Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements by John EmsleyNature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements by John Emsley

Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements

byJohn Emsley

Hardcover | August 1, 2001

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Everything we see around us is made of the chemical elements: they are Nature's building blocks. Our own bodies contain about 30 of them, some in abundance, some in trace amounts but nevertheless vital to our health, and some that are positively harmful. The Earth consists of around 90elements and again some are abundant, such as the silicon and oxygen of rocks and soils, while some are so rare that they make gold seem cheap, yet even these can be part of our everyday life.The total number of known elements is now 115 (at the last count) although most of the 25 new elements that have been synthesized in the past half-century have existed for less than a day. Some, however, have accumulated until they now threaten the environment.Nature's Building Blocks explains the what, why and wherefore of the chemical elements. Arranged alphabetically, from Actinium to Zirconium, it is a complete guide to all 115 of those that are currently known, and especially those which comprise everything we encounter in our everyday life. Theentry on each element reveals where it came from, what role it may have in the human body, and the foods that contain it. There are also sections on its discovery, its part in human health or illness, the uses and misuses to which it is put, and its environmental role.A list of the main scientific data, and outline properties, are given for every element and the section ends with an 'Element of Surprise', which highlights some unexpected way in which each element impinges on our everyday life.
John Emsley lectured in chemistry for twenty-five years at in the University of London, and he is the author of over a hundred research papers. He is now Science Writer in Residence in the Chemistry Department at the University of Cambridge. Emsley's 'Molecule of the Month' column for The Independent, which ran from 1990 to 1996, br...
Title:Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the ElementsFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:552 pages, 9.45 × 6.61 × 0.04 inShipping dimensions:9.45 × 6.61 × 0.04 inPublished:August 1, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198503415

ISBN - 13:9780198503415


Table of Contents

List of elements and numbersAcknowledgementsPrefaceIntroductionThe ElementsThe History of the Periodic TableAppendix: The discovery of the elements in chronological orderBibliography

Editorial Reviews

`Review from other book by this author On John Emsley's Molecules at an Exhibition: ...a comprehensive and fascinating introduction to a whole field of knowledge. The book is excellent as a reference work.'Science Books and Films, Washington DC, November 1998