Image and Reality (Hardback)Alan J. Rocke (author)
Hardback 416 Pages
Email me when available
Stay one step ahead and let us notify you when this item is next available to order
Email me when available
Enter your email below and we will notify you when this item is next available to order.
Image and Reality (Hardback)
We will contact you when this item is next available to order.
Chemists in the nineteenth century were faced with a particular problem: how to depict the atoms and molecules beyond the direct reach of our bodily senses. In visualizing this microworld, these scientists were the first to move beyond high-level philosophical speculations regarding the unseen. In "Image and Reality", Alan J. Rocke focuses on the community of organic chemists in Germany to provide the basis for a fuller understanding of the nature of scientific creativity. Arguing that visual mental images assisted many of these scientists in thinking through old problems and new possibilities, Rocke uses a variety of sources, including private correspondence, diagrams and illustrations, scientific papers, and public statements to investigate their ability to not only imagine the invisibly tiny atoms and molecules upon which they operated daily, but to build detailed and empirically based pictures of them. These portrayals of 'chemical structures' gradually became an accepted part of science and are now regarded as one of the defining features of chemistry. In telling this fascinating story, Rocke also suggests that imagistic thinking is often at the heart of creative thinking in all fields.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 652 g
Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 3 mm
"Alan Rocke's Image and Reality does so many things vividly and convincingly: it shows how visual images led chemistry step by step to the reality of the microscopic world; how simple portrayals of the logic of substitution and combination were reified; brings to our attention the imaginative, neglected work of Williamson and Kopp; and takes a critical look at Kekule's daydream. And it beautifully delineates the essential place the imagination has in science. A rewarding, lively picture of chemistry in formation." - Roald Hoffmann, Nobel laureate in chemistry.
You may also be interested in...
ReviewsSign In To Write A Review
Please sign in to write a review
Sign In / Register
Not registered? CREATE AN ACCOUNTCREATE A plus ACCOUNT
Download the Waterstones App
Would you like to proceed to the App store to download the Waterstones App?
Click & Collect
Reserve online, pay on collection
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
When will my order be ready to collect?
Following the initial email, you will be contacted by the shop to confirm that your item is available for collection.
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at