Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Chemistry Bit - introduction

John Courtneidge

9 September 2014

This is the age of subtle relationships - hence the power of the key book, The Spirit Level (see The equality Trust website www.equalitytrust.org.uk

There are strong parallels in this to the evolution of our understanding of chemistry: the earliest chemical knowledge was that of strong interactions (ie chemical bonds in minerals, metal, ceramics, etc: ionic and metallic bonds).  Then we learned about chemical forces within molecules: covalent bonds - often as strong as ionic and metallic bonds, but based on sharing electrons, sometimes unequally, rather than appropriating them, as in ionic bonds.

Finally, in the last century we started understanding (under-standing, in awe), the chemical bonds *between* molecules: hydrogen bonds, dipole-dipole interactions, Heitler-London forces.

As that century ended, we (I included) started to look at the role of entropy in directing chemical events: reaction rates, etc.

Sadly, the neo-loberal governments of that time abolished funding for such research - world-wide - in advance of the neo-conservatives ushering in The Age of Stupidity (look, for example at the recent dumpster-ing by Stephen Harper's neo-con government, in Canada, of scientific libraries.

Time for us, outside the monoversities' faux-academy, to help educate our younger generations.

Before it's too late!

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