on September 14, 2012
The Elements is a visually pleasing coffee table book that takes you on an adventure through the periodic table page by page for each element. Sometimes humurous, and always informative the short wright-ups pack a punch but don't tell it all, oh well. It has a pull out periodic table poster at the back that I would just hate to pull out of the book. It's still a great book and well worth the money for a non-scientific person like myself who likes to collect dictionaries on various subjects. This book may come in handy as reference material for my future writing endevours like my Kindle books: Theory of Sevens, Two Feral Waifs, and Fire Escape.
Have you ever wondered where you can find the various elements in the periodic table throughout the world? Do we encounter them on a day-to-day basis? Well look no further because this fabulous book will open up a whole new world linked to the periodic table to you. Each element is explained in details and is accompanied with pictures of items that contains the said element when possible on a two page presentation. On the left page you will get a stunning picture of the element itself in its pure form. On the right side, you will get a text about the element, it's position in the periodic table, the atomic weight, the density, the atomic radius and the crystal structure. You also get the electron filling order, the atomic emission spectrum and the state of matter on the bottom right corner of that page. Finally, as a treat for your eyes you can observe a visual representation of where you can find the element in products or items that we can encounter. For example, did you know that in the past there was a deficiency of iodine that caused goiter. Back then, a special gum called iodigum was available for purchased and contained iodine in it. Not goiter is uncommon because of iodized salt in our diet. Iodine is also often used with alcohol as a disinfectant. And who have not experience the use of iodine when you hurt yourself when you were younger. I still remember the red splat of iodine on my skin...
This would be a great reference book when studying the periodic table. Not only will it provide information about the elements but you can see up close and personal (without the danger of manipulating the element itself) where you can find the element in known products. This book is a must for any chemistry students and for homeschoolers embarking on a journey to learn more about the periodic table. And to complete the book, you will also find a tear-out poster of Theodore Gray's periodic table that will give you the image of how the element looks like in nature.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2012
This is a gorgeous picture book, but also filled with real and detailed information, written by someone who loves the subject. Worth getting, for yourself, or as a gift.
The coincidence? I'd been taking the occasional interesting artifact in to work to show my techie colleagues. One day, after looking around for something unusual, I grabbed a radioactive Polonium based anti-static brush made in 1957! (Amazingly, it's still made, and available on Amazon!) They were amazed, and a bit scared :-), even though it was radioactively dead after 55 years. When I got home, this book was in my mailbox. I quickly unpacked it, not really having time to look at it yet, but let it fall open to a page, just to have a quick look. Guess what page. Polonium! But, that isn't the best part. Guess what one of the pictures on the Polonium page is. Uh huh... the brush!!!
Best ' coincidence ' ever.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2011
This book is an excellent presentation of the elements by an avid element collector. The book is full of high-quality pictures, showing the elements in both their pure form and their various applications, as well as brief, but good descriptions of their history, uses, and trivia. The author is very passionate about this subject, which makes for an informative, but entertaining read.
The book's layout is simple: each of the first 100 elements gets 2 facing pages (4 for more important elements), starting with hydrogen, and going on up. The left-hand page is a full-page image of the element in pure or very close to pure form, and the right-hand page contains the text describing the element, as well as several pictures of devices that are made up the element. Often these are pictures of the thousands of things that the author has collected for his element collection over the years. For the more important or more interesting elements, there are an additional 2 pages of photos. All of the elements also include diagrams showing their crystal structure, electron orbitals, and melting and freezing points, and other important information.
Elements 101-118 have shorter information sections and no pictures because there is very little relevant information about them.
Overall, this is a very high-quality book. It's well-written (I don't remember seeing any spelling or grammar mistakes); the pictures are well-taken, have good lighting, and are high resolution; the book is made of thick, strong paper; and the ink and print quality is among the best.
This book is excellent light reading and is a perfect coffee table book. Each element's section is short enough that it can be read in a minute or two, so it's great to have around for people to look at when they come over. Also, it's very non-technical, so almost anyone can read it. I'd recommend this book to pretty much everyone, especially those with an interest in science and chemistry.