Silhouettes of Chemistry (Science for Everyone) by D. N. Trifonov, L. G. Vlasov, translated from the Russian by

By D. N. Trifonov, L. G. Vlasov, translated from the Russian by David Sobolev and Andrei Konyaev

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It contains what are known as ultraviolet rays. If all these reached the Earth's surface, life on Earth would be impossible because these rays carry an immense amount of energy and are fatal to living organisms. Fortunately, only a very small fraction of the Sun's ultraviolet rays reach the Earth's surface. Most of them lose their force in the atmosphere at an altitude of 20-30 kilometres. At this level of the air blanket enveloping our planet, there is a great deal of ozone. And it absorbs the ultraviolet rays.

At this level of the air blanket enveloping our planet, there is a great deal of ozone. And it absorbs the ultraviolet rays. By the way, one of the present-day theories of the origin of life on Earth relates the appearance of the first organisms to the time of formation of the ozone layer in the atmosphere. But people need ozone on the Earth too, and in large quantities. They, and primarily chemists, need thousands and thousands of tons of ozone very badly. The chemical industry made use of the astounding oxidizing power of ozone.

Rather a romantic story. Or even a story of how simple sometimes can be the solution of a problem which for dozens of years tormented the minds of numerous scientists with its insolvability... In our days chemistry resembles a mighty tree with an immense ever-spreading crown. It is no longer possible for anyone person to study even a whole branch in full. An investigator mostly has to spend years to become acquainted in detail with a small twig, a bud, or a hardly visible 42 Silhouettes of Chemistry shoot.

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