pt. I. The basic tools. A preliminary remark : water and friends -- Matter falling out -- Give and take -- Burns night -- Back to basics -- Two hands clapping -- Electric occurrence -- The generation game -- The death of metal -- Civil partnerships -- Changing partners -- Marriage broking -- Divorce and reconciliation -- pt. II. Assembling the workshop. Stringing along -- Snapping together -- Missile deployment -- Electronic warfare -- Fasteners -- Zippers -- Adding up -- Taking away -- Carbon footprints -- Networking opportunities -- pt. III. Making light work. Dark matter -- Irritating atmospheres -- Seeing the light -- Green chemistry -- pt. IV. Building by design. Food for thought -- Grand designs -- pt. V. Economizing. Uses illustrations to discuss the various chemical reactions, both simple and complex, between atoms and molecules. Illustrated with remarkable new full-color images--indeed, one or more on every page--and written by one of the world's leading authorities on the subject, Reactions offers a compact, pain-free tour of the inner workings of chemistry. Reactions begins with the chemical formula almost everyone knows--the formula for water, H2O--a molecule with an "almost laughably simple chemical composition." But Atkins shows that water is also rather miraculous--it is the only substance whose solid form is less dense than its liquid (hence ice floats in water)--and incredibly central to many chemical reactions, as it is an excellent solvent, being able to dissolve gases and many solids. Moreover, Atkins tells us that water is actually chemically aggressive and can react with and destroy the compounds dissolved in it, and he shows us what happens at the molecular level when water turns to ice--and when it melts. Moving beyond water, Atkins slowly builds up a toolkit of basic chemical processes, including precipitation (perhaps the simplest of all chemical reactions), combustion, reduction, corrosion, electrolysis, and catalysis. He then shows how these fundamental tools can be brought together in more complex processes such as photosynthesis, radical polymerization, vision, enzyme control, and synthesis.