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H2O: A Biography of Water Paperback – 5 Oct 2000

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; New Ed edition (5 Oct. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753810921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753810927
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 268,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Billed as "A Biography of Water", Life's Matrix would seem to have taken a nearly insurmountable challenge. Yet author Philip Ball, science writer and consulting editor for Nature, covers the very interesting chemistry and physics of the substance and our species' long relationship with it without losing the reader--after all, each of us is mostly made of the wet stuff. From the ancients' conception of water as an element, recognising its importance and primacy among terrestrial matter, to our current understanding of the intricate dance of hydrogen bonds that give water its unique, life-giving properties, Ball always finds the right angle to keep the story compelling. Chapters covering the nuts and bolts of water, which the reader might reasonably expect to be a bit dry, consistently remind us of its crucial role in so many aspects of our lives, from ocean currents to irrigation to tears. Some of the cutting-edge scientific reports are weirdly fascinating--the discovery of several different conformations of liquid and solid water and their odd behaviour will provoke plenty of brow-furrowing, even if none of us will ever find ice-nine cubes in our cocktails at happy hour. The book closes with the now-obligatory look at what a mess we've made of the book's subject when seen as a natural resource and potential short and long-term solutions. Facing these issues is vital if we want to remember "Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink" as great poetry rather than apocalyptic prophecy. --Rob Lightner

Book Description

The brilliantly told and gripping story of the most familiar - yet, amazingly, still poorly understood - substance in the universe: Water.

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8 customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

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25 July 2009
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5 December 2000
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25 May 2007
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