Your Atomic Self

What do atoms have to do with your life? Millions of human beings have obviously lived their lives in the past without the faintest suspicion of the existence of atoms. In Your Atomic Self, scientist Curt Stager ( reveals how they connect you to some of the most amazing things in the universe. Stager will show how your oxygen atoms move through fire and water and from forests to your fingernails. Hydrogen atoms wriggle into your hair and betray where you live and what you have been drinking. The carbon in your breath will become tree trunks, and the sodium in your tears will link you to long-dead oceans. The nitrogen in your muscles will help to turn the sky blue, the phosphorus in your bones will help to turn the coastal waters of North Carolina green, the calcium in your teeth will crush your food between atoms that were mined by mushrooms, and the iron in your blood will kill microbes as it once killed a star. This book will show you that much of what death must inevitably do to your body is already happening among many of your atoms at this very moment and that, nonetheless, your material body and that of everyone else you know will always exist somewhere in the fabric of the universe. You are not only made of atoms; you are atoms, and this book, in essence, is an atomic ‘field guide’ to yourself. Understand this transient collocation of atoms (which is you) before they dissipate altogether.


Listen to the R4 ‘ In Our Time’ 45 minute podcast at the link  With Paul Strathern, former lecturer in philosophy and science, Kingston University and author of Mendeleyev’s Dream: The Quest for the Elements; Dr Mary Archer, Visiting Professor of Chemistry at Imperial College, London; John Murrell, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of Sussex.


320 pages in Thomas Dunne Books

ISBN 978-1250018847


Curt Stanger

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