Chemical Evolution

Origin of the Elements, Molecules, and Living Systems
Author(s): 
Mason, Stephen F.
ISBN: 
0198557434
Date published: 
November 1992
Paperback
Price: 
£6.50
Pages: 
330

Recent accounts of the chemical history of the universe have tended to emphasize either the inorganic or the organic aspects of chemical evolution, looking for example, at the nucleosynthesis of the chemical elements on the one hand, or the origin and development of living organisms on the other . This book takes the chemistry as the central science of all materials - inorganic and organic - at the molecular level, and brings together both aspects in a clear account of the development of ideas of chemical evolution. This fascinating survey covers the generation of the light chemical elements in the Big Bang, their transformation into heavier elements in the stars, the origin of the solar system, and the molecular evolution of minerals and organisms on the earth. Spanning the range from nuclear chemistry and radioactivity, through mineral and organic chemistry, to biochemistry and molecular biology, it adopts a historical approach to show how recent research has modified and extended earlier conclusions and conjectures. The book is essential reading for all those interested in the development of scientific ideas on the origins of the universe, chemical matter, and life on earth.

This is a fascinating chemical history of the universe. Beginning with the generation of the light chemical elements in the Big Bang, the book goes on to consider their transformation into heavier elements in the stars, the origin of the solar system, and the molecular evolution of minerals and organisms on the earth. Combining the organic and inorganic aspects of chemical evolution, Professor Mason demonstrates how recent research has modified and extended our knowledge of such topics as nuclear chemistry, radioactivity, mineral and organic chemistry, biochemistry, and molecular biology.