Nature's Building Blocks
An A-Z Guide to the ElementsBook - 2002
Everything we see around us is made of the chemical elements: they are Nature's building blocks. Our own bodies contain about 30 of them, some in abundance, some in trace amounts but nevertheless vital to our health, and some that are positively harmful. The Earth consists of around 90elements and again some are abundant, such as the silicon and oxygen of rocks and soils, while some are so rare that they make gold seem cheap, yet even these can be part of our everyday life.The total number of known elements is now 115 (at the last count) although most of the 25 new elements that have been synthesized in the past half-century have existed for less than a day. Some, however, have accumulated until they now threaten the environment.Nature's Building Blocks explains the what, why and wherefore of the chemical elements. Arranged alphabetically, from Actinium to Zirconium, it is a complete guide to all 115 of those that are currently known, and especially those which comprise everything we encounter in our everyday life. Theentry on each element reveals where it came from, what role it may have in the human body, and the foods that contain it. There are also sections on its discovery, its part in human health or illness, the uses and misuses to which it is put, and its environmental role.A list of the main scientific data, and outline properties, are given for every element and the section ends with an 'Element of Surprise', which highlights some unexpected way in which each element impinges on our everyday life.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2002, c2001
Branch Call Number: 546 Emsley
Characteristics: viii, 538 p. : ill. ; 25 cm