Monday, July 15, 2013

Notes on "The Disappearing Spoon"

[continuation in part]

I'm reading Sam Kean's book "The Disappearing Spoon" and posting comments about it. I'm on page 29:
Reading the periodic table across each row reveals a lot about the elements, but that's only part of the story, and not even the best part. Elements in the same column, latitudinal neighbors, are actually far more intimately related than horizontal neighbors. People are used to reading from left to right (or right to left) in virtually every human language, but reading the periodic table up and down, column by column, as in some forms of Japanese, is actually more significant. Doing so reveals a rich subtext of relationships among elements, including unexpected rivalries and antagonisms. The periodic table has its own grammar, and reading between its lines reveals whole new stories. 
Very very nice. I call the up down periodic relationship between elements "rhyming;" each element rhymes with the one above and below it.  The table is written in 2n2 meter, where n = 1, 2, 3, 4... link

Next up, Chapter 2: "Near Twins and Black Sheep: The genealogy of Elements C, Si, Ge" wherein I pretend to get nasty.

1 comment:

  1. Here's a favor that someone can do who has a Kindle version can do for me.

    Does Kean mention Frederick Soddy in his book? My eyeballs didn't see it.