Text Book Recommendation: Cell & Molecular Biology + Organic Chemistry

Text Book Recommendation: Cell & Molecular Biology + Organic Chemistry

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

I am studying undergraduate biology course and I have cell biology and molecular biology in my next semester. Our college recommends three books : Cooper, Lodish & Bruce Alberts. It would be really helpful if you give me your opinion on which of these (or your own recommended book) would be the best to learn these subjects properly. The only thing I need is the book to be easy to understand because it will most probably be totally self taught because our instructors are not always helpful in explaining stuff properly.
We also have an organic chemistry class and the recommended books are Solomon's&Fryhle & LG Wade. It would be helpful if you help me choose between these as well, my requirement stays the same. Book should be easy for self learning. If you know about online video lectures about organic chemistry and molecular biology do let me know. MIT OCW doesnt really have good bio videos. I cant seem to find video lectures anywhere for gre preparation. Thank you

Given your requirements I would go for the Alberts for molecular cell biology.

For organic chemistry, in my opinion, there is no better book then the Clayden. It is targeted at OC students but I - as a biologist - learned a lot from it and still sometimes love to browse through it even though my work is far away from organic chemistry.

In general, I would advise you to go to your local library and take a look at the different choices before getting one. Take your time to get a feel for the writing and teaching styles and pick the one you find most access to (and maybe give feedback as a comment/an own answer to your post which book you took and why, for future reference).

"The only thing I need is the book to be easy to understand because it will most probably be totally self taught because our instructors are not always helpful in explaining stuff properly."

I can understand the problem with the stream you are telling about; there is an outburst of information, but there is a severe shortage of correlating between different chapters. That is causing the difficulty in the streams.

For Organic chemistry:

I Have not read about L. G. Wade, so I could not comment,
but I bought a Solomon and Fryhle's organic chemistry , 10th Edition (by T. W. Graham Solomon and Craig B. Fryhle; published by Wiley) , and it is really amazing book. It worth buying a copy for home use… If you are one who sticked with understanding how stuff works, then Solomon & Fryhle is a good option.

Publisher link: Willey link: 12th edition, 11th edition, Students' companion site

Google book link Ed-8, Ed-9 content Ed-10.

Amazon link: Ed-10.

This book, though not with title of bio-organic chemistry, it very well discuss about organic chemistry in biology. The book is also cover the role of stereochemistry in biology, such as the bias of a biological system to produce one-type of chiral molecule out of two. While telling about any functional-group or type-of compound, the book mentions its significance in nature. The book also
discuss about various types of biomolecules.

Organic Chemistry by I. L. Finar, Vol-2. can work like an alphabet of the structures found in biological molecules. It also discusses well about the secondary metabolites.

Publisher link

Besides the organic chemistry, you will need some backup in bioinorganic chemistry, such as structures of various metalloproteins,

For the very basics of bioinorganic chemistry, one chapter book I found very nice, but I can't assure whether this book is available worldwide.

in General and inorganic chemistry by Ramaprasad Sarkar; Volume -2 , the chapter about bioinorganic chemistry, it very well explains the basics, especially how different inorganic elements form the different types of chemical bonds in biomolecules. It also gave elaborate classifications of bioinorganic compounds.

Though the edition (I can't recall now) I've read from a library, contained some old theories about mechanism; however the chapter is written very much systematic way, with first a bird's eye view and then gradual details.

Publisher link: Vol-2 in New Central Book agency

For Cell-biology

There is a very old edition of Biochemistry, by Albert L. Lehninger, with title "BIOCHEMISTRY- the molecular basis of cell structure and function" The book was published by Kalyani Publisher, Ludhiana.
(The book is much different from the modern version "Lehninger's biochemistry" edited by Nelson and Cox).

This is a very basic and easy-to-read textbook covering biological chemistry as well as cell-biology. You could consult your college library for the book.

For all aspects of cell-biology; the best comprehensive book I've ever seen, is by Pollard et al. . Cell biology, by Thomas Dean Pollard, William C. Earnshaw, Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, Graham T. Johnson

The beauty of this book is, beside detailed and elaborate explanations of structures and their functions, everything is arranged in very systematic way. For example, in the biosignaling pathways; each-type of components, such as ligand, receptor, second messengers etc. classified and given in tabular way. When I can't understand a topic from some-other book, I need to consult this-book.

Publisher Website: Elsevier

Google books preview: Ed-2, Ed-3.

Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics

To become a biologist or health-care professional, you have to study a variety of scientific disciplines — biology, chemistry, physics, and math. You might have noted that the world doesn’t actually divide itself in this way. Rather, the disciplines historically have been a way of choosing a sub-class of the phenomena that occur in the world and looking at a particular aspect of them with a particular purpose in mind. Different disciplines have different sets of tools and ways of knowing. Looking at something from different disciplinary perspectives adds a richness and depth to our understanding — like taking two 2-D pictures and merging them into a 3-D image.

Your introductory science and math classes often provide you with some basics — tools, concepts, and vocabulary — but may not give you a perspective on what each discipline adds to what you are learning and how they all fit together. Each discipline has its own orientation and perspective towards the development of a professional scientist. Here’s a brief (and oversimplified) overview of the different disciplines that you encounter in studying biology.

What Should You Actually Look For In A Book

Before I give you my recommendations, let’s talk about what you need to look for. Too many students rush out and make a purchase before knowing what they need.

You can study for the MCAT in two main ways:

1. By studying content directly (reading books, watching videos, taking notes, anything that is only content-related).

2. Taking practice questions AND reviewing every single detail about why the answers are right/wrong to learn how the MCAT wants you to think about the content.

Little hint, the second is the only way to get a good score. The students who use the first method typically don’t do well. This is why MCAT prep books aren’t everything.

BUT books with great practice and explanations are, in fact, everything.

That’s why you’ll notice all my recommendations have great practice, and I suggest ways to supplement practice for the ones that don’t.

Customers who viewed this item also viewed


"The succinct and lucid presentation style of Essentials Of Chemical Biology will likely make it a popular resource for undergraduate and graduate students interested in the structure and interaction of biologically relevant macromolecules." (Journal of Chemical Biology, February 2009)

"This excellent work fills the need for an upper-level graduate course resource that examines the latest biochemical, biophysical, and molecular biological methods for analyzing the structures and physical properties of biomolecules. Miller (Imperial College London, UK) and Tanner (Univ. of Hong Kong) cover traditional subjects such as binding interactions and catalysis. They also describe biophysical theories and current methods for protein structure determinations such as circular dichroism, X-ray crystallography, neutron diffraction, NMR, EPR, fluorescence, mass spectrometry, and electron and atomic force microscopy. For example, the chapter on solution NMR provides simplified yet high-quality explanations of the key principles of NMR. The well-developed introduction helps students to better follow the more complex information concerning the principles of multidimensional NMR. In addition, the latter part of the chapter offers current applications using a variety of multidimensional NMR spectroscopy experiments in the analysis of proteins, nucleic acid, carbohydrate, and lipid structures. This reviewer showed Essentials of Chemical Biology to several of his senior graduate students, and they unanimously gave the book rave reviews. The work could be improved by better referencing the resource materials within the text and by providing student exercises at the end of each chapter." (J. M. Tomich, Kansas State University, Choice, February 2009)


"Worth pursuing as an excellent text for structural aspects. Would be very good for postgraduate courses as well"
Dr N. Botting, University of St Andrews

"Very much worth pursuing. The structure and dynamics approach is most welcome. The proposed text seems to address the omissions of several current texts. This could be the winner for our needs. A recent massive investment in bioinformatics and chemoinformatics means that modelling of structure (& recognition) and manipulation and visualisation of complex molecules is a real teaching possibility for evolving courses"
Karl Hemming, University of Hertfordshire

"Certainly there is a need for this type of text - its coverage is very comprehensive. A book like this would certainly allow development of existing courses or creation of new ones."
Dr GA Nickolas, Manchester Met University

"Will be a good new addition to current texts."
Dr J. Gardiner, UMIST

"I find the overall philosophy and content of the proposed work both exciting and admirable. As far as I am aware, there is no book on the market with a similar coverage. I wish the authors well and think that this is a timely and worthwhile enterprise."
Dr. Brian Ridge, University of Exeter

From the Inside Flap

Essentials of Chemical Biology is designed specifically as a key teaching resource for chemical biology that is intended to build on the foundations laid down by introductory physical and organic chemistry courses. This book will be an invaluable text to students taking biological, bioorganic, organic and structural chemistry courses. It will be of interest to biochemists and molecular biologists, as well as professionals with in medicine and the pharmaceutical industry.

From the Back Cover

Essentials of Chemical Biology is designed specifically as a key teaching resource for chemical biology that is intended to build on the foundations laid down by introductory physical and organic chemistry courses. This book will be an invaluable text to students taking biological, bioorganic, organic and structural chemistry courses. It will be of interest to biochemists and molecular biologists, as well as professionals with in medicine and the pharmaceutical industry.

About the Author

Dr Julian A. Tanner, Department of Biochemistry, University of Hong Kong.

Chemiotics II

If you’re Irish and your family looks like it’s been at a wake since 8 November or if you’re Jewish and your family has been sitting shiva since Trump won, I’ve got a book for them. They’ll hate it of course and reading it will be painful for them, but if they want to defeat him in the future they’d best buckle up and read it.

The book is called “How Trump Won” by Joel B. Pollak, and Larry Schweikart. Pollak is Breitbart Senior News Editor at Large, and Schweikart is an emeritus American history prof.

Why should the mourners read it? Simply this. If you want to defeat Trump in the future you should know just how he beat you. The celebrators of his victory will need no urging.

It’s pretty well written, and the chapters alternate between the two with Pollak describing his experiences in the last days of the campaign starting 19 October and Schweikart covering American history starting with Martin van Buren to put things in context. It is disconcerting as Schweikart also covers the Trump campaign from its inception in 2015, so there are jumps in time from chapter to chapter.

Even though a political junkie I was as bamboozled by the press coverage of the election as anyone else, going to bed at 10PM election night because I knew it would be a rout of Trump — “Hispanics surging to the polls” etc. etc.

A few points to whet your interest. Giving the lie to Breitbart’s antisemitism, Pollak is a devout Jew,leaving the campaign trail each Saturday to observe the sabbath. He’s a Harvard Graduate.

The authors knew Trump would win Florida, based on the early voting. They knew how various counties reliably voted, and the panhandle was early voting heavily. They could see that blacks weren’t voting as much — down 3 – 4 % in Florida, 8% in North Carolina (apparently absolute absentee numbers by location are available long before the election, although not WHO the voters were for). So much for the theory that North Carolina was won because it was difficult for blacks to get the polls — there certainly is no obstacle for early voting.

Here’s another — why were the polls so wrong. People were afraid to say they were for Trump (particularly in liberal enclaves). One pollster (Trafalgar) figured out a way around this — they just asked people who they thought their neighbors would vote for.

On election night the media did what they authors expected, calling states for Clinton as soon as possible, and delaying calling any states for Trump for as long as possible.

Well that’s enough. Either you will grit your teeth and read it or you won’t.

A few other points — I’ve never seen the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Nation and the National Review agree on anything. But they were uniformly against Trump slanting the news against him, declaring his campaign imploding at various times. Fascinating that it had no effect. The National Review put out an entire issue in January 2016 titled “Against Trump.”

So if you find a biased article against your favorite politician (assuming you have one) — relax — it no longer matters.

The book is not abstract, filled with interviews by Pollak of those attending Trump rallies (along with interview of those there to protest him).

Table of Contents

Molecular Products and Thermochemistry of Hydrocarbon Oxidation
Chain Mechanism of Liquid-Phase Oxidation of Hydrocarbons
Initiation of Liquid-Phase Oxidation
Oxidation as an Autoinitiated Chain Reaction
Co-Oxidation of Hydrocarbons
Reactivity of the Hydrocarbons in Reactions with Peroxyl, Alkoxyl, and Alkyl Radicals
Oxidation of Alcohols and Ethers
Oxidation of Carbonyl Compounds and Decarboxylation of Acids
Oxidation of Amines, Amides, and Esters
Catalysis in Liquid-Phase Hydrocarbon Oxidation
Sulfoxidation of Hydrocarbons
Oxidation of Polymers

Theory of Inhibition of Chain Oxidation of Organic Compounds
Antioxidants Reacting with Peroxyl Radicals
Cyclic Chain Termination in Oxidation of Organic Compounds
Hydroperoxide Decomposing Antioxidants
Synergism of Antioxidant Action
Peculiarities of Antioxidant Action in Polymers
Heterogeneous Inhibition of Oxidation

Initiators of Free Radical-Mediated Processes
Generation of Free Radicals by Prooxidant Enzymes
Production of Free Radicals by Mitochondria
Production of Free Radicals by Microsomes
Nonenzymatic Lipid Peroxidation
Enzymatic Lipid Peroxidation
Oxidation of Proteins
DNA Oxidative Damage
Antioxidant Enzymes
Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress in Pathophysiological Processes
Comments on Contemporary Methods of Oxygen and Nitrogen Free Radical Detection

Chemical Biology : From Small Molecules to Systems Biology and Drug Design , 1–3

". Overall, there is no doubt that these three volumes will be the authoritative reference for those already working in the field and researchers wanting to get acquainted with the various topics in chemical biology. The informationen is clearly given by leading figures in each subdiscipline of chemical biology, and the reader can go straight to the chapter of interest. The book could also serve as support for teaching."
ChemBioChem, 07/2007

". I found the book very stimulating, also in fields where I do not feel at home. It can also be used as a refernce book for the aread of chemical biology that are covered. I recommend it for a readership taht extends from then advanced PhD student with an interest in the subject to scientists already working in the field."
Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 10/2007

"In general, this compendium is very well-written and produced, although some figures are too small to be useful." (Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, November 2007)

Chemiotics II

This post is to be mentioned in the 2 Nov C&EN. I’m reposting it so people can find it. The original came out 1 Sep.

Back when I was posting on “The Skeptical Chymist”, the editor (Stuart Cantrill), told me that noises were being made about dropping organic chemistry from the pre-med curriculum and asked me to comment. I didn’t because the idea seemed so ridiculous. There is no possibility of really understanding anything about cellular biology, drug action, molecular biology etc. etc. without a firm grounding in organic chemistry. You simply must have some idea what vitamins, proteins, DNA and RNA and the drugs you’ll be using look like and how they chemically interact — which is what organic chemistry gives you the background for. Not that you can stop there — but all medical schools teach biochemistry — which starts at organic chemistry and takes off from there. Organic certainly helped me follow molecular biology as it exploded starting in the 60s.

Cynics might say that docs don’t synthesize things or crystallize the drugs they use. Knowing what’s going on under the hood is just esthetic filigree. Just tell them what ‘best practice’ is, and let them follow it like robots. Who cares if they know the underlying science. People drive cars without really understanding what a carburator or a manifold does (myself included).

It wasn’t until I got about 400 pages into the magnificent textbook of Organic Chemistry by Clayden, Greeves, Warren and Wothers (only 1100 action packed pages to go !) that the real answer became apparent. The stuff is impossible to memorize. Only assimilating principles and applying them to novel situations will get you through — exactly like the practice of medicine.

Let us suppose you have an eidetic memory, and know the best treatment for every condition. You wouldn’t have to know any science at all, would you?

What’s wrong with this picture? First of all, there isn’t a best treatment known for every condition. Second, every doc will see conditions and problems that simply aren’t in the books. When I first started out, I was amazed at how much of this there was. I asked an excellent internist who’d been in practice for 30 years if he’d seen it all. He thought he saw something completely new each week. Third, conditions occur in combinations, and many patients (and nearly all the elderly) have many more than one problem. The conditions and treatments interact in a highly nonlinear fashion. The treatment for one problem might make another much worse (see below).

Here is a concrete example using a familiar person (Sonia Sotomayor) and a disorder which should be known to all (the new Swine Flu which swept America and the world this spring). Let’s say that you’re that lucky soul with the perfect memory who knows all the best treatments (well those that exist anyway) and as such you’ve been given the responsibility of taking care of her.

It is public knowledge (e.g. Wikipedia) that Justice Sotomayor has had diabetes since age 8, requiring insulin since that time. Pictures show, that like many diabetics, she is overweight — depending on how tall she is I’d guess by 25 – 45 pounds. Influenza is usually a disease of the fall and winter, and the new Swine Flu is now down in South America, but it’s likely to sweep back up here this fall. We know it’s extremely infectious, but so far fortunately rather benign. There is no guarantee that it will stay that way. Suppose that while down in S. A. it mutated and has become more virulent (a possibility that the CDC takes extremely seriously).

What if she gets the new Swine flu next month? At this point there is no ‘best treatment’ known. Diabetics don’t do well with infections — they get more of them, and have more complications when they do. Her diabetes is certainly going to get worse. What if some think the ‘best treatment’ is corticosteroids (which is often used for severe lung infections) — which will really raise hell with her diabetes? Should you give it? Recall that corticosteroid use during the Asian SARS epidemic (another serious lung infection) seemed to hurt rather than help (Journal of Infection, Volume 51, Issue 2, Pages 98-102). There is no data to help you here and you and your patient don’t have the luxury of waiting for it. Don’t forget that her father died at 42 of heart disease. That could be relevant to what you do. Suppose, like many overweight diabetics she has high blood pressure and elevated lipids as well. How will that affect her management?

Your perfect eidetic memory of medicine will not be enough to help you with her management — you are going to have to think, and think hard and apply every principle of medicine you know to a new and unfamiliar situation with very little data to help you.

Sounds like Organic Chemistry doesn’t it? Anyone without the particular type of mind that is able absorb and apply multiple and (often) conflicting principles doesn’t belong in medicine. A hardnosed mathematician I audited a course from a few years ago, said that people would come up to him saying that if they couldn’t pass Calculus, they wouldn’t get into medical school. He felt that if they couldn’t, he didn’t want them in medical school (I’m not sure he told them this — probably he did). The same thing holds in spades for Organic Chemistry.

Open Educational Resources (OER)

From OpenStax:
" Biology 2e is designed to cover the scope and sequence requirements of a typical two-semester biology course for science majors. The text provides comprehensive coverage of foundational research and core biology concepts through an evolutionary lens. Biology includes rich features that engage students in scientific inquiry, highlight careers in the biological sciences, and offer everyday applications. The book also includes various types of practice and homework questions that help students understand&mdashand apply&mdashkey concepts.
The 2nd edition has been revised to incorporate clearer, more current, and more dynamic explanations, while maintaining the same organization as the first edition. Art and illustrations have been substantially improved, and the textbook features additional assessments and related resources."

OpenStax Concepts of Biology

Peer Reviews

Open SUNY Textbooks: Microbiology: A Laboratory Experience

From OpenStax:
"Designed to support a course in microbiology, Microbiology: A Laboratory Experience permits a glimpse into both the good and the bad in the microscopic world. The laboratory experiences are designed to engage and support student interest in microbiology as a topic, field of study, and career.

This text provides a series of laboratory exercises compatible with a one-semester undergraduate microbiology or bacteriology course with a three- or four-hour lab period that meets once or twice a week. The design of the lab manual conforms to the American Society for Microbiology curriculum guidelines and takes a ground-up approach &mdash beginning with an introduction to biosafety and containment practices and how to work with biological hazards. From there the course moves to basic but essential microscopy skills, aseptic technique and culture methods, and builds to include more advanced lab techniques. The exercises incorporate a semester-long investigative laboratory project designed to promote the sense of discovery and encourage student engagement. "

OpenStax Microbiology

Peer Reviews

Open Oregon: Environmental Biology

From the Introduction:
"Environmental Biology is a free and open textbook that enables students to develop a nuanced understanding of today&rsquos most pressing environmental issues. This text helps students grasp the scientific foundation of environmental topics so they can better understand the world around them and their impact upon it. This book is a collaboration between various authors and organizations that are committed to providing students with high quality and affordable textbooks. Particularly, this text draws from the following open sources, in addition to new content from the editor:

Biology by OpenStax is licensed under CC BY 3.0
Sustainability: A Comprehensive Foundation by Tom Theis and Jonathan Tomkin, Editors, is licensed under CC BY 3.0
Essentials of Environmental Science by Kamala Dor&scaronner is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Environmental Biology is licensed under CC BY 4.0 and was edited and co-authored by Matthew R. Fisher, Biology Faculty at Oregon Coast Community College. If you have questions, suggestions, or found errors in this text, please contact him at [email protected]"

Concepts of Biology: 1st Canadian Edition

From the Description:
"In this survey text, directed at those not majoring in biology, we dispel the assumption that a little learning is a dangerous thing. We hope that by skimming the surface of a very deep subject, biology, we may inspire you to drink more deeply and make more informed choices relating to your health, the environment, politics, and the greatest subject that are all of us are entwined in, life itself.

Ancillary materials, including powerpoint slides, lab manual, and assignments available upon request.

NIH The New Genetics

From the Description:
"The New Genetics is a science education booklet that explains the role of genes in health and disease, the basics of DNA and its molecular cousin RNA, and new directions in genetic research.

​Please note the publication date of this resource. There may be more recent developments that are not captured here. We are working to update our science education content and encourage you to check our website for new resources in the future."

From the About:
"This introduction to computational biology is centered on the analysis of molecular sequence data. There are two closely connected aspects to biological sequences: (i) their relative position in the space of all other sequences, and (ii) their movement through this sequence space in evolutionary time. Accordingly, the first part of the book deals with classical methods of sequence analysis: pairwise alignment, exact string matching, multiple alignment, and hidden Markov models. In the second part evolutionary time takes center stage and phylogenetic reconstruction, the analysis of sequence variation, and the dynamics of genes in populations are explained in detail. In addition, the book contains a computer program with a graphical user interface that allows the reader to experiment with a number of key concepts developed by the authors.

Introduction to Computational Biology is intended for students enrolled in courses in computational biology or bioinformatics as well as for molecular biologists, mathematicians, and computer scientists."

From the Summary:
"Anatomy and Physiology is a dynamic textbook for the two-semester human anatomy and physiology course for life science and allied health majors. The book is organized by body system and covers standard scope and sequence requirements. Its lucid text, strategically constructed art, career features, and links to external learning tools address the critical teaching and learning challenges in the course. The web-based version of Anatomy and Physiology also features links to surgical videos, histology, and interactive diagrams."

From the Summary:
"The 3rd edition of Cell and Molecular Biology 3e: What We Know & How We Found Out (CMB3e) is the latest edition of an interactive Open Educational Resource (OER) electronic textbook, available under a Creative Commons CC-BY license. Like earlier editions (and like most introductory science textbooks), the third edition of the CMB3e iText opens with a discussion of scientific method. CMB3e retains its focus on experimental support for what we know about cell and molecular biology. Having a sense of how science is practiced and how investigators think about experimental results is essential to understanding the relationship of cell structure and function, not to mention the natural world around us.

Instructors and students can freely download the CMB3e Sample Chapter, Basic CMB3e and Annotated CMB3e iText. Instructors can request the Instructors CMB3e iText. All iText users can create their own digital annotations or download and print the text and write in the margins the old-fashioned way!"

From the Summary:
"The traditional approach to teaching Organic Chemistry, taken by most of the textbooks that are currently available, is to focus primarily on the reactions of laboratory synthesis, with much less discussion - in the central chapters, at least - of biological molecules and reactions. This is despite the fact that, in many classrooms, a majority of students are majoring in Biology or Health Sciences rather than in Chemistry, and are presumably taking the course in order to learn about the chemistry that takes place in living things.

In an effort to address this disconnect, I have developed a textbook for a two-semester, sophomore-level course in Organic Chemistry in which biological chemistry takes center stage. For the most part, the text covers the core concepts of organic structure, structure determination, and reactivity in the standard order. What is different is the context: biological chemistry is fully integrated into the explanation of central principles, and as much as possible the in-chapter and end-of-chapter problems are taken from the biochemical literature. Many laboratory synthesis reactions are also covered, generally in parallel with their biochemical counterparts - but it is intentionally the biological chemistry that comes first."

From the Summary:
"This textbook has been created with several goals in mind: accessibility, customization, and student engagement&mdashall while encouraging students toward high levels of academic scholarship. Students will find that this textbook offers a strong introduction to human biology in an accessible format."

Chemiotics II

My first encounter with a topology textbook was not a happy one. I was in grad school knowing I’d leave in a few months to start med school and with plenty of time on my hands and enough money to do what I wanted. I’d always liked math and had taken calculus, including advanced and differential equations in college. Grad school and quantum mechanics meant more differential equations, series solutions of same, matrices, eigenvectors and eigenvalues, etc. etc. I liked the stuff. So I’d heard topology was cool — Mobius strips, Klein bottles, wormholes (from John Wheeler) etc. etc.

So I opened a topology book to find on page 1

A topology is a set with certain selected subsets called open sets satisfying two conditions
l. The union of any number of open sets is an open set
2. The intersection of a finite number of open sets is an open set

In an effort to help, on page two the book provided another definition

A topology is a set with certain selected subsets called closed sets satisfying two conditions
l. The union of a finite number number of closed sets is a closed set
2. The intersection of any number of closed sets is a closed set

Ghastly. No motivation. No idea where the definitions came from or how they could be applied.

Which brings me to ‘An Introduction to Algebraic Topology” by Andrew H. Wallace. I recommend it highly, even though algebraic topology is just a branch of topology and fairly specialized at that.

Because in a wonderful, leisurely and discursive fashion, he starts out with the intuitive concept of nearness, applying it to to classic analytic geometry of the plane. He then moves on to continuous functions from one plane to another explaining why they must preserve nearness. Then he abstracts what nearness must mean in terms of the classic pythagorean distance function. Topological spaces are first defined in terms of nearness and neighborhoods, and only after 18 pages does he define open sets in terms of neighborhoods. It’s a wonderful exposition, explaining why open sets must have the properties they have. He doesn’t even get to algebraic topology until p. 62, explaining point set topological notions such as connectedness, compactness, homeomorphisms etc. etc. along the way.

This is a recommendation not a review because, I’ve not read the whole thing. But it’s a great explanation for why the definitions in topology must be the way they are.

It won’t set you back much — I paid. $12.95 for the Dover edition (not sure when).

Watch the video: Organic Molecules u0026 Carbohydrates honors biology updated (October 2022).