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Science book success for York alumnus

Posted on 26 July 2018

York alumnus, Tim James, has written a popular science book entitled, ‘Elemental: How the Periodic Table Can Now Explain (Nearly) Everything’.

Tim graduated from the Department of Chemistry at the University of York in 2011 with a MChem degree, where he specialised in computational quantum mechanics in his final year project. He is now a secondary-school science teacher, YouTuber, blogger and Instagrammer, teaching science to anyone who will listen. He also gives annual lectures on the topic of popular science for the Institute of Physics.

In Elemental, Tim tells the story of the Periodic Table from its ancient Greek roots, when you could count the number of elements humans were aware of on one hand, to the modern alchemists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, who have used nuclear chemistry and physics to generate new elements.

Tim also answers questions such as:

  • What is the chemical symbol for a human?
  • What would happen if all of the elements were mixed together?
  • How many bananas can you stand next to before you die of radiation sickness?
  • Which liquid can teleport through walls?
  • Why is the medieval dream of transmuting lead into gold now a reality?

Reflecting on the book, Tim says:

“If you want to understand how our world works, the Periodic Table holds the answers. This book shows you how to use it to understand all the ingredients necessary to make a world.”

The book is collecting a string of five star reviews on Amazon, including:

“Witty, pacy and fascinating, Tim James has a fantastic knack for capturing the magic of science.”

Read more or buy Elemental at Little Brown.

Visit Tim's YouTube channel.