Albert Stwertka A Guide to the Elements

ISBN 13: 9780195150261

A Guide to the Elements

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9780195150261: A Guide to the Elements

Newly updated with the stunning discovery of two new elements, A Guide to the Elements, 2nd Edition is still the easy-to-read, easy-to-understand resource to the periodic table that students and teachers of the physical sciences expect. A Guide to the Elements, Second Edition begins with an introductory section that explains some of the basic concepts of chemistry and traces the history and development of the periodic table of the elements. In clear, nontechnical language, Albert Stwertka takes complex ideas and terms easily understandable. Complemented with historical anecdotes and everyday examples, each fascinating article examines one element and is accompanied by photographs many in full color of practical applications. Middle school and high school students will find this a welcome reference, as will adults with no background in chemistry.
This new edition includes:
* A comprehensive list of informative websites
* An epilogue on recent near-discoveries of new elements
* An extensively updated further-reading list
An excellent "look up" resource as well as a superb introduction to chemistry, A Guide to the Elements, Second Edition is a good beginning step on the road to chemical literacy.

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About the Author:


Albert Stwerkta is Professor Emeritus at the United States Merchant Marine Academy and previously served as the head of the mathematics and science department there. Dr. Stwertka conducted research in the field of atomic physics, and was instrumental in establishing training programs for the N.S. Savannah nuclear ship during the Atoms for Peace program. He is the author of numerous books on science and math, including The World of Atoms and Quarks, Recent Revolutions in Physics, Recent Revolutions in Mathematics, and Physics: From Newton to the Big Bang.

From Booklist:

There is a real need for resources about the elements for secondary students. A Guide to the Elements is on the right track. In the introduction, Stwertka explains the periodic table, its history and layout. He does so in easy-to-understand language without oversimplifying key concepts. Each element, in order of its atomic number, is discussed in one to seven pages, with illustrations, sometimes in color. The book is current through element 112, created in early 1996. Each entry includes the atomic number, chemical symbol, and group in a box, followed by a description of the element's discovery and applications, including its use in consumer products. For example, under nitrogen, the discussion covers the use of nitric acid in fertilizer and explosives. The periodic table is reproduced for each entry, with the element being discussed highlighted. A glossary, a chronology of the discovery of the individual elements, a short further reading list, and an index complete the book. The further reading list consists of 18 books published from 1961 to 1996, some of which may be found in YA collections. A comparison of the guide's entry for neon with those in Encyclopedia Americana and McGraw Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology found more detailed information, the kind needed at report time, in the two encyclopedias, but it was not as attractively presented. High-school and public libraries will want to consider purchase, perhaps for the circulating collection.

As for the CD-ROM, boring is the first adjective that comes to mind. It provides very brief information about an element's history and properties. The CD-ROM is easy to install and use, but information is scanty. Audio excerpts include Liverpool poet Roger McGough reciting his poems and Tom Lehrer's humorous song about the elements. There are video clips from the TV series The Elements. The periodic table is shown as gray and red tiles, but the white font makes it hard to read the element number. Again, an encyclopedia will provide more in-depth information in less time than it takes to put the CD in the drive and click on the necessary icons and boxes.

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Stwertka, Albert
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Published by Oxford University Press (2002)
ISBN 10: 0195150260 ISBN 13: 9780195150261
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