Mendeleyev's Dream: The Quest for the Elements
St. Martin's Press
, Apr 21, 2001
- 308 pages
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.