Waubonsee Community College

Caesar's last breath, decoding the secrets of the air around us, Sam Kean

Caesar's last breath, decoding the secrets of the air around us, Sam Kean
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 357-362) and index
index present
Literary Form
non fiction
Main title
Caesar's last breath
Nature of contents
Oclc number
Responsibility statement
Sam Kean
Sub title
decoding the secrets of the air around us
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
Table Of Contents
Introduction: The last breath ; I: Making air : our first four atmospheres. Earth's early air ; The exploding lake ; The devil in the air ; Welding a dangerous weapon ; The curse and blessing of oxygen ; Hotter than the Dickens -- II: Harnessing air : the human relationship with air. The wonder-working gas of delight ; Le Pétomane ; Controlled chaos ; Steeling yourself for tragedy ; Into the blue ; Night lights -- III: Frontiers : the new heavens. The fallout of fallout ; Albert Einstein and the people's fridge ; Weather wars ; Rumbles from Roswell ; Putting on alien airs
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