To date, 118 chemical elements have been found. Professor Mario Markus, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, Germany, takes a look at each element, presenting a poem based on its natural properties along with a scientific overview of each element.
All 118 poems – as well as some poems about elements that only exist in theoretical simulations – are published in the book Chemical Poems: One On Each Element by Mario Markus. ChemViews Magazine publishes a selection of these poems.
When the book was written, this element had not yet been discovered. Attempts to view it were being made through astronomical observations of supernovas, i.e., exploding stars.
However, during a revision of the manuscript of the book, it became known that eka-astatine was detected in Dubna, Russia, by shooting calcium at berkelium for 150 days. Five atoms, having a half-life of 14 milliseconds, and one atom with a half-life of 78 milliseconds were registered. This finding is still awaiting confirmation by other groups and a study of the properties of the element.
At this very moment
One hundred seventeen
We can only say:
The phone just rang.
Professor Mario Markus
Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, Germany.
Dos Madres Press 2013.
Perfectbound, 308 pages, English, $30
The poems have also been published in German in:
See all poems published so far by ChemViews Magazine.