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Periodic Tales: A Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc

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Periodic Tales: A Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc Cover

ISBN13: 9780061824739
ISBN10: 0061824739
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A New York Times Bestseller

An eye-opening adventure deep inside the everyday materials that surround us, packed with surprising stories and fascinating science

Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does a paper clip bend? Why does any material look and behave the way it does? These are the sorts of questions that Mark Miodownik is constantly asking himself. A globally-renowned materials scientist, Miodownik has spent his life exploring objects as ordinary as an envelope and as unexpected as concrete cloth, uncovering the fascinating secrets that hold together our physical world.

In Stuff Matters, Miodownik entertainingly examines the materials he encounters in a typical morning, from the steel in his razor and the graphite in his pencil to the foam in his sneakers and the concrete in a nearby skyscraper. He offers a compendium of the most astounding histories and marvelous scientific breakthroughs in the material world, including:

  • The imprisoned alchemist who saved himself from execution by creating the first European porcelain.
  • The hidden gem of the Milky Way, a planet five times the size of Earth, made entirely of diamond.
  • Graphene, the thinnest, strongest, stiffest material in existenceandmdash;only a single atom thickandmdash;that could be used to make entire buildings sensitive to touch.
From the teacup to the jet engine, the silicon chip to the paper clip, the plastic in our appliances to the elastic in our underpants, our lives are overflowing with materials. Full of enthralling tales of the miracles of engineering that permeate our lives, Stuff Matters will make you see stuff in a whole new way.

Synopsis:

An eye-opening adventure deep inside the everyday materials that surround us, packed with surprising stories and fascinating science

Synopsis:

New York Times Notable Book 2014

Winner of the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books

and#160;

andldquo;Miodownik, a materials scientist, explains the history and science behind things such as paper, glass, chocolate, and concrete with an infectious enthusiasm.andrdquo;andmdash;Scientific American

and#160;

Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does any material look and behave the way it does? These are the sorts of questions that renowned materials scientist Mark Miodownik constantly asks himself. Miodownik studies objects as ordinary as an envelope and as unexpected as concrete cloth, uncovering the fascinating secrets that hold together our physical world. In Stuff Matters, Miodownik explores the materials he encounters in a typical morning, from the steel in his razor to the foam in his sneakers. Full of enthralling tales of the miracles of engineering that permeate our lives, Stuff Matters will make you see stuff in a whole new way.

and#160;

andldquo;Stuff Matters is about hidden wonders, the astonishing properties of materials we think boring, banal, and unworthy of attention . . . Itandrsquo;s possible this science and these stories have been told elsewhere, but like the best chocolatiers, Miodownik gets the blend right.andrdquo; andmdash;New York Times Book Review

and#160;

Mark Miodownik is a professor of materials and society at University College London. He is the director of the Institute of Making, which is home to a materials library containing some of the most wondrous matter on earth. He lives in London.

Synopsis:

A New York Times bestseller

andldquo;A thrilling account of the modern material world . . . [Miodownik] changes the way one looks at the world.andrdquo; andmdash; Wall Street Journal

andldquo;I stayed up all night reading this book. Miodownik writes with such knowledge, such enthusiasm, such a palpable love for his subject.andrdquo; andmdash; Oliver Sacks

Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does a paper clip bend? Why does any material look and behave the way it does? These are the sorts of questions that renowned materials scientist Mark Miodownik constantly asks himself. Miodownik has spent his life exploring objects as ordinary as an envelope and as unexpected as concrete cloth, uncovering the fascinating secrets that hold together our physical world.

In Stuff Matters, Miodownik entertainingly examines the materials he encounters in a typical morning, from the steel in his razor and the graphite in his pencil to the foam in his sneakers and the concrete in a nearby skyscraper. Full of enthralling tales of the miracles of engineering that permeate our lives, Stuff Matters will make you see stuff in a whole new way.

About the Author

Hugh Aldersey-Williams is the author of numerous books on architecture, design, and science, including Panicology and The Most Beautiful Molecule, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He lives in Norfolk, England.

Table of Contents

Introductionand#8195;ix

and#160;and#160; 1.and#160;Indomitableand#8195;1

and#160;and#160; 2.and#160;Trustedand#8195;21

and#160;and#160; 3.and#160;Fundamentaland#8195;51

and#160;and#160; 4.and#160;Deliciousand#8195;73

and#160;and#160; 5.and#160;Marvelousand#8195;91

and#160;and#160; 6.and#160;Imaginativeand#8195;111

and#160;and#160; 7.and#160;Invisibleand#8195;139

and#160;and#160; 8.and#160;Unbreakableand#8195;159

and#160;and#160; 9.and#160;Refinedand#8195;179

and#160;and#160; 10.and#160;Immortaland#8195;195

and#160;and#160; 11.and#160;Synthesisand#8195;215

Acknowledgmentsand#8195;229

Creditsand#8195;233

Further Readingand#8195;235

Indexand#8195;237

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Celina, March 6, 2012 (view all comments by Celina)
Periodic Tales is a fascinating look at the elements, each in its own 5-10 page section on how it was discovered and how it's been used. I've been reading it at the breakfast table, a section at a time (there are even shorter subsections if you're in a rush). From Wallis Simpson's ideas on when to wear gold vs. platinum to the (outlawed) use of white phosphorus in wartime to the lead-based sculptures of Antony Gormley and Anselm Kiefer, this book has changed the way I look at everyday things.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061824739
Subtitle:
A Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc
Author:
Aldersey Williams, Hugh
Author:
Aldersey-Williams, Hugh
Author:
Miodownik, Mark
Publisher:
Ecco
Subject:
General science
Subject:
Science Reference-General
Subject:
Chemistry - General
Subject:
Applied Sciences
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
20120228
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
65 b/w photos throughout
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 1 lb

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Periodic Tales: A Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Ecco Press - English 9780061824739 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
An eye-opening adventure deep inside the everyday materials that surround us, packed with surprising stories and fascinating science
"Synopsis" by ,
New York Times Notable Book 2014

Winner of the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books

and#160;

andldquo;Miodownik, a materials scientist, explains the history and science behind things such as paper, glass, chocolate, and concrete with an infectious enthusiasm.andrdquo;andmdash;Scientific American

and#160;

Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does any material look and behave the way it does? These are the sorts of questions that renowned materials scientist Mark Miodownik constantly asks himself. Miodownik studies objects as ordinary as an envelope and as unexpected as concrete cloth, uncovering the fascinating secrets that hold together our physical world. In Stuff Matters, Miodownik explores the materials he encounters in a typical morning, from the steel in his razor to the foam in his sneakers. Full of enthralling tales of the miracles of engineering that permeate our lives, Stuff Matters will make you see stuff in a whole new way.

and#160;

andldquo;Stuff Matters is about hidden wonders, the astonishing properties of materials we think boring, banal, and unworthy of attention . . . Itandrsquo;s possible this science and these stories have been told elsewhere, but like the best chocolatiers, Miodownik gets the blend right.andrdquo; andmdash;New York Times Book Review

and#160;

Mark Miodownik is a professor of materials and society at University College London. He is the director of the Institute of Making, which is home to a materials library containing some of the most wondrous matter on earth. He lives in London.

"Synopsis" by ,
A New York Times bestseller

andldquo;A thrilling account of the modern material world . . . [Miodownik] changes the way one looks at the world.andrdquo; andmdash; Wall Street Journal

andldquo;I stayed up all night reading this book. Miodownik writes with such knowledge, such enthusiasm, such a palpable love for his subject.andrdquo; andmdash; Oliver Sacks

Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does a paper clip bend? Why does any material look and behave the way it does? These are the sorts of questions that renowned materials scientist Mark Miodownik constantly asks himself. Miodownik has spent his life exploring objects as ordinary as an envelope and as unexpected as concrete cloth, uncovering the fascinating secrets that hold together our physical world.

In Stuff Matters, Miodownik entertainingly examines the materials he encounters in a typical morning, from the steel in his razor and the graphite in his pencil to the foam in his sneakers and the concrete in a nearby skyscraper. Full of enthralling tales of the miracles of engineering that permeate our lives, Stuff Matters will make you see stuff in a whole new way.

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