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

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

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Overview

An eye-opening, original collection of gorgeous, never-before-seen photographic representations of the 118 elements in the periodic table.

The elements are what we, and everything around us, are made of. But how many elements has anyone actually seen in pure, uncombined form? The Elements provides this rare opportunity. Based on five years of research and photography, the pictures in this book make up the most complete, and visually arresting, representation available to the naked eye of every atom in the universe. Organized in order of appearance on the periodic table, each element is represented by a spread that includes a stunning, full-page, full-color photograph that most closely represents it in its purest form. For example, at -183°C, oxygen turns from a colorless gas to a beautiful pale blue liquid.

Also included are fascinating facts, figures, and stories of the elements as well as data on the properties of each, including atomic weight, density, melting and boiling point, valence, electronegativity, and the year and location in which it was discovered. Several additional photographs show each element in slightly altered forms or as used in various practical ways. The element's position on the periodic table is pinpointed on a mini rendering of the table and an illustrated scale of the element's boiling and/or melting points appears on each page along with a density scale that runs along the bottom.

Packed with interesting information, this combination of solid science and stunning artistic photographs is the perfect gift book for every sentient creature in the universe.

Also available in a B&N Exclusive Deluxe Edition includes a companion DVD-ROM with a live periodic table and over 100 video rotations of the elements

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781579128142
Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
Publication date: 10/01/2009
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 226,971
Product dimensions: 10.60(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Theodore Gray is the author of The Elements, Molecules, and Reactions, as well as Theodore Gray's Completely Mad Science and the forthcoming How Things Work. He is the creator of the bestselling iPad apps "Elements" and "Molecules," which have both been named "App of the Week" by Apple and was Director of "Disney Animated" (also honored by Apple as "iPad App of the Year"). Gray appeared on stage with Steve Jobs several times in his capacity as a software creator. He also co-founded Wolfram Research, Inc., makers of the widely-used software Mathematica and the Wolfram Alpha website. He lives in Urbana, Illinois.

Nick Mann is a photographer specializing in taking beautiful photos of inanimate objects on black backgrounds. His other work includes Molecules, Reactions and How Things Work. Originally of Urbana, IL, he lives in Champaign, IL and North Liberty, IA, where he is working towards a geology degree at Cornell College.

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Elements 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 97 reviews.
Pam_P More than 1 year ago
Our 7-year old budding science geek went absolutely insane for this book. Over the course of a month he read it cover to cover, jumping back periodically to re-read about his new favorite element. He now will not stop talking about actinides, lanthanides, rare earths, noble gases, alkali metals, and the like. I wouldn't necessarily get this book for a kid who wasn't already interested in science, but for one who is, man oh man, what a great investment.
Maureen_in_Texas More than 1 year ago
My 11 year old son picked this out at the store, it is by far not a childrens book but he reads well beyond his age level. This book is incredible, the photos and examples are amazing. I am by no means a chemistry or physics person and I found myself reading element after element and I hated this stuff in school which was 20 years ago for me! The way the book is laid out is very pleasing to the eye. I think any age from a college student to an elementary student could benefit from this book. I even learned the element used in fireproofing my newborns clothing. I highly suggest this book to anyone wanting to learn about the elements!
wikker50 More than 1 year ago
Every time I open this Book, I discover a number of things I never Knew! What a absolute Joy to read. I am reluctant to finish the Book,so I save it for Reading only one ,maybe two pages a week.
Gene-From-Texas More than 1 year ago
I have been a chemist most of my life and was manager of a chemical manufacturing company. I thought I knew plenty about chemistry but this book takes it to the elemental level (no pun intended). It brings in all the substances you have heard about and most that you will never come across but they do make up the world we live in. If you are a student it is very easy reading. Lots of pictures make it even better for understanding the everyday uses of a particular element.
DavidWard More than 1 year ago
The Elements by Theodore Gray is an excellent book for those seeking a generalized knowledge of the universe's known elements without studying chemistry or quantum physics. Although scientific properties, such as atomic number, weight, emission spectrum and the elements' state of matter are explained; emphasis is placed on the physical properties of each element and the various compounds that are produced when elements are chemically combined. Several pages are devoted to discussing the periodic table, its classic shape, and how the table's structure is determined. The book's most outstanding features are the color photographs. Whenever possible, a photograph of an element in its pure form is presented along with numerous photographs of the elements' chemical compounds and applications. The author also provides numerous and interesting facts of the elements and compounds. For example, pure sodium and potassium will explode when placed in water and pure uranium can legally be purchased on ebay. The only disadvantage I found when reading The Elements is the lack of a glossary.
the_book_agent More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for children to learn about the elements. The reason I only gave it 4 stars was due to B & N's poor packaging. They basically dumped the book in a box and threw some fillers on top. The book was left to bang around inside the box without any real protection. As a result, the book arrived with damage to the corners and spine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great for students who wants to study the periodic table and is a great book to use to learn chemistry!! each page is detailed and explains every thing about the elelment. It even has the periodic table and the familys and who and what each element is named after! this bood is great u can't get any thing better then this!!! trust me i LOOKED!!
observerNY More than 1 year ago
This book is very good for any kind of readers, including students and general readers. It is very useful and clear in content with beautiful illustrations to make the information more understandable. I am going to send it to my granddaughter for her studies to be reviewed. Thanks a lot. NIYT. February 06, 2010.
RGJ More than 1 year ago
This is a great introduction to the chemical elements for high school students, or anyone who has wondered what exactly a chemical element is and why anyone should care. The photos are well done, and allow the reader to connect a visual image with an abstract concept. The elements are arranged in atomic number and come with little articles containing both reliable scientific information, as well as fun trivia. The information is up to date and not over-whelming. The book is a supplement to standard school texts, not a replacement. It's strength is in stimulating interest, and as a mnemonic aid. The price is right.
LightsandSirens911 More than 1 year ago
My kids love looking through this book and learning about all the elements. We keep it as a coffee table book, it's a beautifully laid out photo book that everyone can learn something from.
CTSciteach More than 1 year ago
Good book for background information when teaching about the elements. Great reference for high school kids when they want to know what an element looks like, what it is used for, or why it behaves the way it does. I would definitely recommend this book for all science teachers.
OCScienceTeacher More than 1 year ago
As an elementary science teacher, I found this book extremely useful for both myself and my students. Mr. Gray is a very engaging writer who did not get bogged down into scientific technical lingo, thereby making the book very readable for non science types. My students enjoyed the book and found much useful information about each element.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The reader is aided in understanding the periodic chart by the included element descriptions as well as application information. I felt that the information as presented was informative enough that I purchased two copies for my grandchildren to use in thier academic activities.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am a chemist and have always been fascinated by the Periodic Table of Elements. So, imagine my excitement when I saw this book sitting in the bookstore. Not only does it provide information on all 118 elements in the Periodic Table, it does it in a way that is interesting, accessible, and beautiful. This is a book that makes you want to touch it and turn the pages, you just can't resist. The picture of the elements are colorful and intriguing; they are all featured on a stylish black background...this is just a beautiful book.Each element features a picture of the element in its purest form. The side of the page has a small strip that gives lots of technical data. The elements position on the periodic table is showm, atomic weight, density, atomic radius, crystal structure, electron order filing, atomic emissions spectrum, and state of matter are all given in this strip. The rest of the page is given over to a few paragraphs about the element. Then there are excellent pictures showing instances where the element is used and these pictures also have small descriptions. Most elements are given a two page spread, but some of the lucky elements get 4 pages!In addition to the individual elements the beginning of the book discusses the different sections of the periodic table and how the periodic table of elements got its shape.This is more of a coffee table book than an ultimate reference to the Periodic Table of Elements. Although it does provide a lot of information on the Elements. Much of the discussion on each Element is anecdotal and somewhat humorous. This makes the book an excellent reference for the layman interested in Elements, it also makes the book an entertaining read. You would have to go elsewhere to get into the gritty details of some of these elements though....for example if you were trying to synthesize something with them or something else deeply technical.Overall I really loved this book. It is such an awesome book with such neat pictures. Everyone in the house from my computer loving husband to my three year old son has spent time looking through this book. It is just such an interesting book and it is presented in such a beautiful way. Not to mention it is even fun to read! I think everyone should have this book in their house; if nothing else it makes for interesting discussions as you see the bizarre forms of some of the elements.
fdholt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a joy to read! The elements is truly ¿a visual exploration of every known element in the universe.¿ Author Theodore Gray (also a co-founder of Wolfram Research and its Mathematica), in a quirky and lively manner, discusses all the elements of the periodic table from #1 hydrogen to #118 ununoctium. (In my college days, lawrencium was the last element discovered. We¿ve come a long way.) Stories range from the radioactive Eagle Scout to gray tin to vanadium tools. And the FBI¿s confiscation of an element in the collection.Gray and Nick Mann provided the photographs accompanying each element from Gray¿s extensive element collection. Each element is pictured in pure form and items using the element are also pictured, from coins, jewelry and lead crystal to red fiestaware (containing uranium), light bulbs, common medicines like pepto-bismal and much more. Against a black background, the photos and layout were stunning. The paper was heavy coated paper which meant a book of considerable weight. Truly a coffee table book!Gray also includes an explanation of the periodic table, orbitals with filling orders and other chemical properties than a non-chemist might want to skip. There is also a very short bibliography for further reading. If you want more information, Gray has a website with lots more photos and facts for students, teachers and professionals.There was not a conventional periodic table as I remember it in the book, making it difficult for me to visualize where the element fit. It would have helped to have one in addition to the stylized table used throughout. I was also taken aback by his comment that when ¿oxygen combines with hydrogen and carbon, the result can be anything from water to ¿¿ Really! The comments about incandescent bulbs were also starting to wear thin after the 5th or 6th time. And the author is decidedly opinionated about other things so be prepared. However this in no way detracted from the book. For someone who needs a more scholarly approach, there are many books on chemical elements and the periodic table. But for a light-hearted look at basic chemistry, this book is superb.
KatyBee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the absolutely best science books I've ever seen. This is a knockout, from the very readable text to the amazing photographs set against a black background.Highly recommended for everyone! Even for folks who don't like chemistry, there is something of interest in this great book for anyone from ages 8-80. At least, consider checking it out of your local library. If they don't have it, request that they add it to their collection!
bragan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book visits each of the 118 known elements in turn, offering up facts about them, their discoveries, and their applications (if any), as well as photographs of the element in its pure form, when possible, and of some of their compounds or bits of technology in which they're used. What truly amazed me about this book is that it's not just informative and pretty, but also surprisingly funny. I knew I was in for an entertaining treat from the first sentence, in which the author describes the periodic table as "the universal catalog of everything you can drop on your foot," and it did not disappoint. I even laughed out loud a number of times. That sense of humor really helped to keep things interesting, even when we were moving through endless ranks of nearly indistinguishable gray metals. Who knew chemistry could be so much fun? Not even me, and I'm a total science geek.
detailmuse on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
From Theodore Gray: "I started collecting elements in 2002 [¿and] by 2009, I had assembled nearly 2,300 objects representing every element, the possession of which is not forbidden by the laws of physics or the laws of man. [¿] Some elements can be experienced in large quantities, like the 135-pound iron ball I keep in my office for people to trip over. Others are best enjoyed in responsible moderation -- keep too much uranium in the office, and people start asking questions (keep over 15 pounds, and the Feds start asking questions)."The Elements is a lush and visually stunning coffee-table book that showcases those samples and provides a terrific individual "biography" of each element.Gray opens with an overview of the Periodic Table and its organization of elements into groups according to their similar characteristics. But then he explores them, element by element, in order of their atomic number rather than by group -- an effective method because the repeated returns to the various groups reinforce those group characteristics while familiarizing readers (YA and adult) with the individual elements.Each biography is a two-page spread -- the left a full-page photo of one of those samples from Gray¿s collection, and the right an array of text and pleasing images that detail the element¿s history, uses, and technical specs (atomic weight; density; crystal structure; orbital electron arrangement; melting and boiling points; emission spectrum). Though it's a reference work, I read this book straight through -- often thinking, ¿okay, just one more¿ but then unable to resist that each element¿s text ends with a teaser for the next one, and that Gray is liberal with trivia, personal experience, and wit. He dubs Tellurium the most melodic name and discusses the politics involved in naming new elements, finishing: ¿And so it is that we come to the end of our journey through the periodic table not with a bang, but with a committee.¿He¿s the Bill Bryson of the Periodic Table! Highly recommended.
tahoegirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A cool book book with really great pictures, but it's written at a level that you would have to be a science nerd, or know alot about chemistry to enjoy it. The pictures were great and I learned a lot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Roleplay is here!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an absolute must-have for any chemistry proffessor or chemistry enthusiast! I have had this book for eight years and still love it. Kudos to Mr. Gray!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Full of great photographs and information. Each element has at least two pages about it with pictures and information. Awesome book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is well put and aesthetically pleasing. I dont have too much to complain about, but the only thing that bothers me is that the material the book is made of falls apart fast. I take very good care of my books but this one is impossible to keep in good condition. This book is good for children, teens, and adults who don't have an in depth understanding of chemistry. I bought this book when i was 14 and then later on i took a honors chemistry when i was 16 and received an A. I think that this is a good book that adults should invest in for their children because children love visual books.  
GottaReadThis More than 1 year ago
"The Elements" by Theordore Gray is the best book about the elements around. It has tons of awesome photos for each element, right from the author's collection! The description of the elements in this book is really good, with examples from what the element is used for, it's history, and even some cool things you can do with the element. I would definitly recommend this book.