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My Life in the Golden Age of Chemistry - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128012161, 9780128013380

My Life in the Golden Age of Chemistry

1st Edition

More Fun Than Fun

Author: F. Cotton
eBook ISBN: 9780128013380
Hardcover ISBN: 9780128012161
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 22nd July 2014
Page Count: 512
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A giant in the field and at times a polarizing figure, F. Albert Cotton’s contributions to inorganic chemistry and the area of transitions metals are substantial and undeniable. In his own words, My Life in the Golden Age of Chemistry: More Fun than Fun describes the late chemist’s early life and college years in Philadelphia, his graduate training and research contributions at Harvard with Geoffrey Wilkinson, and his academic career from becoming the youngest ever full professor at MIT (aged 31) to his extensive time at Texas A&M. Professor Cotton’s autobiography offers his unique perspective on the advances he and his contemporaries achieved through one of the most prolific times in modern inorganic chemistry, in research on the then-emerging field of organometallic chemistry, metallocenes, multiple bonding between transition metal atoms, NMR and ESR spectroscopy, hapticity, and more. Working during a time of generous government funding of science and strong sponsorship for good research, Professor Cotton’s experience and observations provide insight into this prolific and exciting period of chemistry.

Key Features

  • Offers personal and often wry perspective from this prominent chemist and recipient of some of science’s highest honors: the U.S. National Medal of Science (1982), the Priestley Medal (the American Chemical Society's highest recognition, 1998), membership in the U. S. National Academy of Sciences and corresponding international bodies, and 29 honorary doctorates
  • Details the background behind the development and emergence of groundbreaking research in organometallic chemistry and transition metals
  • Provides beautifully-written and engaging insight into a "Golden Age of Chemistry" and the work of historically renowned chemists


Inorganic chemists, chemists, libraries

Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • Foreword
  • Prologue
  • To The Reader
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Philadelphia
    • High School (Jr. and Sr.) Years
    • College Days
  • Chapter 2. Harvard Years
    • A Summer at Los Alamos, 1952
    • The Pace of Research Quickens
    • My First Trip to Europe
    • Back to Harvard
  • Chapter 3. MIT 1955–60
  • Chapter 4. MIT 1961–71
    • The Sporting Life: Horses and Hounds
    • A Visit to Argentina
    • A Pleasant Sojourn in New York City
    • Calm Before the Storm
    • Goodbye to MIT
  • Chapter 5. MIT 1961–71: Mostly About Science
    • The Discovery of the Quadruple Bond
    • Infrared Spectra of Metal Carbonyls
    • Fluxional Organometallic Molecules
    • An Enzyme Structure — Staph Nuclease
  • Chapter 6. Yee Ha! Off to Texas
    • The Discovery of Agostic Interactions
    • More Metal—Metal Multiple Bonds
    • Collaboration with Malcolm Chisholm
    • The Rise and Decline of the Crystal Structure Industry
    • My First Visit to Israel and the Chemistry It Led To
    • My Adventure in Iran
    • The French Connection(s)
    • A Meeting in Southern Bavaria
  • Chapter 7. Good Times in the 1980s
    • A Fiasco of My Own Making
    • The National Medal of Science
    • The National Science Board
    • The Superconducting Supercollider
  • Chapter 8. From 1990 to the End of the Millennium
    • Other Activities During the 1990s
  • Chapter 9. The New Millenium
  • Chapter 10. More About People
    • Meeting Famous People
    • Secretaries
    • Jack Lewis
    • Earl Muetterties
    • Geoffrey Wilkinson
    • Derek Barton
    • Rick Adams
    • Carlos Murillo
    • Larry Falvello
    • Achim Müller
    • Herbert Roesky
    • Wolfgang Herrmann
    • Joseph Chatt
    • Fausto Calderazzo
  • Chapter 11. A Concluding Miscellany
    • Writing Books
    • Industrial Consulting
    • Changing Times at Texas A&M University
    • Animals
    • Some Recollections of Travel
    • Foreign Students
    • Three Golden Rules
  • Epilogue
  • Appendices
    • Appendix A. Ph.D. Students
    • Appendix B. Postdoctorals
    • Appendix C. Visitors
    • Appendix D. Priestly Lecture, 1998: Science Today — What Follows The Golden Age
      • What Is a Golden Age?
      • Is the Golden Age Over?
      • What Lies Ahead
      • What Would I Like to See Happen Right Now?
    • Appendix E. Publications
    • Appendix F. Some Former Ph.D. Students
    • Index


No. of pages:
© Elsevier 2014
22nd July 2014
eBook ISBN:
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Author

F. Cotton

Affiliations and Expertise

Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Texas A&M University, College Station, USA (Deceased)


" of the most outstanding inorganic chemists of recent times...The book will be of particular interest to inorganic chemists and is a record of a remarkable and high-achieving scientist."

Ratings and Reviews