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Course Description

This course will focus on the discovery by the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev that the known chemical elements could be listed in a periodic table in which the properties of the elements repeated themselves—rather like the notes in a musical scale. We’ll examine how the elements were born in incredibly hot stars and follow the story of Marie Curie, whose quest to understand radioactivity led to the isolation of radium. We'll examine how particular elements, like carbon and oxygen, came to play a key role in the origin and evolution of life and how others, the so-called rare earths and silicon, became key players in many areas of modern technology. We’ll see how the properties of minerals that make up the earth arise from the elements that constitute them and how elements like sodium and potassium lie at the very heart of how our cells and our brains work.  Lecture(plus Questions)
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