In The Ingredients, Philip Ball blends history and science as he offers an illuminating look at our centuries-long struggle to understand the nature of the physical world.
It's been a long journey from the ancient belief in four elements--earth, water, fire, air--to the hundred plus elements that occupy the modern periodic table, and Ball makes a perfect tour guide, highlighting the many points of interest on the way. He introduces us to key scientists such as Lavoisier, who named oxygen, proved that water is not an element, demolished the ancient 4-elements theory, and lost his head to the guillotine. Ball highlights the unexpected opportunities for making useful things from the riches found on the periodic table. We learn, for instance, that the seemingly useless argon (after the Greek argos, 'lazy'--because it did nothing) makes perfect filler for light bulbs, because no matter how hot the bulb gets, argon won't react. Likewise, silicon, a very poor conductor of electricity (hence the label semiconductor) is perfect for computer chips, because the slow movement of electrons is easier to manipulate. Ball shows us how to read the periodic table and he recounts Mendeleyev's tale of discovering the correct form to the table "in a dream." He also explains the difficulties of defining and identifying the elements, the principles behind the formation of synthetic elements, and the ways in which particular elements (gold, iron, oxygen) shaped culture and technology.
From the alchemical quest for the Philosopher's Stone to the legend of the Midas touch, The Ingredients provides an engaging look at the elements that make up the world we live in.
What links the Taj Mahal and our skeleton? Calcium. The Eiffel Tower and our blood? Iron. Everything in the known universe is made up of one of the elements.
Popular-science writer Jack Challoner takes us on an illustrated tour of the Periodic Table, revealing the mystery of how the material world works. This definitive guide covers all 118 elements, with their vital statistics, main compounds, uses, and fascinating histories.
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.
Tells of the lives and revolutionary work of Curie and her husband Pierre, whose work with radiation had an enormous impact on modern physics, and whose legacy was carried on by their daughter and son-in-law
If you want to understand how our world works, the periodic table holds the answers. When the seventh row of the periodic table of elements was completed in June 2016 with the addition of four final elements--nihonium, moscovium, tennessine, and oganesson--we at last could identify all the ingredients necessary to construct our world.In Elemental, chemist and science educator Tim James provides an informative, entertaining, and quirkily illustrated guide to the table that shows clearly how this abstract and seemingly jumbled graphic is relevant to our day-to-day lives.James tells the story of the periodic table from its ancient Greek roots, when you could count the number of elements humans were aware of on one hand, to the modern alchemists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries who have used nuclear chemistry and physics to generate new elements and complete the periodic table. In addition to this, he answers questions such as: What is the chemical symbol for a human? What would happen if all of the elements were mixed together? Which liquid can teleport through walls? Why is the medieval dream of transmuting lead into gold now a reality?Whether you're studying the periodic table for the first time or are simply interested in the fundamental building blocks of the universe--from the core of the sun to the networks in your brain--Elemental is the perfect guide.
The Secret Life of the Periodic Table uncovers the fascinating stories behind the formulation of the table. It describes how and who discovered the 118 elements, and the competition and cooperation behind scientific advances. The character of the elements is brought to life in a bright and engaging way, making The Secret Life of the Periodic Table ideal for students and general readers. Spared the monotony of a school text, they can gain a basic understanding of the fundamentals of atomic science.
The book covers all 118 elements in 14 chapters. They are:
- A brief guide to atomic physics
- Igor Mendeleev, arguably the most important formulator of the table, and significant others
- Alkali metals
- Alkaline Earth metal
- Transition metals
- Post-transition metals
- Other non-metals
- Noble gases
- Transuranium elements.
Each element description includes a fact box showing atomic number, atomic weight, radius, melting point, boiling point, density, and the year of its discovery and by whom. There are many sidebars, boxes and extended captions covering topics of interest, like Ernest Lawrence's 1931 cyclotron, early precursor to the 10-km radius Large Hydron Collider that he could not possibly have imagined.
There is also fascinating trivia about the elements. For example, phosphorus was first isolated by an alchemist's search for gold in urine and in the 1920s, there was a fad for lethal radium cocktails.
The Secret Life of the Periodic Table is accurate and entertaining, making it a helpful adjunct to student studies. General readers will find it an enjoyable trip into the world of chemistry and atomic science. It is an ideal purchase for science, middle school and general collections.
This books now collects Gray's Popular Science columns, along with hundreds of photographs -- many of which are never-before-seen. The second volume includes mad-scientist experiments, which features dramatic, enlightening, and often daring projects, such as demonstrating the Leidenfrost effect; crushing a tomato between two small magnets to show the power of neodymium-iron-boron magnets; and creating trinkets out of solid mercury to demonstrate how the state of matter depends very much on the temperature at which it exists. Other experiments include:
- A foil boat floating on an invisible sea
- DIY X-ray photos
- A bacon lance that cuts steel
- Charging a smart phone with apples and pennies
- And dozens more