03 Sep Elemental
Elemental: How the Periodic Table Can Now Explain (Nearly) Everything by Tim James
Summary: If you want to understand how our world works, the periodic table holds the answers. When the seventh row of the periodic table of elements was completed in June 2016 with the addition of four final elements–nihonium, moscovium, tennessine, and oganesson–we at last could identify all the ingredients necessary to construct our world.
In Elemental, chemist and science educator Tim James provides an informative, entertaining, and quirkily illustrated guide to the table that shows clearly how this abstract and seemingly jumbled graphic is relevant to our day-to-day lives. James tells the story of the periodic table from its ancient Greek roots, when you could count the number of elements humans were aware of on one hand, to the modern alchemists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries who have used nuclear chemistry and physics to generate new elements and complete the periodic table.
In addition to this, he answers questions such as: What is the chemical symbol for a human? What would happen if all of the elements were mixed together? Which liquid can teleport through walls? Why is the medieval dream of transmuting lead into gold now a reality? Whether you’re studying the periodic table for the first time or are simply interested in the fundamental building blocks of the universe–from the core of the sun to the networks in your brain–Elemental is the perfect guide.
Angie’s comments: A humorous but insightful look into the periodic table and how the elements make up our lives. I love reading books about the elements, and I still managed to pick up a lot of information that I didn’t know.
Recommended for readers interested in chemistry.