Building Blocks Of The Universe  Resource Page
In 1957 scientist and science fiction writer, Isaac Asimov, published “Building Blocks of the Universe”, a guided tour of the elements – the fundamental
constituents of matter throughout the universe. Asimov spoke to a broad audience describing obscure facts about the elements, but the simple format reached the
attention of many young readers, revealing for the first time a captivating chronicle of the elements and their unique and interesting properties. The book
provoked curiosity in matter leading some to consider careers in science. Building Blocks of the Universe, the science show, is inspired by and dedicated to Asimov’
s work. The science show, like the book, is intended to stimulate a similar level of interest and excitement in science for our middle school students.

We hope you enjoyed the show and furthermore find this web page a useful resource to further explore the nature of matter and its connections with the
universe.  If you  have any further questions or comments please do not hesitate to email us.

Best Regards,
Mike Borrello
Larry Sverdrup & Mike Borrello
To gain a unique perspective on
the scale of our universe, click on
the constellation above
email us:
Larry Sverdrup
Mike Borrello
Resource Links

The Periodic Table of Videos at the University of Nottingham, UK, offers incredible video presentations on all of the elements including many laboratory demonstrations.

The Radiochemistry Society website to learn more about the radioactive elements and download free copies of their periodic tables.

More details on the
electrolysis of water here at the university of Illinois department of chemistry.

Iodine from Seaweed illustrates how iodine, bromine and chlorine can be extracted from kelp harvested from our beach here in Carlsbad.

Link to this YouTube video,
Brainiac Alkali Metals ,to see why we why we hesitated to demonstrate the metals rubidium and cesium in your school gym.

Follow this link to learn more about
Guncotton. The scientist that discovered guncotton, Christian Schonbein, was working one day in his kitchen and accidentally spilled a
mixture of acids. To wipe up the mess he quickly he reached  for his wife's apron and afterwards rinsed it with water and hung it next to the oven to dry. He later  heard a
sudden explosion and returning to the kitchen found the apron had vanished.

The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments was published in the 1960's but the US government soon after removed it from libraries and banned its sale on the grounds that
the experiments were too dangerous for its young audience and there is some truth to that. On the other hand we have seriously sterilized the science learning experience for
our kids to the point that science appears more dull than interesting.

ultra deep field image of the edge of our universe here.

Mark Leach's
Nucleosynthesis of The Elements. This specific link explains how elements are created in stars, and shows the relative size of nearby stars in our galaxy to our

Internet Database of Periodic Tables Also from Mark Leach's website, Meta-Synthesis. This page contains the largest collection of on-line periodic tables

Atoms: Part 1 -
THE CLASH OF THE TITANS - BBC video narrated by Jim Al-Khalili

Atoms: Part 2 -
THE KEY TO THE COSMOS -BBC video narrated by Jim Al-Khalili

Atoms: Part 3 -
THE ILLUSION OF REALITY- BBC video narrated by Jim Al-Khalili

Periodic Table of Comic Books - my  first introduction to the elements through "The Metal Men" comic books.

The Element Song. - An animated version of Tom Lehrer's didy on the elements.

Theodore Gray's The most incredible personal collection of elements, all displayed in hi-res photographs that can be rotated.

ElementSales.Com - start your own element collection


Nature's Building Blocks, An A-Z Guide to the Elements by John Emsley, Oxford Press, 2001

Building Blocks of the Universe by Isaac Asimov,Abelard-Schuman, 1961

The Elements, A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray, Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2009

Uncle Tungsten, Memories of a Chemical Boyhood by Oliver Sacks, Vintage Press, 2001

A Guide To The Elements 2nd Edition by Albert Stwertka, Oxford Press, 2002

The Deadly Element; The Story Of Uranium by Lennard Bickel, Scarborough Press, 1979
Periodic Table of
The Elements
The Hoffman Tower
Combustion of Sodium