Good Reading : October 2010
g g R practical book building blocks ‘The periodic table,’ says author THEODORE GRAY, ‘is the universal catalogue of everything you can drop on your foot.’ Everything in the world that is tangible is made up of elements, and elements have two faces – their pure states, and the range of chemical compounds they form when they combine with other elements. His latest book, The Elements, provides us with the opportunity to see both, up close and personal. Thorium Th Theodore Gray is passionate about science. The author of books, magazine columns and the proprietor of periodictable.com, he is the creator of the iconic photographic periodic-table poster seen in universities, schools, museums across the US and on TV shows from MythBusters to Hannah Montana. In his other life, he is co-founder of the software company Wolfram Research, creators of the world's leading technical software system, Mathematica®, and WolframlAlphaTM. He lives in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. His latest book, The Elements, is based on seven years of research and photography, and the pictures in this book make a visually arresting portrait of every element in the universe. Organised in order of appearance in the periodic table, the book showcases each element (wherever possible) with a big, beautiful photograph of the pure element. For example, oxygen (element 8) is a colourless gas, but at -183ºC, it tur ns into a pale blue liquid. We take a look at an element you might not know much about: thorium. THEODOREGRAY "This glorious book is more than just a guide to the elements; it will fundamentally deepen your appreciation of the substances that make upour world." --Oliver Sacks PhotographsbyTheodoreGrayandNickMann THE Elements A VisualExploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe Po 84 Polonium At 85 Astatine Rn 86 Radon 54 Xenon I 53 Iodine Sb 51 Antimony Sn 5O Tin Ge 32 Germanium Si 14 Silicon P 15 Phosphorus S 16 Sulfur Cl 17 Chlorine 18 Argon O 8 Oxygen N 7 Nitrogen C 6 Carbon Te 52 Tellurium The Elements: A visual exploration of every known atom in the universe by Theodore Gray is published by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, rrp $49.95. Pure thorium foil from which arc- initiating buttons have been punched.