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Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements

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I usually hate over-frequent picking up, reading, and putting a book down, but I think ‘Periodic Tales’ actually benefits from periodic pauses, so as to enable the brain to fully enjoy thinking through what has just been read, together with associated connections and ramifications.

Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements eBook Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements eBook

Periodic Tales tells that story very descriptively, reminding us how often we take advantage of our everyday objects, and how little we know about them, like how do they work, who invented them, or what they are made of.

From the gold, silver and lead of Portia’s caskets to the neon and chrome of Lolita’s America, elements both old and new are in fact deeply involved in our culture. Each chapter and even each sub-section tells a fun and fascinating tale along the way while we watch the author try (and sometimes fail) to add another element to his collection. the book is supposed to be about, not the chemistry of the elements, but their cultural significance, whatever that is, which is very ambitious of course and then.

Chemistry: A cultural history of the elements | Nature Chemistry: A cultural history of the elements | Nature

Born of the age of alchemy and harbouring the kind of mysterious influence that alchemists sought, phosphorus brought wealth to a few but misery to many. Book Review: Periodic Tales: A Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc by Hugh Aldersey-Williams". Images Donate icon An illustration of a heart shape Donate Ellipses icon An illustration of text ellipses.In the sixteenth century, a principal iron ore was named haematite — the prefix 'haem' being derived from the Greek for blood. he is known for his bestselling book, Periodic Tales: A Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc, which explains all the elements found in the periodic table and their origins. Only 92 chemical elements are stable; the 20-odd others are not, and sooner or later decay radioactively.

Periodic Tales - Penguin Books UK

While he is not always successful in procuring some of the rarer and more volatile elements, his avid curiosity and enthusiasm for chemistry and physics shine through in these lighthearted tales. This book aims to stimulate the reader to think anew about some of the relationships and differences between science and art, and to challenge some of the common notions about particular 'famous experiments'. This should not be taken too seriously as a criticism: Periodic Tales is great fun to read and an endless fund of unlikely and improbable anecdotes.

Here, he notes, he followed the poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who in 1822 demonstrated iodine vapour and crystals for house guests in support of his controversial theory of colours. I learned what explodes when reacted with water, what makes our streetlights glow, what makes an object a certain color, and what possibly killed Napoleon (undetermined if it was the actual cause of death). However, if you're more interested in how people have felt about precious and useful metals, without the details of physical science, it's a well written book. of total matter and could be dismissed by an overenthusiastic mathematician while rounding up his figures. Delving into these elements also allows the author to explore interesting correlations around the time and geography of these elements being discovered.

Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements

Instead, homeopathy is based on the premise that certain molecules retain the ‘memory’ of their having once been associated with something else, and if that sounds ridiculous,well, it is. Overall, this shift toward a cultural perspective of the elements is the novel kernel of Aldersey-Williams’s work, as he uses the Periodic Table as a map on his journey to understand the acquired cultural meanings behind the elements.

An Italian chemist and physician in Bologna, Vincenzo Menghini, roasted the blood of various birds, fish and mammals, including humans. He followed the same procedure with some modifications but can't seem to extract the phosphorus out. An article in the May 2013 issue of National Geographic looked at what was happening with creation of new elements.

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