The Periodic Kingdom: A Journey Into The Land Of The Chemical Elements

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Basic Books, May 2, 1997 - Science - 176 pages
5 Reviews
Come on a journey into the heart of matter—and enjoy the process!—as a brilliant scientist and entertaining tour guide takes you on a fascinating voyage through the Periodic Kingdom, the world of the elements. The periodic table, your map for this trip, is the most important concept in chemistry. It hangs in classrooms and labs throughout the world, providing support for students, suggesting new avenues of research for professionals, succinctly organizing the whole of chemistry. The one hundred or so elements listed in the table make up everything in the universe, from microscopic organisms to distant planets. Just how does the periodic table help us make sense of the world around us? Using vivid imagery, ingenious analogies, and liberal doses of humor P. W. Atkins answers this question. He shows us that the Periodic Kingdom is a systematic place. Detailing the geography, history and governing institutions of this imaginary landscape, he demonstrates how physical similarities can point to deeper affinities, and how the location of an element can be used to predict its properties. Here's an opportunity to discover a rich kingdom of the imagination kingdom of which our own world is a manifestation.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - themulhern - LibraryThing

A pleasant, brightly written book, using the analogy of a kingdom with various regions for the periodic table. The analogy is a bit strained, but I can still see the lakes of mercury and bromine in my ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - NielsenGW - LibraryThing

I’ve yet to read a book on science that was one giant metaphor. Normally, authors want to just educate the reader on a concept, flesh it out with rich histories and context, and then move on to the ... Read full review

Contents

The History of Discovery
47
The Origin of the Land
67
The Cartographers 79
94
GOVERNMENT AND INSTITUTIONS
101
Regional Administration
125
Liaisons and Alliances
145
Further Reading
151
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About the author (1997)

P. W. Atkins is university lecturer in physical chemistry at the University of Oxford and a fellow and tutor at Lincoln College, Oxford. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the highly popular Molecules and the textbook Physical Chemistry, which is used around the world.

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