Download the Universe: Deborah Blum reviews "The Elements"

By Carl Zimmer | February 21, 2012 3:11 pm

It only makes sense that an accomplished writer on chemistry takes a look at a hugely successful ebook on chemistry. Here’s Deborah Blum’s review of Theodore Gray’s “The Elements.”

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Download the Universe

Comments (1)

  1. Guess I should put together my own presentation of findings from the past couple of years, showing that the periodic system, at least in its quantum numerical aspects, derives entirely from Pascal Triangle relations. This includes modeling the system as a tetrahedron of close-packed spheres, one per element, with further patterning for odd and even periods, many more straight-line connections than a 2D rendering can show that are well known to chemists, and more, such as Fibonacci and Lucas numbers whose patterning is nonrandom and nonarbitrary when taken as atomic numbers. Even the nuclear system, though having a different ordering of features, still uses the Pascal math- the (semi)magic numbers are combinations of doubled Pascal tetrahedral and triangular numbers. Relativity, the strong force and other factors muck up the pure number-theoretical relations. Still one wants some way to explain why the Pascal system is involved at all.

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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.

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