Chemistry is a fascinating subject, full of stories, personalities, mysteries, and intrigues. This beautifully bound and illustrated book sets out the history of the device the provides a foundation for the whole of chemistry as a science: the Periodic Table of Elements. With a foreword by esteemed chemist and Cambridge science writer-in-residence John Emsley, it begins by telling the story of Mendeléev, the brilliant nineteenth-century chemist who used the rules of a card game to figure out the patterns of the elements, and then looks at how his ideas have developed up to the present day.
But if the Table itself is the stage, the elements themselves are the stars of the show. There is plenty of detailed chemistry to explore, but The Elements also weaves together the human stories behind the discoveries of different elements, in partciular how the elements were discovered and the way in which their various compounds and isotopes have been used throughout history. Each element has its own entry, logically grouped and with a clear explanation of its place in the story. The book also looks at the latest cutting-edge research being performed in an effort to synthesize new elements and nd answers to questions still unanswered despite modern scientific techniques.