Even if you do not have a science class to study for, and you don’t have kids in 5th grade that have to memorize the periodic table of elements, you still can benefit from and love this book. And if you DO have a science class, and you’re currently studying the elements, then get this book because not only will you get the information you need, you’ll have fun reading it.

Theodore Gray explains clearly, in language pretty much anyone can understand, how exactly the periodic table got its shape. (Why the big gaps?) He will answer the truly important questions as well, like why alkali metals are fun to throw into a lake. (I’ve always wanted to know that.) And why we should stop thinking of cubic zirconia as fake diamond and start thinking of diamond as overpriced cubic zirconia.

A tear-out poster of Theodore Gray’s periodic table is included as well, with pictures of each element. Just looking at the chart made me want to dig into the book itself and learn about each element- now I leave the book out because everyone that comes over to my house loves browsing through this, and who would have thought a book on the periodic table of elements would make the best coffee table book?

Each element is summarized with pictures of all kinds of applications for each one, including historical applications. (Toothpaste made with thorium?) Its amazing to learn of what people used to think of as promoting health- radioactive elements! Thankfully we know better now.

There is an ipad app as well:

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  • benjamindlee Mar 04, 2014 @ 3:13 pm
    Great information! Enjoyed reading.
  • jamesplatter Feb 20, 2014 @ 6:10 pm
    From someone who studied atomic physics:
    www.facebook.com/james.platter
  • Umanitea-T-4Life Feb 20, 2014 @ 1:25 pm
    When I was young...you could hit me over the head a 1000 different ways with that periodic chart in an attempt to "fuse" some logic into me that would help me to understand it. I had absolutely no interest in it, because it was just to abstract with little tiny numbers in corners made of stuff you coudn't see and the whole notion of a table being held together by pressure of molecules. (Are you serious?) I still can't get that one. But...here's the great "but"....when I began to hear of the real powerful molecules and gases that were natural and began hearing about "man-made" elements...outside of nature...well..that got my cooker cookin'. (Brain thinking). I began to jump in and try to understand how incredible and amazing it all was to know of the existence of elements known and unknown...and ask the question...can we develope new one's. So now I'm totally amazed...and the book that you are suggesting seems to be the very thing that a young person who may be confused as I was...have as a relateable guide to help them understand the complex better. Back in my time...there was just the chart and mundane sketches or reference materials to bore us to smithereens..this book grabs you from the cover...and that's the first hurdle to overcome to build knowledge and that's "interest". So thank you for sharing this book with others to inspire knowledge. (corrected typos :)
  • im2keys Feb 20, 2014 @ 7:02 pm
    Thanks so much for your comment, I can relate! I wish this book had been around when I was in school (I won't say how long ago that was) but now that I have kids, I make sure they have this and appreciate it.
  • Umanitea-T-4Life Feb 20, 2014 @ 7:36 pm
    You're welcome...continue to spread the knowledge!
  • Umanitea-T-4Life Feb 20, 2014 @ 1:21 pm
    When I was young...you could hit me over the head a 1000 different ways with that periodic chart in an attempt to "fuse" some logic into me that would help me to understand it. I had absolutely no interest in it, because it was just to abstract with little tiny numbers in corners made of stuff you coudn't see and the whole notion of a table being held together by pressure of molecules. (Are you serious?) I still can't get that one. But...here's the great "but"....when I began to hear of the real powerful molecules and gases that were natural and began hearing about "man-made" elements...outside of nature...well..that got my cooker cookin'. (Brain thinking). I began to jump in and try to understand how incredible and amazing it all was to know of the existence of elements known and unknown...and ask the question...can we develope new one's. So now I'm totally amazed...and the book that you are suggesting seems to be the very thing that a young person who may be confused as I was...have as a relateable guide to help them understand the complex better. Back in my time...there was just the chart and mundane sketches or reference materials to bore us to smithereens..this book grabs you from the cover...and that's the first hurdle to overcome to build knowledge and that's "interest". So thank you for sharing this book with others to inspire.
  • Anonymous831 Feb 20, 2014 @ 11:57 am
    Great Lens.
  • ismeedee Feb 20, 2014 @ 10:28 am
    Your review completely drew me in and I think this book would be fun to have as my little science enthusiast boy gets ME more and more excited about science.
  • im2keys Feb 20, 2014 @ 11:02 am
    Thanks so much! I know you'll love this book, especially if you've got your own little science enthusiast. :o)
  • Merrci Feb 20, 2014 @ 9:11 am
    Terrific review! It does so interesting, especially if it's explained in 'people speak.' It's going on my wish list. I really like learning more about science when it's written like this one.
  • tonyleather Feb 20, 2014 @ 7:34 am
    Excellent review!
  • im2keys Feb 20, 2014 @ 7:45 am
    Thanks so much, I'm so happy for the comments!
  • grammieo Feb 20, 2014 @ 7:12 am
    Great review, the grandkids are a little young yet, but will put it on the must have list for later.
  • Susan52 Feb 19, 2014 @ 4:29 pm
    Cool! You made science sound interesting. Love the book cover, too.