The Elements: A Very Short Introduction, Paperback

The Elements: A Very Short Introduction Paperback

Part of the Very Short Introductions series

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


This Very Short Introduction traces the history and cultural impact of the elements on humankind, and examines why people have long sought to identify the substances around them.

Looking beyond the Periodic Table, the author examines our relationship with matter, from the uncomplicated vision of the Greek philosophers, who believed there were four elements - earth, air, fire, and water - to the work of modern-day scientists in creating elements such as hassium and meitnerium.

Packed with anecdotes, The Elements is a highly engaging and entertaining exploration of the fundamental question: what is the world made from?

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area.

These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly.

Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192 pages, numerous halftones & line drawings
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Inorganic chemistry
  • ISBN: 9780192840998



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From the title and the series, one might expect to get an introduction to chemistry. What you get is a history of the science of chemistry from the ancient Greeks to cyclotrons. There are also some chapters on the role various elements (notable gold) have played in human history. This is all very interesting and extremely readable, but if you are looking for an introduction to chemistry, you will be disappointed.

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