Long before Oliver Sacks became a distinguished neurologist and bestselling writer, he was a small English boy fascinated by metals-also by chemical reactions (the louder and smellier the better), photography, squids and cuttlefish, H.G. Wells, and the periodic table. In this endlessly charming and eloquent memoir, the author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Awakenings chronicles his love affair with science and the magnificently odd and sometimes harrowing childhood in which that love affair unfolded.In Uncle Tungsten we meet Sacks' extraordinary family, from his surgeon mother (who introduces the fourteen-year-old Oliver to the art of human dissection) and his father, a family doctor who imbues in his son an early enthusiasm for housecalls, to his "Uncle Tungsten," whose factory produces tungsten-filament lightbulbs. We follow the young Oliver as he is exiled at the age of six to a grim, sadistic boarding school to escape the London Blitz, and later watch as he sets about passionately reliving the exploits of his chemical heroes-in his own home laboratory. Uncle Tungsten is a crystalline view of a brilliant young mind springing to life, a story of growing up which is by turns elegiac, comic, and wistful, full of the electrifying joy of discovery.
Sheds new light on the identity of the alchemist Fulcanelli- Provides new understanding of the relationships between the most important figures of the esoteric milieu of Paris in the first half of the 20th century - Includes a wealth of rarely seen documents, photos, and letters Fulcanelli, operative alchemist and author of The Mystery of the Cathedrals and The Dwellings of the Philosophers--two of the most important esoteric works of the twentieth century--remains himself a mystery. The true identity of the man who allegedly succeeded in creating the philosopher's stone has never been discovered, despite ardent searches by many--even the OSS (the wartime U.S. intelligence agency, later to become the CIA) claimed to have looked for him following the end of World War II. Genevi ve Dubois looks at the esoteric milieu of Paris at the turn of the century, a time that witnessed a great revival of the alchemical tradition, and investigates some of its salient personalities. Could one of these have been this enigmatic man, reported to have last appeared in Seville, Spain, in 1952 when he would have been 113 years of age? The trail followed by the author encounters such figures as Papus, Ren Gu non, Schwaller de Lubicz, Pierre Dujols, Eugene Canseliet, and Jean-Julien Champagne. Working from rare documents, letters, and photos, Dubois suggests that one of these men could have been hiding his activity behind the pseudonym of Fulcanelli or that Fulcanelli may even have been a composite fabricated by several of these individuals working together. Beyond its attempt to reveal the actual identity of Fulcanelli, Fulcanelli and the Alchemical Revival also presents an explanation of the alchemical doctrine and reveals the unsuspected relationships among the important twentieth-century truth seekers it highlights.
Which is the densest element? Which has the largest atoms? And why are some elements radioactive? From the little-known uses of gold in medicine to the development of the hydrogen bomb, this is a fresh new look at the Periodic Table.
Combining cutting edge science with fascinating facts and stunning infographics, this book looks at the extraordinary stories of discovery, amazing properties and surprising uses of each elements, whether solid, liquid or gas - naturally occurring, synthesised or theoretical
From hydrogen to oganesson, this is a fact-filled visual guide to each element, each accompanied by technical date (category, atomic number, weight, boiling point) as well as fun facts and stories about their discovery and surprising uses.
A unique approach to the history of science using do-it-yourself experiments along with brief historical profiles to demonstrate how the ancient alchemists stumbled upon the science of chemistry. Be the alchemist Explore the legend of alchemy with the science of chemistry. Enjoy over twenty hands-ondemonstrations of alchemical reactions. In this exploration of the ancient art of alchemy, three veteran chemists show that the alchemists' quest involved real science and they recount fascinating stories of the sages who performed these strange experiments. Why waste more words on this weird deviation in the evolution of chemistry? As the authors show, the writings of medieval alchemists may seem like the ravings of brain-addled fools, but there is more to the story than that. Recent scholarship has shown that some seemingly nonsensical mysticism is, in fact, decipherable code, and Western European alchemists functioned from a firmer theoretical foundation than previously thought. They had a guiding principle, based on experience: separate and purify materials by fire and reconstitute them into products, including, of course, gold and the universal elixir, the Philosophers' stone. Their efforts were not in vain: by trial, by error, by design, and by persistence, the alchemists discovered acids, alkalis, alcohols, salts, and exquisite, powerful, and vibrant reactions--which can be reproduced using common products, minerals, metals, and salts. So gather your vats and stoke your fires Get ready to make burning waters, peacocks' tails, Philosophers' stone, and, of course, gold
Chemistry can be a daunting subject for someone on the outside, that's exactly why Know It All Chemistry is here to show you the basics
As the central science that bridges biology and physics, chemistry explains the diversity of all things tangible at a molecular level. If you come to understand the inner workings of chemistry, you can understand everything, because chemistry is the science of matter -- its composition, structure, properties, and how it changes.
Know It All Chemistry is your key to jumping into this massive subject. As you read through this beautifully designed book, you'll learn why some things oxidize and others explode; why food is good to eat and coal is not. As you come to understand chemistry and know what reasonable expectations you can have of a product, and how to separate fact from fiction. Chemistry is the heart of cooking, it can keep you safe, and it explains why things work. This book brings the subject out of the lab and boils it down to its essential elements.