The Periodic Table: A Very Short Introduction

eric scerri periodic table book

There could not be a better time for an updated, revised edition of Eric Scerri’s “The Periodic Table: A Very Short Introduction”, because 2019 has been designated the International Year of the Periodic Table by UNESCO.

Chemists tend to think of the Table as an old friend– reliable and static, but that is not the whole story. While it may be one of the greatest intellectual triumphs of humankind and the foundation of the branch of science in which we all work and teach, the fact that four new elements have been recognized since the 2012 first edition of this book would argue the opposite. None of those new elements is likely to directly affect the lives of citizens or even many chemists, but in that they complete the seventh period, they may spur more attempts to create superheavy nuclei.

Scerri is the “go-to” guy for intellectual history and philosophy of the Table. His excellent “The Periodic Table: Its Story and Its Significance” was first published in 2006, and is also scheduled for a new edition later this year. This handy “Very Short Introduction” will be useful to teachers and students. It is surprising how much is found in this small volume of only 150 pages. This is one of over 600 of these Short Introductions that OUP (Oxford University Press) has published, on topics in history, science, religion, literature. If the rest of them are half as good as this....

Publication information
Alt. Title: 

The Periodic Table: A Very Short Introduction

Pick Attribution: 

Prof. Hal Harris, Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Missouri-St. Louis

Publication Date: 
Friday, August 30, 2019