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The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe Hardcover – 1 Jan 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal (1 Jan. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579128149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579128142
  • Product Dimensions: 26 x 2.5 x 26 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"I don't know if this is the first coffee-table book paying lush photographic homage to the periodic table, but it is certainly the most gorgeous one I've seen." --John Tierney, --The New York Times

About the Author

Theodore Gray (Author)
Theodore Gray is the author of The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe; Theo Gray's Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do At Home, But Probably Shouldn't; Mad Science 2: Experiments You Can Do At Home, But Still Probably Shouldn't; and Popular Science magazine's 'Gray Matter' column. With his company Touch Press, Gray is the developer of best-selling iPad and iPhone apps, including The Elements, Solar System, Disney Animated, The Orchestra, The Waste Land, and Skulls by Simon Winchester. He lives in Urbana, Illinois.Theodore Gray is the author of the bestselling book The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe and Theo Gray's Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do At Home, But Probably Shouldn't. He is the author of Popular Science magazine's monthly column, 'Gray Matter' and the proprietor of periodictable.com. He is also cofounder of Touch Press, an ebook company that is defining the future of publishing, and the cofounder of Wolfram Research, creators of the world's leading technical software system, Mathematica© and Wolfram ? AlphaT. He lives in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.

Nick Mann (Author)
Nick Mann is the photographer of The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe. Aside from having photographed more elements and compounds than probably anyone in the world, he is an accomplished landscape, sports, and event photographer. He lives in Urbana, Illinois.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have noticed that many of the popular science books that are currently available tend to scrimp a little on chemstry. National Geographic's otherwise excellent 'The Science Book', for example, has a criminally short section on chemistry, whilst simultaneously taking a leisurely stroll through astronomy, evolution, geology, ecology and even maths! Not that these subjects are uninteresting, it's simply that I feel chemistry is underepresented.

This is where books like 'The Elements' come in handy. Theodore Gray has done a superb job of making a fascinating subject digestible to those who do not necessarily understand the academic side of chemistry. His book is packed with eye-catching pictures and humorous descriptions. This is a book which is, of course, very light on actual science, but then it's not intended as a technical manual.

One thing I would add is that, given the very large number of photos in the book, the text is inevitably limited. One occasionally has the impression of reading a picture book. This, however, is not a criticism, since many of the photos are interesting and help the reader to retain information by presenting a visual cue.

A good counter-balance to this unabashed visual feast would be John Emsley's far more sober 'Nature's Building Blocks', which has no pictures but instead concentrates on a richer description of each element along with a historical context which is lacking in this volume. One thing I prefer about 'The Elements' is that it proceeds according to the order of the periodic table, beginning with hydrogen and going from there. Emsley's book takes an encyclopaedic approach and begins with actinium.

In conclusion, 'The Elements' is a satisfying book which contains just enough information to retain the interest of an experienced chemistry student whilst all the time remaining entirely accessible to an amateur. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
Having a masters degree in chemistry I have always been fascinated with the natural sciences. This book however can be read and understood by anyone at any level. The book has beautiful photos of all the elements with a description of they are commonly used for.
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Format: Hardcover
A Brilliant book, bang up to date with the elements tables. Easy access to basic information on the Elements. Easy reading so any person interested in element could pick up this book and start learning. Even those who are experienced in Elements, it is a brilliant book to brush up your existing knowledge.

Excellent compliment to the building blocks of life which is also by the same author.

Excellent read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book - very visual and not at all stuffy old school. I bought it for a 9 year old interested in science, who has only been introduced to the periodic table through mine craft. He has started to ask questions about elements and what they are. Wanted to show him that the REAL elements are different and not like the mine craft ones. He is particularly interested in radioactive substances, this book was ideal in explaining what uranium was to satisfy his curiosity. It's a great book to dip in and out of, I wouldn't expect him to read it cover to cover, (although it is under his pillow). There is a double page colourful spread for each element, and the text is very readable. It is ordered in a way sympathetic to the periodic table. I love that practical everyday objects are used to illustrate what the elements are and how we use them in everyday life. Takes you up to secondary level science concepts, but in a way younger children may find interesting. He likes to categorise, order and group things, so this is right up his street. Found it when searching for a periodic table poster on line. Would quite like to get the cards that go with the book, and the poster. Also the book about molecules from the same series. I do think that when kids ask questions about a topic it's fine to give them text that takes them beyond what they may be doing at school. Hopefully it will make chemistry look interesting rather than scary, by the time he reaches secondary school.
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Format: Hardcover
This 239 paged encyclopedia-standard guide about the 118 elements in the priodic table is one of its kind: comprehensive, informative and innovative. Elements may seem like testing materials only but this book reminds readers that elements are what our tangible universe made of and ignites excitement in young children to learn more. THE book showcases each element with glorious full-page photographs with images that are familiar to us and with texts stunningly humorous, educational and entertaining. Within the two pages readers also get essential scientific data about the elements from its weight, density, radius, crystal structure to Electron Order Filling, Atomic Emission Spectrum and State Matter.

Our 8-year old refers to it often and it will be put into good use for many years. This book is practical and serves as his own coach that takes him by hand to explore every known atom in the world. When asked what he liked most in the book, he answered "I like Boron the most(5; p22)because it is harder than diamond and you can find it in silly potty." Mr. Gray should be happy to know that "Poor Boron- with a name like that," has finally earned some respect.
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