The phenomenal Sunday Times bestseller Periodic Tales by Hugh Andersey-Williams, packed with fascinating stories and unexpected information about the building blocks of our universe. Everything in the universe is made of them, including you. Like you, the elements have personalities, attitudes, talents, shortcomings, stories rich with meaning. Here you'll meet iron that rains from the heavens and noble gases that light the way to vice. You'll learn how lead can tell your future while zinc may one day line your coffin. You'll discover what connects the bones in your body with the Whitehouse in Washington, the glow of a streetlamp with the salt on your dinner table. Unlocking their astonishing secrets and colourful pasts, Periodic Tales is a voyage of wonder and discovery, showing that their stories are our stories, and their lives are inextricable from our own. 'Science writing at its best. A fascinating and beautiful literary anthology, bringing them to life as personalities. If only chemistry had been like this at school. A rich compilation of delicious tales'Matt Ridley, Prospect 'A love letter to the chemical elements. Aldersey-Williams is full of good stories and he knows how to tell them well'Sunday Telegraph 'Great fun to read and an endless fund of unlikely and improbable anecdotes'Financial Times 'The history, science, art, literature and everyday applications of all the elements from aluminium to zinc' The Times Hugh Aldersey-Williams studied natural sciences at Cambridge. He is the author of several books exploring science, design and architecture and has curated exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Wellcome Collection. He lives in Norfolk with his wife and son.
Here, Eric Scerri looks at the trends in properties of elements that led to the construction of the periodic table, and how the deeper meaning of its structure gradually became apparent with the development of atomic theory and quantum mechanics, so that, as Scerri puts it, one science, physics, arguably came to colonize another, chemistry, although such a view is resisted by chemists. Scerri shows that quantum mechanics is absolutely central to chemistry, as it underlies the behaviour of all of the elements and their compounds, and therefore underpins the structure of the periodic table. Concluding with an overview of the huge variety of periodic tables that have been proposed in the print media and on the Internet, he explores the debated question of whether there is an optimal periodic table and what form it might take. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The story of Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev and his brain child “Periodic Table of Chemical Elements”, with all its impact and influences, would fit better within the walls of a library than between the covers of a single book of nearly 100 pages. The present book “A Brief History of the Periodic Table” would attract experts and curious laymen alike due to its lively style of narration. The book contains eight chapters.
Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? Why did the Japanese kill Godzilla with missiles made of cadmium (Cd, 48)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why did tellurium (Te, 52) lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history? The periodic table is one of our crowning scientific achievements, but it's also a treasure trove of passion, adventure, betrayal and obsession. The fascinating tales in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, gold and every single element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, conflict, the arts, medicine and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. Why did a little lithium (Li, 3) help cure poet Robert Lowell of his madness? And how did gallium (Ga, 31) become the go-to element for laboratory pranksters? The Disappearing Spoon has the answers, fusing science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, discovery and alchemy, from the big bang through to the end of time.
Release on 2014-10-01 | by Marco Fontani,Mariagrazia Costa,Mary Virginia Orna
The Periodic Table's Shadow Side
Author: Marco Fontani,Mariagrazia Costa,Mary Virginia Orna
Pubpsher: Oxford University Press
The Periodic Table of Elements hasn't always looked like it does now, a well-organized chart arranged by atomic number. In the mid-nineteenth century, chemists were of the belief that the elements should be sorted by atomic weight. However, the weights of many elements were calculated incorrectly, and over time it became clear that not only did the elements need rearranging, but that the periodic table contained many gaps and omissions: there were elements yet to be discovered, and the allure of finding one had scientists rushing to fill in the blanks. Supposed "discoveries" flooded laboratories, and the debate over what did and did not belong on the periodic table reached a fever pitch. With the discovery of radioactivity, the discourse only intensified. Throughout its formation, the Periodic Table of Elements has seen false entries, good-faith errors, retractions, and dead ends. In fact, there have been more falsely proclaimed elemental discoveries throughout history than there are elements on the table as we know it today. The Lost Elements: The Periodic Table's Shadow Side collects the most notable of these instances, stretching from the nineteenth century to the present. The book tells the story of how scientists have come to understand elements, by discussing the failed theories and false discoveries that shaped the path of scientific progress. We learn of early chemists' stubborn refusal to disregard alchemy as a legitimate practice, and of one German's supposed discovery of an elemental metal that breathed. As elements began to be created artificially in the twentieth century, we watch the discovery climate shift to favor the physicists, rather than the chemists. Along the way, Fontani, Costa, and Orna introduce us to the key figures in the development of today's periodic table, including Lavoisier and Mendeleev. Featuring a preface from Nobel Laureate Roald Hoffmann, The Lost Elements is an expansive history of the wrong side of chemical discovery-and reveals how these errors and gaffes have helped shape the table as much as any other form of scientific progress.
The Human Body, Its Parts and The Stories They Tell
Author: Hugh Aldersey-Williams
Pubpsher: Penguin UK
The Sunday Times Science Book of the Year, Anatomies by Hugh Aldersey-Williams, author of bestseller Periodic Tales, is a splendidly entertaining journey through the art, science, literature and history of the human body. 'Magnificent, inspired. He writes like a latter-day Montaigne. Stimulating scientific hypotheses, bold philosophic theories, illuminating quotations and curious facts. I recommend it to all' Telegraph ***** 'Splendid, highly entertaining, chock-full of insights ... It inserts fascinating scientific snippets and anecdotes about our organs into the wider history of our changing understanding of our bodies' Sunday Times 'A relentlessly entertaining cultural history of the human body ... brims with fascinating details, infectious enthusiasm ... the terrain he covers is so richly brought to life' Guardian 'Elegant and informative ... For Aldersey-Williams, [the body] is a thing of wonder and a repository of fascinating facts' Mail on Sunday **** In Anatomies, bestselling author Hugh Aldersey-Williams investigates that marvellous, mysterious form: the human body. Providing a treasure trove of surprising facts, remarkable stories and startling information drawn from across history, science, art and literature - from finger-prints to angel physiology, from Isaac Newton's death-mask to the afterlife of Einstein's brain - he explores our relationship with our bodies and investigates our changing attitudes to the extraordinary physical shell we inhabit. 'More than a science book - it's also history, biography and autobiography - Anatomies is writing at its most refined, regardless of genre' Sunday Times Praise for Periodic Tales: 'Science writing at its best ... fascinating and beautiful ... if only chemistry had been like this at school ... to meander through the periodic table with him ... is like going round a zoo with Gerald Durrell ... a rich compilation of delicious tales, but it offers greater rewards, too' Matt Ridley 'Immensely engaging and continually makes one sit up in surprise' Sunday Times 'Splendid ... enjoyable and polished' Observer 'Full of good stories and he knows how to tell them well ... an agreeable jumble of anecdote, reflection and information' Sunday Telegraph 'Great fun to read and an endless fund of unlikely and improbable anecdotes ... sharp and often witty' Financial Times Hugh Aldersey-Williams studied natural sciences at Cambridge. He is the author of several books exploring science, design and architecture and has curated exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Wellcome Collection. His previous book Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements was a Sunday Times bestseller and has been published in many languages around the world. He lives in Norfolk with his wife and son.
Combining science, history, and culture, explores every aspect of human anatomy from ancient body art to modern plastic surgery, discussing why some people are left-handed and why some cultures think the soul resides in the liver.
Release on 2019-03-11 | by . Philip Allan Magazines
Author: . Philip Allan Magazines
Pubpsher: Hachette UK
CONTENTS Are vehicle exhaust fumes damaging our health? Answer back: Synthesis and analysis Animal chemistry: Cats and dogs In pictures: Periodic table completed? Wonders of chemistry: Elements old and new Worth reading: Periodic Tales: the Curious Lives of the Elements Valuable vanilla Making and doing: Systematic names Focus on industry: Cracking and related refinery processes Did you know? Knock knock... Valentine chemistry