What links the Taj Mahal and our skeleton? Calcium. The Eiffel Tower and our blood? Iron. The salt on our fries and the street lamps that guide us home? Sodium. Forged in the Big Bang, the elements and their resulting compounds went on to create our Solar System, the planet we live on, the air we breathe, the water we rely on, and the proteins that would become life. Everything in the known Universe is made up of one of the 118 elements of the periodic table, and this book is your definitive illustrated guide. Every element is featured, their vital statistics given, their main compounds and uses explored, and their fascinating histories told. The Elements is authoritative and accessible, with a sense of wonder about the way in which the material world works, thanks to the protons, neutrons and electrons that make up the atoms of the elements.