Stuff Matters: Exploring The Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World (2014)
Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World (2014)
Rating
4.04 of 5 Votes: 3
ISBN
0544236041 (ISBN13: 9780544236042)
languge
English
publisher
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Rate book
This is an attempt to popularize materials science. I strongly support that in theory, but in practice this was gimmicky and not very appealing. The book purports to be framed around various materials seen in a picture of the author; this opens the door to a great deal of dull memoirish material and self-indulgent rhapsodies on the author's subjective impressions of materials. We have to slog through that despite the author not really being that committed to the "let's talk about this picture" structure; some of the materials aren't actually visible in the picture (e.g., "medical implants," which aren't really in the same sort of categorization scheme as most of the other materials discussed; the chapter on "foam" is entirely about unpictured silica aerogels). And then there's the chapter on "plastic," which features a series of clunky, disconnected screenplays (because celluloid is a plastic, get it?): they have all the zest of zero-budget educational films sponsored by the American Plastics Council to show to elementary-school students.Also, for those who care -- you know who you are -- only one of the chapters centers on a metal (steel; there's a bit of discussion of titanium in the implant chapter, and he tries to pass off graphite as a semi-metal). Fascinating book! Infinitely better than "How We Got to Now", which has some overlapping topics. Written by a materials scientist, it is filled with all sorts of interesting tidbits about steel, paper, concrete, chocolate, glass, etc. It makes you wonder how anyone discovered how to make chocolate from awful-tasting cocoa beans and the part about self-healing concrete is a mind-blowing example of creativity and innovation. Great read.
Reviews
hawtee
Great folksy but detailed discussion of materials. One section features chocolate.
nathalie
Engaging example of technical topics written for the general public.
leo
Not bad, but a little basic.
amiel
Absolutely incredible read.
Review will shown on site after approval.
(Review will shown on site after approval)