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Essential Elements: Atoms, Quarks, and the Periodic Table (Wooden Books) Hardcover – Apr 2003

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Hardcover, Apr 2003
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 58 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books Ltd (April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802714080
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802714084
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 1.3 x 17.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,495,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Spin on 14 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
Very, Very basic account of physics and chemistry. Which is not bad for kids or those completely unfamiliar with physics. But, and this is a big "but", the illustrations require a magnifying glass. There is no point in illustrating the the Periodic table if we cannot read it. The explantion of Quarks, Leptons, etc is fine. Simple, but fine for newcomers. The illustrations were created by someone with a severe eyesight problem. And because illustrations illuminate a text, this is a problem the author should address.
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By J. Nicholson on 18 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
lovely book, good service
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By Don T. on 31 Aug. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
no comments
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13 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 12 Mar. 2004
Format: Hardcover
please dont laugh..I have yet to read this book, but after seeing a discovery channel documentary created around this book, I found myself, at age 39, being utterly fascinated , amazed, and interested in chemistry...something I had never felt before!...Enough so , that I ran to my computer immediately afterward to look for it. I am an artist, and a nightclub dj, quite permanently not interested in any of these things!...I learned more in 40 minutes than in my entire (almost) 40 years. I know its silly to discuss a book I have yet to read, but I am excited about the prospect of doing so, excited about having some more of the dots connected in my understanding of the universe....just for the record, I have been using a computer for three or four years, mostly for my music,...this is the first time I have ever hunted for a book on line, and certainly the first time I have ever wanted to read about chemistry!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
A Wonderful Little Book! 30 Jun. 2003
By Frunobulax - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Tiny and almost like a child's book, this puppy helped me catch up with all the new stuff that's been going on in the world of physics since I took the subject in high school decades ago. Only slightly larger than a CD jewel case and only 58 pages - and half of those are filled with diagrams - it still took me the better part of my Sunday morning to read and comprehend it. I was particularly impressed with the last page: a graphic representation of 36 different electron orbitals. I also liked the alternatives to the periodic tables that he offers. And his depiction of the universe since the Big Bang is enlightening. I finished the book amazed at how much of everything is nothing.
The author also has added a sense of playfulness to the diagrams (and occasionally, the text) that helps to keep this subject from turning into the snoozer it traditionally is. Now I know why all those nerdy, high-end mathematician-types are so passionate about their work!
If you take mass transit to work, this is an excellent book for you.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Totally original 25 May 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a really fun book. It successfully manages to get across the massive amount of weirdness down in the smaller end of things. My sons love it. Some of the pictures are the best I've seen anywhere. A little bit of a pity it didn't go into bond angles and so organic chemistry (lack of space I guess), and, as another reviewer has noted, there are some weak places ... but I just love the feel of the book, the way the subjects have been handled, and, unlike so many 'popular' chemistry books, this one at least has a beautifully designed periodic table at the back! Really highly recommended for kids or for adults who need their science refreshing.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Good, but not useful 7 May 2007
By Alok Govil - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The book very briefly lists our current knowledge of the atomic world.

The issue I have is that for those who are even vaguely familiar with the subject already, the book provides no more knowledge. For those who are not familiar, they would albeit get to know about the terms used in Physics, but would gain no appreciation or true understanding of it. (In the sense that you learn that the Earth is round, but appreciating this fact requires understanding how mankind learned that, and what kind of surprise it was for them to learn this.)

Feynman once asked his father why the ball on the top of his toy truck moves backwards (with respect to the truck) if he pushes the truck forward. His father answered that nobody knows! He could have said that it is because of inertia blah blah. But that does not answer the question, it only gives new terminology to ask the same question all over again (what is inertia).

By telling Feynman that the answer is not known, his father developed his curiosity and simultaneously prevented him from developing biases.

This book gives you all the answers without making you appreciate how all that came about. Its doing exactly the opposite of what Feynman's father did to him.

By the way: I have read a few other books from the Wooden Books series. I usually love them.
15 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Should have had a chemist review your manuscript. 20 Jan. 2004
By Charles E. Allman - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a "cute" book for its' size and illustrations. Not especially informative, but I suppose it wasn't meant to be.
However, it should not make gross mistatements such as found on page 6: ie., Isotopes of the same element can have radically diverse chemical properties.
Chemical properties of an element are the result of the electronic arrangement of its' orbiting electrons. All isotopes of a particular element have the same orbiting electron arrangement, thus the same chemical properties.
The isotopes of a given element have different masses due to the different number of neutrons in their nuclei. For this reason, physical methods are used to separate the various isotopes of a given element.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Thousands of years of discoveries in Chemistry wrapped up in 58 pages 29 Jun. 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Another delightful little tome by Wooden Books, that takes an immense and complicated subject and condenses it into 58 (really only 29 ,because half are illustrations)pages. It is done in such a way that anyone,regardless of their scientific education,will find it a fascinating journey into what science knows about how our world is made up.It is a great example of demonstrating how simplicity is the measure of genius.It takes terms ,concepts etc., that everyone has heard ,one time or another;as well as scientific terms that most have never heard and explains them in a way that shows how they all combine to make our world what it is.The complexity of our world is simply mindboggling and we can only wonder ,inspite of all the discoveries,how little we really know about everything--or as a matter of fact--about anything.Throughout history,mankind has always had a sense of wonder about the world around him;some actually believed they knew all the answers,but as the future continues,mankind continues to discover things that have never even been imagined.
Just imagine if ihe wisest men at the time ,say at the beginning of the 1st Century,sat around a table,with this book in their hands,how amazed they would have been to learn what was between its covers. Now,just think how a similar group would think how little we knew,if they were looking at a revised copy in the 30th Century.
Today; we wonder how the ancients built the Pyramids with knowing so little;will they wonder how we explored space ,with our present day knowledge?

How's this for demonstrating a point?

How big would the Earth be if it had no air between its atoms? About as big as a baseball...."Uncle John's 15th AHH- INSPIRING Bathroom Reader"..Page 299
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