Caesar's Last Breath

Caesar's Last Breath

Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us

Book - 2017
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A round-the-globe journey through the periodic table explains how the air people breathe reflects the world's history, tracing the origins and ingredients of the atmosphere to explain air's role in reshaping continents, steering human progress, and powering revolutions.
"The fascinating science and history of the air we breathe: It's invisible. It's ever-present. Without it, you would die in minutes. And it has an epic story to tell. In Caesar's Last Breath ... bestselling author Sam Kean takes us on a journey through the periodic table, around the globe, and across time to tell the story of the air we breathe, which, it turns out, is also the story of earth and our existence on it. With every breath, you literally inhale the history of the world. On the ides of March, 44 BC, Julius Caesar died of stab wounds on the Senate floor, but the story of his last breath is still unfolding; in fact, you're probably inhaling some of it now. Of the sextillions of molecules entering or leaving your lungs at this moment, some might well bear traces of Cleopatra's perfumes, German mustard gas, particles exhaled by dinosaurs or emitted by atomic bombs, even remnants of stardust from the universe's creation. Tracing the origins and ingredients of our atmosphere, Kean reveals how the alchemy of air reshaped our continents, steered human progress, powered revolutions, and continues to influence everything we do. Along the way, we'll swim with radioactive pigs, witness the most important chemical reactions humans have discovered, and join the crowd at the Moulin Rouge for some of the crudest performance art of all time. Lively, witty, and filled with the astounding science of ordinary life, Caesar's Last Breath illuminates the science stories swirling around us every second."--Jacket.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316381642
0316381640
Branch Call Number: 551.51 K243c 2017
Characteristics: viii, 373 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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pm221
Jan 05, 2018

Very basic chemistry of gases illustrated by some fascinating historical side lights on the work of Priestley, Lavoisier, Watt et al up to the development and testing of the Hydrogen bomb. More interesting from the historical point of view than scientific, but some very good fun for all that.

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