Posted by: erinserb | June 25, 2014

Our Crazy World of Elements…Actinium to Zinc

Parsons, Paul, and Gail Dixon.  The Periodic Table – A Visual Guide to the Elements. 

New York:  Random House,  2014. Print.

If someone were ever curious about the vast world of chemistry, physics and the cosmos, they would be very well served with this outstanding work.

To realize how user-friendly this work is, I was finished with well over 200 pages of the known 118 elements – not all created equal by the way-  in approximately 3 days…any other book I have read regarding the elements took at least twice as long and completely lost me after the first, say, 10 elements.  The subject is pretty straightforward – the examination of each element, with the necessary scientific information of Atomic Numbers, Atomic Weights, half-lives, and all of the usual suspects listed in a Chemistry book.

This book  goes one further, mainly because it is entertaining and high visual.  An explanation of the Periodic Table is introduced with easy to follow explanations of the rows and periods which beautifully follow a pattern.  The lesser known elements, e.g.  Tantalum, Radon, Technetium, etc. are also explained well by not using arcane scientific jargon.  The reader gets a sense of how such a table was constructed, and how the elements fit into certain spaces by measuring their Atomic numbers.  The photography of the elements is also exceptional, with each element depicted in a way that both an experienced scientist or a novice could appreciate.

Because of the unique readability of this book, it only increases the interest of those who are truly interested in science and how these elements basically hold the universe together.

Now, if only I can understand Basic Math through Quantum Mechanics – only then will I feel a complete sense of my “oneness” with the universe 🙂

Verdict – recommended reading for those interested in science and the curious souls at heart.



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