This title was chosen for a 2017 CHOICE OATs (Outstanding Academic Titles) award.
Noboru Hirota has produced a major historical analysis of how the field of chemistry has evolved over centuries. Spanning more than eight hundred pages, this book presents an exhaustive study of the field, showing how ground-breaking discoveries were made and innovative theories were constructed, with personal portrayals and interesting anecdotes of pioneering scholars. Positioning chemistry carefully within the natural sciences, the author rejects the traditional separation of physics, chemistry and biology, defines chemistry broadly as the ‘science of atoms and molecules,’ and traces its dynamic history with an emphasis on 20th century developments and more recent findings. Professor Hirota himself has spearheaded research in physical chemistry for more than four decades in Japan and the United States, with cutting-edge engagement with magnetic resonance, spectroscopy, and photochemistry. This publication invites specialized researchers to traverse the pathways along which the subject developed into its present form and to understand how their own research fits into the broad scope of science as a whole.