Mendeleyev's Dream: The Quest for the Elements

Front Cover
St. Martin's Press, Apr 21, 2001 - Science - 308 pages
14 Reviews
In this elegant, erudite, but entertaining book, Paul Strathern, the award-winning novelist and expositor of complex ideas, unravels the dramatic history of chemistry through the quest for the elements.

Framing this history is the life story of the nineteenth-century Russian scientist Dmitri Mendeleyev, who fell asleep at his desk and awoke after conceiving the periodic table in a dream-the template upon which modern chemistry is founded and the formulation of which marked chemistry's coming of age as a science. From ancient philosophy through medieval alchemy to the splitting of the atom, this is the true story of the birth of chemistry and the role of one man's dream.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Mendeleyev's Dream

User Review  - Goodreads

Every school boy and girl is familiar with the periodic table in chemistry lessons. Most high school classroom walls will be adorned by one. This book is for those who wonder how the elements were ... Read full review

Review: Mendeleyev's Dream

User Review  - Goodreads

I expected this book to be primarily about Mendeleyev but 2/3 of the book is a thorough history of the development of the scientific method in Europe. It would be a good history, but the author ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2001)

Paul Strathern was born in London in 1940. He studied physics, chemistry, and math at Trinity College, Dublin, before switching to philosophy. He is the author of several novels, including A Season in Abyssinia, which won a Somerset Maugham prize, and two highly successful series of short introductory books, Philosophers in 90 Minutes and The Big Idea: Scientists Who Changed the World. Paul Strathern lectures in philosophy and science at Kingston University.

Bibliographic information