Cracking the Elements published by Hachette
“Rebecca Mileham’s clearly written and beautifully illustrated ‘Cracking the Elements’ is a superb introduction for the general reader wishing to understand the building blocks of everything around us.”
From the earliest-known elements to those only named in 2016, my new book takes a comprehensive look at the development of the periodic table – and reveals untold stories, unsung pioneers and plenty of fascinating science along the way.
- How did hydrogen reveal the structure of the atom?
- What was the Bunsen burner’s role in discovering new elements?
- Which of the alkaline earth metals accounts for a kilogramme of your weight?
- Why is Marie Curie such a scientific star?
- Who discovered the most elements in the periodic table?
- What made nihonium, element 113, such a wonderful New Year’s gift for Japan?
- Is glass a liquid or a solid?
- How did nitrogen fulfil the alchemists’ dream?
- Would you have smeared antimony on your face if you’d lived in ancient Egypt?
- Why might naked mole rats have clues for surviving a heart attack?
- Might there be a pattern in yet-undiscovered elements beyond number 118?
“The author draws on her huge wealth of interdisciplinary knowledge, which includes history of science and technology, personal anecdotes, geography, geology, biology, physics.”
It’s been great to see people’s responses to the book, which came out just in time for the International Year of the Periodic Table. Thanks to all those who have read, reviewed and enjoyed the book and its stories. As a result of the project I have since visited Dubna in Russia to interview Yuri Oganessian, the only-living person with a chemical element named after him, for the Royal Society.
After working with chemist Andres Tretiakov as my expert checker on the book, we have now created a number of interactive science shows that bring the stories to life with a bang – see what we got up to at the Big Feed Festival.