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Wonderful Life With the Elements by Bunpei Yorifuji

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Comments for Wonderful Life With the Elements

Wonderful Life With the Elements: 03/03/15

cover art

Wonderful Life With the Elements by Bunpei Yorifuji is the most unusual and memorable introduction to the periodic table I've ever seen.

The periodic table to anyone new to chemistry seems a bit abstract, arbitrary and sometimes just weird. It's a funny shape, filled with lots of little boxes with letters and numbers. And somehow those little boxes store all sorts of information about the elements that make up the universe.

Previous books I've read on the subject either talk about the history of the table (The Disappearing Spoon), or are presented as an encyclopedia on how they are used (Nature's Building Blocks). Yorifuji, though, has found a way to personify the physical properties of the elements that dictate the layout of the table.

Yorifuji introduces first the different properties that the elements can have, their various functions, their charge, and so forth. For each of these character traits, he has a set traits (hairstyles, body masses, and, uniforms). Then he builds characters from these traits for each of the elements.

At first glance the book looks like a weird science manga. And I suppose in a way it is. But after reading through the book, the different relationships that elements share based on their placement in the table begin to take shape. For a visually inclined learner interested in chemistry, Wonderful Life With the Elements is a great resource.

Four stars

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