of New Methods And Old Concepts In Modern Chemistry 259
Thomas Steinhauser

Chapter 11
Modeling The Scale Of Atoms And Bonds: The Origins Of Space-Filling Parameters 281
Jeremiah James

Chapter 12

The Olfactory Object 321
Toward A History Of Smell In The 20th Century
Carsten Reinhardt

Chapter 13
From Enzymes To Molecular Machines 343
Materiality In Research On Rhodopsins, 1970s
Mathias Grote

Notes On Contributors 369

Index 373