Review of "Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments."

Date: 27 March 2007

Author: Robert Bruce Thompson

Publisher: Make Books, an imprint of Maker Media, a division of O'Reilly Media, Inc.

Series: DIY Science

Book review by George Hrabovsky, MAST

I was doing my periodic hunt for math and physics books that are good and that I don't already have at my local Borders book store when my wife, Di, came up to me and said something like, "You should look at this book."

I sat down at the snack bar and began to page through it. I was immediately taken with down-to-Earth style and the no-nonsense highly practical approach. This is a lab book that demands to be used. There is excellent advice for starting up a lab, including legal precautions, how to get equipment, and how to get chemicals.

There is extensive advice on chemical lab safety, advice that I recommend that all home chemists follow to the letter!

Once you have a lab, equipment, and chemicals it makes sense that you learn to use them. Nearly thirty pages are develoted to simply learning basic lab procedures that you will use all the time.

The next three hundred pages are a collection of lab experiments that are not only well laid-out, but also are excellent because they explore alternative set-ups and are quite general. This allows the reader to customize them easily. You need no expensive test equipment, the most expensive items are a thermometer (a digital meat thermometer will likely work fine), and a pH meter.

Specific items that are very useful are:

All in all, I wish I had owned this book back when I started out in chemistry in 1972; it is a gold mine!

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