1. A View From A Distant Universe   Previous PageNext Page

If we look at the world around us with a beginner's eye, it seems terrifyingly complex. Everything material is chemical, and everything is reacting, on one time scale or another. How can we possibly keep track of what is going on around us, let alone understand the principles involved?

The chemical reactions that go on in our world are more tightly interlocked than was realized only a few years ago. How can we manipulate these reactions to our own advantage, and how can we be sure that if we change things at one place, this will not create unforeseen troubles somewhere else?

These are real problems, and as the population of this planet has increased and the resources available recognized as finite, a great many people have come to ponder such problems. Chemistry, considered as a technique for managing a small planet, seems much more formidable now than a few years ago when it was regarded only as a method of making new plastics and fuels. If you want to learn something about chemistry today, where do you begin?

  Page 2 of 10 HomeGlossary