P(eter) W(illiam) Atkins is Professor of Chemistry and Fellow of Lincoln College at Oxford University. He is the author of several world-famous chemistry textbooks. His books for the general readers (Richard Dawkins has described one of them, The Creation, as “the most beautifully written popular science book ever”), include Atkin’s Molecules, Atoms, Electrons and Change, and Galileo’s Finger.
The Periodic Kingdom: A Journey into the Land of Chemical Elementsby P. W. Atkins
Take a journey into the heart of matter, as a brilliant scientist guides you on a voyage through the world of the elements. Your road map for this trip, the periodic table, is the most important concept in chemistry. Hanging in classrooms and labs throughout the world, it succinctly organizes the whole chemical kingdom. Its more than one hundred elements make up everything in the universe—from microscopic organisms to distant planets.
How does the periodic table help us to make sense of the world around us? With vivid imagery, striking analogies, and a healthy dose of high-spirited humor, P. W. Atkins tackles this question by introducing us to the Periodic Kingdom—the physical world of the elements for which the periodic table is the map. This kingdom is also 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 in nature can be used to predict its properties.
Within the confines of this little book, Atkins offers an opportunity to discover a vast kingdom of the imagination, a kingdom of which our own world is only one manifestation.
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