Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements

Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements

Hardback

By (author) Hugh Aldersey-Williams

List price $29.66

Unavailable - AbeBooks may have this title.

  • Publisher: VIKING
  • Format: Hardback | 448 pages
  • Dimensions: 144mm x 222mm x 39mm | 592g
  • Publication date: 3 February 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0670918113
  • ISBN 13: 9780670918119
  • Illustrations note: 60 b/w integrated
  • Sales rank: 59,428

Product description

Everything is made of them, from the furthest reaches of the universe to this book that you hold in your hands, including you. Like you, the elements have lives: personalities and attitudes, talents and shortcomings, stories rich with meaning. You may think of them as the inscrutable letters of the periodic table but you know them much better than you realise. Welcome to a dazzling tour through history and literature, science and art. 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. From ancient civilisations to contemporary culture, from the oxygen of publicity to the phosphorus in your pee, the elements are near and far and all around us. Unlocking their astonishing secrets and colourful pasts, "Periodic Tales" will take you on a voyage of wonder and discovery, excitement and novelty, beauty and truth. Along the way, you'll find that their stories are our stories, and their lives are inextricable from our own.

Other people who viewed this bought:

Showing items 1 to 10 of 10

Other books in this category

Showing items 1 to 11 of 11
Categories:

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