Keith Douglas' Web Page

About me Find out who I am and what I do.
My resumé A copy of my resumé and other documentation about my education and work experience for employers and the curious.
Reviews, theses, articles, presentations A collection of papers from my work, categorized and annotated.
Current research projects What I am currently working on, including some non-research material.
Interesting people People professionally "connected" to me in some way.
Interesting organizations Organizations I am "connected" to. (Some rather loosely.)
Intellectual/professional influences Influences on my work, including an organization chart. Here you can also buy many good books on philosophy and other subjects via amazon.com. I have included brief reviews of hundreds of books.
Professional resources Research sources, amazon.com associates programs, etc.
What is the philosophy of computing? A brief introduction to my primary professional interest.
My intellectual heroes A partial list of important people. Limited to the dead.
My educational philosophy As a sometime teacher I've developed one. Includes book resources.

Book Influences - Chemistry

Title
Author
Purchase / Enjoy Cover
Comment
700 Science Experiments For Everyone UNESCO Some experiments perhaps usable as science fair projects.
Chemistry Zumdahl University level general chemistry textbook.
Classics in Coordination Chemistry (vol. 2) Kauffman   How coordination chemistry began as a field: a collection of original papers and commentary and explanation.
Elements of Chemistry Lavoisier "The father of modern chemistry" in his own (translated) words. Pays homage to Locke (via Condillac) as well as discusses measurement of chemical and physical properties, chemical composition and its relation to nomenclature and chemical instrumentation.
Essentials of Nuclear Chemistry Arnikar I have no idea how good this book is, really, but I wanted to get a nuclear chemistry and physics book. Hence ...
Experimental Researches in Electricity Faraday

The great 19th century scientific genius' reprinted summaries and discussions of many profound and important experiments. Faraday was a master experimentalist, but well aware that good theoretical principles are need to guide, plan and interpret experiments as well as move our understanding of the universe forward.

This Dover edition seems to misdescribe the contents of the book - I find no mention of field theory or the dynamo. Instead (effectively) all the work described is about electrochemistry.

Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry Solomons An organic chemistry textbook much like any other, though its use of colours is somewhat helpful. Does include solutions manual, which is also useful.
Mendeleev on the Periodic Law: Selected Writings, 1869-1905 Mendeleev (ed. Jensen) Mendeleev in his own words (well, translated words) on his monumental and most famous discovery - periodicity of the elements. (It is also important to realize he did not claim to have invented the periodic table.) One can see his thought change (e.g. about argon) and also stay constant (both positively and negatively, e.g. about the atomic masses [weights, he says, because he says it might be due to a gravity like effect] of tellurium and iodine). Unfortunately, some of the last papers are close to the ramblings of an old man. However, the richness of the earlier ones, including remarks about his philosophy of science (though he doesn't use that phrase) in the Faraday lecture, makes the collection worthwhile for historical interest and to give a bit understanding to the textbook capsules. Note: The preface by the editor says there's no complete biography of Mendeleev in English - as of 2004 (this is a 2002 volume reprinted by Dover in 2005) this is no longer true. See my biography page.
Nature's Building Blocks Emsley A wonderful book on the properties of the elements. Who (beyond a few chemists) would have thought there actually are helium compounds?
Oxford Dictionary of Chemistry Daintith I informally collect dictionaries and have decided to specialize in subject matter ones.
Quantities, Units and Symbols in Physical Chemistry Mills Not exactly what you'd call rivetting reading, but a useful reference. I got mine free as a guide at the 1997 IChO.
Radar, Hula Hoops and Playful Pigs Schwarcz Schwarcz is engaging as a writer and tells many wonderful anecdotes but does not do justice (as is also true of many science popularizers) to the "consilience" aspect of science.
Science, Sense and Nonsense Schwarcz My verdict on this pleasantly written volume is much the same as the previous one by one of Canada's most famous scientists and science educators. Also, it has occurred to me that one fundamental missing piece of the puzzle of the public understanding of science is a serious discussion of the peer review process, including its fallible human side. (But remember the Einsteinian dictum: it may be fallible, but the alternatives are worse, which should not blind us to improving it.)
Symmetry and Spectroscopy Harris I have not used this volume for much as of yet.
Synthetic Approaches in Organic Chemistry Bansal Contains much information, but very little exposition. Riddled with typos.
The Biochemists' Song Book (2e) Baum Whimsical, silly and hard for someone as a-musical as I am to appreciate fully. However, it is amusing, and includes prose descriptions of each pathway set to verse as well as the musical scores. (For pieces I know, I can just see how they work, but for others, although I can labouriously read the notes, I cannot "hear" them the way musicians can.) A small volume but a fun one - be sure to get the 2nd edition.
The Chemical History of a Candle Faraday Faraday's famous lectures to children.
Van Norstrand's Scientific Encyclopedia Aroiam (editor)   I bought a used, ancient (1958) version of this because it contains many articles that are still useful. Still discusses computers that were humans!

 

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