Periodic Tales Book Report

Topics: Nobel Prize, Aqua regia, Max von Laue Pages: 2 (488 words) Published: January 6, 2013
1st Entry: Introduction

From the title of this book, I could infer that the book will be about how the elements were discovered, the origin of their names and the people who discovered each element that is now a part of the periodic table. The author of the book, Hugh Aldersey-Williams, must be an individual of great knowledge and has a deep interest and understanding of chemistry—or else he would have never wrote this book. In this book, I expect that I would be able to learn how the ancients used the elements to improve their way of life, and how our advancements in technology relate to our understanding of the elements.


2nd Entry: El Dorado

The main element discussed in this chapter is Gold (Au). Gold is often attributed to the wealth and prosperity, but it is also attributed to greed, which is the main thesis of this chapter. In this chapter several people and events were mentioned, the artist Marc Quinn who made a life-size statue of Kate Moss, a sociologist named Thorstein Veblen, Pliny the Elder of Ancient Rome was also mentioned, the Buddha, the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortes who received gifts of gold from the Emperor of the Aztecs, Montezuma II, whom they imprisoned. Who was followed by another conquistador, Francisco Pizzaro who captured the Inca ruler, Atahualpa, who bargained his freedom in exchange for a room filled with gold and silver, he was later put to death after he gave the Spaniards the gold however. A third conquistador followed to search for the legendary golden city of El Dorado, he failed to locate the city. Two other notable people mentioned in the chapter are the chemists and Nobel laureates, Svante Arrhenius and Fritz Haber. In one of the stories told in this chapter, the Nazis were oppressing the Jewish scientists and were confiscating all of their gold. Unfortunately, the Nobel prize medals were made of gold, and so, two Nobel laureates, Max von Laue and James Franck, had Niels Bohr keep their...
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