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Molecular Origami: Precision Scale Models from Paper

Robert M. Hanson St. Olaf College

This is a fun, hands-on guide to understanding the basic structure and chemistry of matter. Drawing on the Japanese art of paperfolding, the book provides rip-out patterns for 124 molecules, along with easy instructions for folding them into scale models, many of which are three-dimensional. The molecules progress from simple ones like methane to more exotic structures such as quartz and buckminsterfullerenes. Questions and discussions are included.

Print Book, ISBN 978-0-935702-30-9, US $50
Copyright 1995
255 pages, paper

Summary

This is a fun, hands-on guide to understanding the basic structure and chemistry of matter. Drawing on the Japanese art of paperfolding, the book provides rip-out patterns for 124 molecules, along with easy instructions for folding them into scale models, many of which are three-dimensional. The molecules progress from simple ones like methane to more exotic structures such as quartz and buckminsterfullerenes. Questions and discussions are included.

 

Table of Contents

Introduction
Part 1: Basic Shapes, Basic Ideas
Part 2: Advanced Shapes
Part 3: Beyond Octahedra
Part 4: More Complex Molecules and Ions
Part 5: Network Solids
Part 6: One- and Two-Dimensional Shapes
Discussion of Questions in Part 1
Sources and Methods
Index

Reviews

“Useful in teaching chemical bonding concepts not only in high school and freshman chemistry classes, but also in undergraduate inorganic chemistry.”
-Science

“This unusual, useful, and enlightening volume is clearly a labor of love. It offers students and science teachers a unique, entertaining, hands-on approach to stereochemistry and makes an ideal gift for budding scientists.”
-Instructional Media

“Each pattern comes complete with chemistry questions to set students thinking…If you’ve never puzzled over the shape of a dodecaborane, you will now.”
-New Scientist

“Even the most uncoordinated klutz can assemble some of the simpler folded models, and — believe it or not — a few models (of linear and diatomic molecules) don’t require folding!…Molecules are beautiful. A lot can be learned by making and examing models of them. At least one student and teacher recommend Molecular Origami to other students and teachers.”
-Current Biology

“Students will come to really understand bonding and stereochemistry while they are having fun…a unique approach!”
-F. Thomas Bond, University of California at San Diego

“This book is a must for every high school chemistry classroom!”
-James Bryn, Sparks High School, Nevada

Robert M. Hanson St. Olaf College

Robert Hanson is a Professor of Chemistry at St. Olaf College, in Northfield, Minnesota, where he has been teaching since 1986. Trained as an organic chemist with Gilbert Stork at Columbia University, he shares a patent with 2001 Nobel Prize winner K.Barry Sharpless for the asymmetric epoxidation of allylic alcohols. His interest in thermodynamics goes back to early training at the California Institute of Technology, from which he got a B.S. degree in 1979. He spends his occasional moments of free time playing the violin in a community orchestra, piloting gliders, and designing new Sudoku strategies.

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