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The Measure of All Things: A History of Chemical Analysis by Thomas R. Dulski

The Measure of All Things: A History of Chemical Analysis

by Thomas R. Dulski

798 pages
Materials characterization has been essential to human progress throughout the centuries. This volume provides a timeline that traces the history of chemical analysis as it was embedded in the progress of science, and as that was, in turn, embedded in the unfolding of world history.

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About the Book
In the broadest sense, this book tells the story of mankind's quest to understand, and so potentially control, the material world. This pursuit began with analysis and measurement in the waking dawn of human rationality and continues to this day. As we follow the exponential growth of this endeavor throughout time the narrative is balanced with the complementary growth of science and contrasted against the unwinding spool of social and political history. Each chapter opens with an overview of the historical context, followed by a survey of the state of science, and concludes with specific analytical detail. As the discipline of chemical analysis advances through time our treatment of the background increases in rough proportion; and so the time-slice chapters begin with millennia and end in decades. Along our path through time we meet some familiar scientists (Einstein is here, and so is Madame Curie), but we also meet a host of strangers (to all but scholars of history or the history of science). It is their work that remains our main focus, as it has in small and large ways, elevated human understanding and improved life in today's world.

 

 

About the Author
Thomas R. Dulski spent nearly 40 years employed as an industrial analytical chemist. He is the author of two books and 14 technical articles on the chemical analysis of metals. He also contributed two book chapters and three encyclopedia articles on related subjects. In 1988 he was elected a Fellow of the American Society for Testing and Materials International and served as chairman of ASTM Committee E-1 from 1994 to 2000. He also served as a section editor for the Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry (published in 2002). Since his retirement in 2002 he has devoted much of his time to the study of history and the history of science with particular attention to the much neglected history of chemical analysis. He is also the author of eleven works of fiction published in Analog.

 

 

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