DESIGNING THE MOLECULAR WORLD: Chemistry at the Frontier

Designing the Molecular World: Chemistry at the Frontier, a book by Philip BallDesigning the Molecular World: Chemistry at the Frontier by Philip Ball

Many of the most exciting developments in modern science come not from particle accelerators, astronomical observatories or biotechnology companies but from the benches of chemists. Dubbed “The Cinderella Science”, chemistry has come a long way from smells and smoke.

Today’s chemists are creating the substances that shape the world and change our lives.

They are engineers in atom-craft, in rearranging the elements into fantastic architectural forms with their own lilliputian beauty. Amongst these creations of the molecular world are the hollow carbon molecules called fullerenes, which may lead to super-strong fibres or electronic devices a hundred times smaller than those on today’s silicon chips.


MADE TO MEASURE: New Materials for the 21st Century

Made to Measure: New Materials for the 21st Century, a book by Philip BallMade to Measure: New Materials for the 21st Century by Philip Ball

From synthetic skin, blood and bone to substances that repair themselves and adapt to the environment, that swell and flex like muscles, that repel any ink or paint, or that capture and store the energy of the Sun – new materials are shaping our future. For the first time in history, materials are being “made to measure”: designed for particular applications, rather than discovered in nature or by haphazard experimentation.

This book links insights from chemistry, biology and physics with those from engineering as it outlines the various areas in which new materials will transform our lives in the twenty-first century.

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Philip Ball – Science Writer

Philip Ball science writer, gives a presentation in Madrid

Philip Ball is a freelance science writer.

He worked previously at Nature for over 20 years, first as an editor for physical sciences (for which his brief extended from biochemistry to quantum physics and materials science) and then as a Consultant Editor.

His writings on science for the popular press have covered topical issues ranging from cosmology to the future of molecular biology.

Philip is the author of many popular books on science, including works on the nature of water, pattern formation in the natural world, colour in art, the science of social and political philosophy, the cognition of music, and physics in Nazi Germany. He has written widely on the interactions between art and science, and has delivered lectures to scientific and general audiences at venues ranging from the Victoria and Albert Museum (London) to the NASA Ames Research Center, London’s National Theatre and the London School of Economics.

He continues to write regularly for Nature. And has contributed to publications ranging from New Scientist to the New York Times, the Guardian, the Financial Times and New Statesman. He is a contributing editor of Prospect magazine (for which he writes a science blog), and also a columnist for Chemistry World, Nature Materials, and the Italian science magazine Sapere. Philip has broadcast on many occasions on radio and TV, and is a presenter of “Science Stories” on BBC Radio 4. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, sits on the editorial board of Chemistry World and Interdiscipinary Science Reviews, and is a board member of the RESOLV network on solvation science at the Ruhr University of Bochum.

Philip has a BA in Chemistry from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Physics from the University of Bristol.

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