Chemistry Blog



Sep 23

The Wonderful Life of Elements

by Mark | Categories: chemical education, general chemistry | (39118 Views)

The Wonderful Life of Elements may just be the most beautiful chemistry book I’ve read in, well, ever.

For anyone with even a sniff of an interest in chemistry Bunpei Yorifuji has created a book of pure joy. And for those who have only ever held a chemistry text  by accident this book may just grab their attention long enough to show them what the rest of us see in the subject.

First up you are treated to a lovely introduction to chemistry and its relevance, including illustrations of the elemental composition of the Universe, the Sun, the Earth and your living room. But this is just the B-movie, because the main event is the wonderful personifications of the elements. 

Each of the 118 elements are beautifully drawn with features that relate to their characteristics: Gases are wispy and ghost like, the liquids’ legs are flowing away and solids are bipeds. Whilst the newly discovered elements are depicted as babies and those with a longer history are old and bearded.

Each element has a page or two of additional cartoons that describe it  uses and other characteristics. All of which make for a fascinating collection of drawings.

Then to cap it all off there’s a equally lovely poster of the periodic table.

The Wonderful Life of Elements is available from Amazon, but I’d urge you to pay a little more and get it directly from the publisher, No Starch , that way you get an electronic copy in your email box whilst you wait for the hardcopy to arrive.

2 pings

  1. Chemistry Blog » Blog Archive » One for the Christmas list

    […] list Posted by : Mark | On : 27-09-2012 | Comments (0) In my last post I heaped praise on “The Wonderful Life of Elements“. Well, how fickle I am. Within three short days I have a new favourite. Now don’t let […]

  2. Book Review: “Wonderful Life with the Elements: The Periodic Table Personified” |

    […] We’re surrounded by elements. In modern times, we have tripled our use of the elements, but we still fail to recognize their importance to our lives. Do you know which elements compose your laptop? Do you know why these elements are used or how they affect you? The periodic table is our number one source of information on the elements, but it does little to highlight the elements all around us. Some information is inferred from looking at it in a certain way. But these properties can be abstract and difficult to understand. Plus, the table is limited by its compact size. Bunpei Yorifuji, author of Wonderful Life with the Elements, recognizes these difficulties. As a celebrated Japanese artist, Yorifuji illustrates the periodic table in humorous cartoons that both show and explain important facts about the elements. Yorifuji then raises our awareness of the elements by showing their importance in our lives and making the knowledge more accessible to both chemists and non-chemists From: […]

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