Monday, November 19, 2012

The Elements Review

The Elements by Theodore Gray

(from the back of the book) 
The Elements in the most complete and visually stunning catalog of the periodic table ever assembled.  Each element has been culled from Theodore Gray’s coveted collection of thousands of samples, lovingly photographed, and illuminated by his wonderfully entertaining and erudite text.  The ultimate marriage of science and art, The Elements will dazzle and enlighten every sentient creature.

I love this book.  I have always been interested in the elements and have read several books about them but this one is different from the rest.  It gives you a lot of technical information like the emission spectrum, atomic weight, and lots of other numbers and diagrams that will satisfy any science geek.  The information on what it is used for, where to find it, who first discovered it, how they got their names and other tidbits is interesting and written by someone who clearly loves his topic and tells it with humor.  The photos are wonderful and you actually get to see the pure elements and compounds and products they are in.  I think that’s what sets this book apart from the others, being able to see the elements.  Ok, so a good portion of them are greyish metals, and others are clear gases and some don’t stick around long enough to have pictures, but it’s still cool. And I liked seeing all the ways the elements, even the ones people have never heard of, show up in everyday life.  It is easy access chemistry for non-science nerds and even if you have read about the elements before this one is well worth a look

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