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Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements

Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements

Paperback

By (author) Hugh Aldersey-Williams

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 448 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 34mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 19 January 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0141041455
  • ISBN 13: 9780141041452
  • Illustrations note: 60 b/w integrated
  • Sales rank: 25,829

Product description

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.

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Author information

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.

Review quote

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 A joyous romp through the chemical elements Today, BBC Radio 4 Not only a cultural history of the elements, it is also a lament to the loss of science as a hobby Economist A flashily brainy book, crammed with literary references and held together by a personal quest to collect as many elements as possible Telegraph 'Elements are fun' is the essential premise of Hugh Aldersey-Williams's new book and by heck he's right ... Aldersey-Williams mourns the fact chemistry isn't really sexy any more; Periodic Tales is a step towards it getting its mojo back Metro **** Imaginative and fun ... almost every page yields a nugget Nature