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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 theand#160;everyday materials that surround us,and#160;from concrete and steel to denim and chocolate, packed with surprising stories and fascinating science.

Synopsis:

Like the alphabet, the calendar, or the zodiac, the periodic table of the chemical elements has a permanent place in our imagination. But aside from the handful of common ones (iron, carbon, copper, gold), the elements themselves remain wrapped in mystery. We do not know what most of them look like, how they exist in nature, how they got their names, or of what use they are to us. Unlocking their astonishing secrets and colorful pasts, Periodic Tales is a passionate journey through mines and artists studios, to factories and cathedrals, into the woods and to the sea to discover the true stories of these fascinating but mysterious building blocks of the universe.

Synopsis:

In the spirit of A Short History of Nearly Everything comes Periodic Tales. Award-winning science writer Hugh Andersey-Williams offers readers a captivating look at the elements—and the amazing, little-known stories behind their discoveries. Periodic Tales is an energetic and wide-ranging book of innovations and innovators, of superstition and science and the myriad ways the chemical elements are woven into our culture, history, and language. It will delight readers of Genome, Einsteins Dreams, Longitude, and The Age of Wonder

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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Product Details

ISBN:
9780061824739
Author:
Aldersey Williams, Hugh
Publisher:
Ecco Press
Author:
Aldersey-Williams, Hugh
Author:
Miodownik, Mark
Subject:
General science
Subject:
Science Reference-General
Subject:
Chemistry - General
Subject:
Applied Sciences
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
20120231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
65 b/w photos throughout
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 0.84 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 theand#160;everyday materials that surround us,and#160;from concrete and steel to denim and chocolate, packed with surprising stories and fascinating science.
"Synopsis" by , Like the alphabet, the calendar, or the zodiac, the periodic table of the chemical elements has a permanent place in our imagination. But aside from the handful of common ones (iron, carbon, copper, gold), the elements themselves remain wrapped in mystery. We do not know what most of them look like, how they exist in nature, how they got their names, or of what use they are to us. Unlocking their astonishing secrets and colorful pasts, Periodic Tales is a passionate journey through mines and artists studios, to factories and cathedrals, into the woods and to the sea to discover the true stories of these fascinating but mysterious building blocks of the universe.
"Synopsis" by , In the spirit of A Short History of Nearly Everything comes Periodic Tales. Award-winning science writer Hugh Andersey-Williams offers readers a captivating look at the elements—and the amazing, little-known stories behind their discoveries. Periodic Tales is an energetic and wide-ranging book of innovations and innovators, of superstition and science and the myriad ways the chemical elements are woven into our culture, history, and language. It will delight readers of Genome, Einsteins Dreams, Longitude, and The Age of Wonder
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