, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 167-169
Date: 21 Jul 2011

David E. Fisher: Much Ado about (Practically) Nothing. A History of the Noble Gases

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David E. Fisher is Professor Emeritus of Geological sciences and cosmochemistry at the University of Miami. He is the author of fourteen non-fiction books and nine novels.

The subtitle of the book is a little misleading. As the author states on the very first page, this book is about “how science works” and does not aim to present a comprehensive review on noble gasses, from neither scientific nor historical point of view. The book focuses on showing an entire process of obtaining a scientific goal: from an inspired idea for an experiment, through measurements accompanied by various obstacles till obtaining a new scientific discovery.

“Much ado about (practically) nothing”, perversely with the word “nothing”, proves that noble gases are related to almost every branch of science. Fisher’s book deals with the whole world of noble gases: from the discovery of each gas, through the experiments proving their properties, till their applications over the years. Amazing fact, how fundamental inf