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The Elements: A Very Short Introduction

by

The Elements: A Very Short Introduction Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Elements: A Very Short Introduction is an exciting and non-traditional approach to understanding the terminology, properties, and classification of chemical elements. Author Philip Ball traces the history and cultural impact of the elements on humankind, and examines why people have long sought to identify the substances around them. The book includes chapters on particular elements such as gold, iron, and oxygen, showing how they shaped culture and technology. Looking beyond the Periodic Table, the author examines our relationship with matter, from the uncomplicated vision of the Greek philosophers, who believed there were four elements — earth, air, fire, and water — to the work of modern-day scientists in creating elements such as hassium and meitnerium. Packed with anecdotes, The Elements is a highly engaging and entertaining exploration of the fundamental question: what is the world made from?

Synopsis:

This Very Short Introduction is an exciting and non-traditional approach to understanding the terminology, properties, and classification of chemical elements. It traces the history and cultural impact of the elements on humankind, and examines why people have long sought to identify the substances around them. The book includes chapters on particular elements such as gold, iron, and oxygen, showing how they shaped culture and technology. Looking beyond the Periodic Table, the author examines our relationship with matter, from the uncomplicated vision of the Greek philosophers, who believed there were four elements--earth, air, fire, and water--to the work of modern-day scientists in creating elements such as hassium and meitnerium. Packed with anecdotes, The Elements is a highly engaging and entertaining exploration of the fundamental question: what is the world made from?

About the Author

Philip Ball is a science writer and a consultant editor for Nature, where he was formerly an editor for physical science for over 10 years. He writes about all areas of science for the international press, and has broadcast on TV and radio. His previous books include Designing the Molecular World, The Self-Made Tapestry, H20: A Biography of Water, and Stories of the Invisible: A Guided Tour of Molecules. Mr. Ball holds a degree in chemistry from Oxford University and a doctorate in physics from Bristol University. He lives in London, where his Homunculas Theatre Company occasionally performs on a shoestring budget.

Table of Contents

1. Aristotle's Quartet: The elements in antiquity

2. Revolution: How oxygen changed the world

3. Gold: The most desirable element

4. The Eightfold Path: Organizing the elements

5. The Atom Factories: Making new elements

6. The Chemical Brothers: Why isotopes are useful

7. For All Practical Purposes: Technologies of the elements

End notes

Further reading

Product Details

ISBN:
9780192840998
Author:
BALL, PHILIP
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
null, Philip
Location:
N
Subject:
Chemistry - General
Subject:
Chemistry
Subject:
Chemical elements
Copyright:
Series:
VERY SHORT INTRODUCTIONS
Series Volume:
104
Publication Date:
September 2004
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
6 halftones, 9 line illus.
Pages:
186
Dimensions:
178 x 111 in.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » Oxford Very Short Introductions
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Science and Mathematics » Chemistry » General
Science and Mathematics » Chemistry » Inorganic
Science and Mathematics » Geology » General
Travel » Travel Writing » General

The Elements: A Very Short Introduction New Trade Paper
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Product details 186 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780192840998 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This Very Short Introduction is an exciting and non-traditional approach to understanding the terminology, properties, and classification of chemical elements. It traces the history and cultural impact of the elements on humankind, and examines why people have long sought to identify the substances around them. The book includes chapters on particular elements such as gold, iron, and oxygen, showing how they shaped culture and technology. Looking beyond the Periodic Table, the author examines our relationship with matter, from the uncomplicated vision of the Greek philosophers, who believed there were four elements--earth, air, fire, and water--to the work of modern-day scientists in creating elements such as hassium and meitnerium. Packed with anecdotes, The Elements is a highly engaging and entertaining exploration of the fundamental question: what is the world made from?
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