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

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


By (author) Hugh Aldersey-Williams

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  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Format: Paperback | 428 pages
  • Dimensions: 135mm x 201mm x 33mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 28 February 2012
  • ISBN 10: 0061824739
  • ISBN 13: 9780061824739
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 160,004

Product description

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. 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 quote

For the UK edition: "[F]ascinating and beautiful. . . . If only chemistry had been like this at school. . . . [A] rich compilation of delicious tales."--Matt Ridley, "Prospect" magazine