Life's Matrix: A Biography of Water

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University of California Press, 2001 - Nature - 417 pages
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One of the four elements of classical antiquity, water is central to the environment of our planet. In Life's Matrix, Philip Ball writes of water's origins, history, and unique physical character. As a geological agent, water shapes mountains, canyons, and coastlines, and when unleashed in hurricanes and floods its destructive power is awesome. Ball's provocative exploration of water on other planets highlights the possibilities of life beyond Earth. Life's Matrix also examines the grim realities of depletion of natural resources and its effects on the availability of water in the twenty-first century.
 

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Life's matrix: a biography of water

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Ball's experience as a science writer (Designing the Molecular World) and a consulting editor to Nature shows through in this multifaceted "biography" of water. The title might lead some readers to ... Read full review

Contents

THE FIRST FLOOD
3
BLOOD OF THE EARTH
22
STOREHOUSES OF THE HAIL
59
OCEANS IN THE SKY
82
OPEN TO THE ELEMENTS
115
BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH
151
COLD TRUTHS
183
THE REAL ELIXIR
221
INNER SPACE
249
PRIDE PREJUDICE AND PATHOLOGY
271
A DROP OF SOMETHING STRONGER
293
BLUE GOLD
337
NOTES
373
BIBLIOGRAPHY
391
INDEX
405
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About the author (2001)

Philip Ball studied chemistry at Oxford and received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Bristol. He has worked for ten years as an editor at Nature magazine. He is the author of Designing the Molecular World: Chemistry for the 21st Century (1994), Made to Measure: New Materials for the 21st Century (1997), and The Self-Made Tapestry: Pattern Formation in Nature.

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