Skip to main content
The Beauty of Chemistry: Art, Wonder, and Science

The Beauty of Chemistry: Art, Wonder, and Science

Current price: $49.95
Publication Date: May 11th, 2021
The MIT Press
Usually Ships in 1 to 5 Days


Images and text capture the astonishing beauty of the chemical processes that create snowflakes, bubbles, flames, and other wonders of nature.

Chemistry is not just about microscopic atoms doing inscrutable things; it is the process that makes flowers and galaxies. We rely on it for bread-baking, vegetable-growing, and producing the materials of daily life. In stunning images and illuminating text, this book captures chemistry as it unfolds. Using such techniques as microphotography, time-lapse photography, and infrared thermal imaging, The Beauty of Chemistry shows us how chemistry underpins the formation of snowflakes, the science of champagne, the colors of flowers, and other wonders of nature and technology. We see the marvelous configurations of chemical gardens; the amazing transformations of evaporation, distillation, and precipitation; heat made visible; and more.

About the Author

Philip Ball is the author of many critically acclaimed books of popular science, including Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads to Another, The Elements: A Very Short Introduction, and Beyond Weird: Why Everything You Thought You Knew about Quantum Physics Is Different. Wenting Zhu is an artist, designer, and photographer. Yan Liang is Associate Professor at the University of Science and Technology of China and the founder and producer of the educational brand Beauty of Science. He has worked as a science animator and illustrator.

Praise for The Beauty of Chemistry: Art, Wonder, and Science

Choice 2021 Outstanding Academic Title

"Far from portraying a routine lab procedure, this collection showcases chemistry's excitement and aesthetic allure."—Scientific American

"With atomic clarity, science writer Philip Ball narrates this visual tour through the under-appreciated chemical beauty that surrounds us."—WIRED

"Ball's scintillating book is a paean to chemical beauty in nature and laboratories, with lavish images created by Wenting Zhu, Yan Liang and the Chinese Chemical Society."—Nature