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The Elements: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 8 Apr 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (8 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192840991
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192840998
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 1.5 x 10.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

Ball is one of the most prolific and imaginative of contemporary science writers. He has plenty of attitude, boasts a fine knowledge of visual art and a literary sensibility, and his science is encyclopaedic. (Chemistry in Britain)

A delight of a book.... Elegantly written...it's far-reaching, entertaining and salted with anecdote.... It could become a classic. Hold on to your first edition (Roy Herbert, New Scientist)

engaging tour of the chemical elements (Sunday Telegraph)

Philip Ball's book is an excellent introduction. I would have loved the book as an enthusiastic sixteen year-old and I would recommend it as a Christmas present to anyone at that age, and to journalists who may occasionally wish to appear smarter than they actually are. (Simon Robinson, Chemistry and Industry)

a series of invigorating dips (Guardian)

Ball's choices are sound, his style is attractive (Evening Standard)

Ball brings the periodic table to life (Maia Weinstock, Discover)

A beautifully written and elegantly illustrated synthesis of chemistry and culture. Popularization of science at its very best. (Sir John Meurig Thomas, University of Cambridge)

The book contains some delightful anecdotes (David Johnson, Times Higher Educational Supplement)

Synopsis

This Very Short Introduction traces the history and cultural impact of the elements on humankind, and examines why people have long sought to identify the substances around them. Looking beyond the Periodic Table, the author examines our relationship with matter, from the uncomplicated vision of the Greek philosophers, who believed there were four elements - earth, air, fire, and water - to the work of modern-day scientists in creating elements such as hassium and meitnerium. Packed with anecdotes, The Elements is a highly engaging and entertaining exploration of the fundamental question: what is the world made from?

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