Monday, May 10, 2010

The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe

At the request of several readers of my TED posts, I committed to posting about the books that come in the TED Book Club. Having got some momentum back after the Hot Docs postings, I'm going to get back to the Book Club.

In the latest mailing, we received a gorgeous book called The Elements. This combines the stunning visual impact of a coffee table book with a huge amount of scientific information.

There's one double page for each element, showing atomic weight, density, melting and boiling point, valence, electronegativity, and the year and location in which it was discovered. It also describes its typical uses. The page on the left shows the page for Hydrogen.

There are exotic new elements at the end of the periodic table that I'd never heard of. Element 97, Berkelium, is named after University of California at Berkeley where it was discovered in 1949. A second element discovered there is named Californium.

What a gorgeous book to amble through from time to time, and a great reference book for any home.

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