Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Wishlist Book Talk #2

For the Science lover or plain curious about everything person you need to shop for is not without options this year in the non-fiction side.

The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray, with Nick Mann, is a great option.

"An eye-opening, original collection of gorgeous, never-before-seen photographic representations of the 118 elements in the periodic table.

The elements are what we, and everything around us, are made of. But how many elements has anyone actually seen in pure, uncombined form? The Elements provides this rare opportunity. Based on five years of research and photography, the pictures in this book make up the most complete, and visually arresting, representation available to the naked eye of every atom in the universe. Organized in order of appearance on the periodic table, each element is represented by a spread that includes a stunning, full-page, full-color photograph that most closely represents it in its purest form. For example, at -183˚C, oxygen turns from a colorless gas to a beautiful pale blue liquid.

Also included are fascinating facts, figures, and stories of the elements as well as data on the properties of each, including atomic weight, density, melting and boiling point, valence, electronegativity, and the year and location in which it was discovered. Several additional photographs show each element in slightly altered forms or as used in various practical ways. The element's position on the periodic table is pinpointed on a mini rendering of the table and an illustrated scale of the element's boiling and/or melting points appears on each page along with a density scale that runs along the bottom.

Packed with interesting information, this combination of solid science and stunning artistic photographs is the perfect gift book for every sentient creature in the universe." [from Black Dog & Levanthal]

A companion piece to the book is a just released deck cards, what a great to learn, study, or discover the periodic table.

The above is a fantastic book and so is Voyage to the Heart of Matter: The ATLAS Experiment at CERN by Emma Sanders and Anton Radevsky.  I know, I can find a pop-up for just about everyone :-)  Anyway, the experiment going on underground between France and Switzerland, the Large Hadron Collider, is very important.  The goal is to discover and understand all they can about the birth of our Universe.  This could be a very overwelming subject, science term heavy and now CERN and Radevsky [paper engineer] have come together to put the experiment on your lap.

If you have a science junky, a person who likes to spend time with the stars, or someone like me - a pop-up fan - this is a great, unique, book to gift them with.  A real gem.

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