The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Elements

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Everything in the world that we see or feel is made of elements. There are 118 known elements in the universe, with more than 90 occurring naturally on earth and the remainder being human made.

We may know that sodium is salt, and that aluminium is the foil we use to wrap up our sandwiches, but we may not know that titanium, one of the strongest metals, is used in jet engines as well as rollerblades – or that the element indium is key in the technology behind LCD televisions and is part of touch screen technology in phones.

This is probably the best book you’ll read about the periodic table of the elements, and brings a potentially dry subject to life with a bang. Not only does Congdon, an ex-teacher and now professional artist, explain things in simple terms, her illustrations that show us where we can find different elements in modern life are brilliant and very appealing.

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