Author: Penny Le Couteur, Genre: Science, Total Page: 384, Publisher: Penguin, ISBN: 1585423319

Napoleon's Buttons is the fascinating account of seventeen groups of molecules that have greatly influenced the course of history. These molecules provided the impetus for early exploration, and made possible the voyages of discovery that ensued. The molecules resulted in grand feats of engineering and spurred advances in medicine and law; they determined what we now eat, drink, and wear. A change as small as the position of an atom can lead to enormous alterations in the properties of a substance-which, in turn, can result in great historical shifts. With lively prose and an eye for colorful and unusual details, Le Couteur and Burreson offer a novel way to understand the shaping of civilization and the workings of our contemporary world.

Author: Penny Le Couteur, Genre: Science, Total Page: 384, Publisher: Penguin, ISBN: 9781440650321

Napoleon's Buttons is the fascinating account of seventeen groups of molecules that have greatly influenced the course of history. These molecules provided the impetus for early exploration, and made possible the voyages of discovery that ensued. The molecules resulted in grand feats of engineering and spurred advances in medicine and law; they determined what we now eat, drink, and wear. A change as small as the position of an atom can lead to enormous alterations in the properties of a substance-which, in turn, can result in great historical shifts. With lively prose and an eye for colorful and unusual details, Le Couteur and Burreson offer a novel way to understand the shaping of civilization and the workings of our contemporary world.

Author: Sam Kean, Genre: Science, Total Page: 400, Publisher: Little, Brown, ISBN: 0316089087

From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes incredible stories of science, history, finance, mythology, the arts, medicine, and more, as told by the Periodic Table. Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why is gallium (Ga, 31) the go-to element for laboratory pranksters?* The Periodic Table is a crowning scientific achievement, but it's also a treasure trove of adventure, betrayal, and obsession. These fascinating tales follow every element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, and in the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. THE DISAPPEARING SPOON masterfully fuses science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, and discovery--from the Big Bang through the end of time. *Though solid at room temperature, gallium is a moldable metal that melts at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. A classic science prank is to mold gallium spoons, serve them with tea, and watch guests recoil as their utensils disappear.

Author: David E. Newton, Genre: Cosmochemistry, Total Page: 257, Publisher: Infobase Publishing, ISBN: 9781438109732

Discusses current research and advances in the field of space chemistry, including the origins of the universe, the chemical composition of planets and meteors, and stellar evolution.

Author: Anja Røyne, Genre: Science, Total Page: 239, Publisher: The Experiment, ISBN: 9781615196463

This “excellent” popular science book explores just what we—and the things around us—are made of (Aftenposten, Norway). Some elements get all the attention: glittering gold, radioactive uranium—materials we call “precious” because they are so rare. But what could be more precious than the building blocks of life—from the oxygen in our air to the carbon in all living things? In The Elements We Live By, physicist and award-winning author Anja Røyne reminds us that we’d be lost without the quiet heroes of the periodic table. Our bodies need phosphorous to hold our DNA together, potassium to power our optic nerves, and many more elements—in just the right amounts—to function. Other fundamental elements keep our technology (and society) running: Our phones contain arsenic, boron, and gallium to control signals and store information; indium and tin for the touch screen; and lithium for the battery. Everything is made of elements—every galaxy, star, and planet—from the iron in Earth’s core to the silicon in its sand. But that doesn’t mean the elements we rely on will never run out; for example, about half the lithium we need is extracted from rocks in Australia, and the other half is from saltwater in Argentina and Chile. As Røyne travels the world to find where these elements exist (some in ever-shrinking amounts), she shows how vitally urgent it is for us to protect them—the elements of our very existence. “Not just a discussion of basic chemistry, this is a volume that looks at the human impact on the planet and what we can learn from nature...Useful for science or sociology courses that address the various impacts of natural resource development or for popular science readers.” —School Library Journal

Author: John Emsley, Genre: Health & Fitness, Total Page: 418, Publisher: Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780192806000

A fascinating account of the five most toxic elements describes the lethal chemical properties of arsenic, antimony, lead, mercury, and thallium, as well as their use in some of the most famous murder cases in history, with profiles of such deadly poisoners as Mary Ann Cotton, Michael Swango, and Saddam Hussein and a look at modern-day environmental catastrophes.

Author: K. C. Nicolaou, Genre: Science, Total Page: 385, Publisher: Wiley-VCH, ISBN: 3527309837

K.C. Nicolaou - Winner of the Nemitsas Prize 2014 in Chemistry Here, the best-selling author and renowned researcher, K. C. Nicolaou, presents around 40 natural products that all have an enormous impact on our everyday life. Printed in full color throughout with a host of pictures, this book is written in the author's very enjoyable and distinct style, such that each chapter is full of interesting and entertaining information on the facts, stories and people behind the scenes. Molecules covered span the healthy and useful, as well as the much-needed and extremely toxic, including Aspirin, urea, camphor, morphine, strychnine, penicillin, vitamin B12, Taxol, Brevetoxin and quinine. A veritable pleasure to read.

Author: Patrick Coffey, Genre: Science, Total Page: 400, Publisher: Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780199886548

In Cathedrals of Science, Patrick Coffey describes how chemistry got its modern footing-how thirteen brilliant men and one woman struggled with the laws of the universe and with each other. They wanted to discover how the world worked, but they also wanted credit for making those discoveries, and their personalities often affected how that credit was assigned. Gilbert Lewis, for example, could be reclusive and resentful, and his enmity with Walther Nernst may have cost him the Nobel Prize; Irving Langmuir, gregarious and charming, "rediscovered" Lewis's theory of the chemical bond and received much of the credit for it. Langmuir's personality smoothed his path to the Nobel Prize over Lewis. Coffey deals with moral and societal issues as well. These same scientists were the first to be seen by their countries as military assets. Fritz Haber, dubbed the "father of chemical warfare," pioneered the use of poison gas in World War I-vividly described-and Glenn Seaborg and Harold Urey were leaders in World War II's Manhattan Project; Urey and Linus Pauling worked for nuclear disarmament after the war. Science was not always fair, and many were excluded. The Nazis pushed Jewish scientists like Haber from their posts in the 1930s. Anti-Semitism was also a force in American chemistry, and few women were allowed in; Pauling, for example, used his influence to cut off the funding and block the publications of his rival, Dorothy Wrinch. Cathedrals of Science paints a colorful portrait of the building of modern chemistry from the late 19th to the mid-20th century.

Author: Eric Scerri, Genre: Science, Total Page: 200, Publisher: OUP USA, ISBN: 9780195391312

In A Tale of Seven Elements, Eric Scerri presents the fascinating history of those seven elements discovered to be mysteriously "missing" from the periodic table in 1913.

Author: Hugh Aldersey-Williams, Genre: Chemical elements, Total Page: 428, Publisher: Penguin UK, ISBN: 9780141041452

The phenomenal Sunday Times bestseller Periodic Tales by Hugh Andersey-Williams, packed with fascinating stories and unexpected information about the building blocks of our universe. Everything in the universe is made of them, including you. Like you, the elements have personalities, attitudes, talents, shortcomings, stories rich with meaning. Here you'll meet iron that rains from the heavens and noble gases that light the way to vice. You'll learn how lead can tell your future while zinc may one day line your coffin. You'll discover what connects the bones in your body with the Whitehouse in Washington, the glow of a streetlamp with the salt on your dinner table. Unlocking their astonishing secrets and colourful pasts, Periodic Tales is a voyage of wonder and discovery, showing that their stories are our stories, and their lives are inextricable from our own. 'Science writing at its best. A fascinating and beautiful literary anthology, bringing them to life as personalities. If only chemistry had been like this at school. A rich compilation of delicious tales'Matt Ridley, Prospect 'A love letter to the chemical elements. Aldersey-Williams is full of good stories and he knows how to tell them well'Sunday Telegraph 'Great fun to read and an endless fund of unlikely and improbable anecdotes'Financial Times 'The history, science, art, literature and everyday applications of all the elements from aluminium to zinc' The Times Hugh Aldersey-Williams studied natural sciences at Cambridge. He is the author of several books exploring science, design and architecture and has curated exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Wellcome Collection. He lives in Norfolk with his wife and son.