Periodic Tales: A Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc

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Harper Collins, 29/03/2011 - 448 páginas
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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. Welcome to a dazzling tour through history and literature, science and art. In Periodic Tales, you'll meet iron that rains from the heavens and neon as it lights its way to vice. You'll learn how lead can tell your future and why zinc may one day line your coffin. You'll discover what connects the bones in your body with the White House in Washington, the glow of a streetlight with the salt on your dinner table.

From ancient civilizations to contemporary couture, from the oxygen of publicity to the phosphorous in your pee, the elements are near and far and all around 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.

  

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Review: Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements

Procura do Utilizador  - Ryan Vaughan - Goodreads

In a past review I confessed that I was for the most part scientifically illiterate. I'm not sure how far this book went in curing that but I do no a bit more about the periodic table than I used to ... Ler crítica na íntegra

Review: Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements

Procura do Utilizador  - Emeline - Goodreads

A fascinating read. The author remains approachable and engaging throughout. I was absolutely delighted to read the endeavors of a chemist (as opposed to a science writer): he builds up experiments ... Ler crítica na íntegra

Índice

power
13
Going Platinum
29
The Ochreous Stain
43
Among the Carbonari
61
Mendeleevs Suitcases
81
fire
103
As under a green sea
132
Slow Fire
147
The Worldwide Web
236
Banalization
253
The Guild of Aerospace Welders
276
Lonelychrome America
297
Inheritance Powder
314
The Crimson Light of Neon
331
earth
349
Europium Union
359

Our Lady of Radium
164
Cocktails at the Pale Horse
186
craft
199
Dull Leads Grey Truth
212
Gadolin and Samarsky Everymen of the Elements
373
Epilogue
391
References and Select Bibliography
405
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Acerca do autor (2011)

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.

Informação bibliográfica