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.
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.
An in-depth look at how elements are discovered, why they matter and where they will take us.The science of element discovery is a truly fascinating field, and is constantly rewriting the laws of chemistry and physics as we know them. Superheavy is the first book to take an in-depth look at how synthetic elements are discovered, why they matter and where they will take us. From the Cold War nuclear race to the present day, scientists have stretched the periodic table to 118 elements. They have broken the rules of the periodic table, rewriting the science we're taught in school, and have the potential to revolutionize our lives. Kit Chapman takes us back to the very beginning, with the creation of the atomic bomb. He tells the story of the major players, such as Ernest Lawrence who revolutionized the field of particle physics with the creation of the cyclotron; Yuri Oganessian, the guerilla scientist who opened up a new era of discovery in the field and is the only living scientists to have an element named after him; and Victor Ninov, the disgraced physicist who almost pulled off the greatest fraud in nuclear science. This book will bring us in a full circle back to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where the first atomic bomb was developed, and that has more recently been an essential player in creating the new superheavy element 117. Throughout, Superheavy explains the complex science of element discovery in clear and easy-to-follow terms. It walks through the theories of atomic structure, discusses the equipment used and explains the purpose of the research. By the end of the book readers will not only marvel at how far we've come, they will be in awe of where we are going and what this could mean for the worlds of physics and chemistry as we know them today.
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, Einstein's Dreams, Longitude, and The Age of Wonder.
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.
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.