The Atom

The Atom

A Visual Tour

By Jack Challoner

An accessible and engaging guide to the atom, the smallest, most fundamental constituent of matter.





An accessible and engaging guide to the atom, the smallest, most fundamental constituent of matter.

Until now, popular science has relegated the atom to a supporting role in defining the different chemical elements of the periodic table. In this book, Jack Challoner places the atom at center stage. The Atom investigates the quest to identify the smallest, most fundamental constituents of matter—and how that quest helps us to understand what everything is made of and how it all works. Challoner covers a wide range of topics—including the development of scientific thinking about atoms and the basic structure of atoms; how atomic interactions account for the familiar properties of everyday materials; the power of the atomic nucleus; and what the mysterious quantum realm of subatomic particles can tell us about the very nature of reality.

Illustrated in color throughout, The Atom offers clear answers to questions we have all pondered, as well as some we have never even dreamed of. It describes the amazing discoveries scientists have made about the fundamental building blocks of matter—from quarks to nuclear fission to the “God particle”—and explains them accessibly and concisely. The Atom is the engaging and straightforward introduction to the topic that we didn't get in school.


$39.95 T ISBN: 9780262037365 192 pp. | 8.25 in x 9.5 in 150 figures

For sale only in the US and Canada.


  • A delightful read for those seeking to learn how chemistry and physics have so rapidly evolved over the last 200 years.

    New York Journal of Books

  • An engaging and visually appealing overview of physics and chemistry



  • Jack Challoner's book on the venerable atom is a visually appealing introduction to the building block of the world around us. If you wanted a quick survey of the atomic realm, this book is a good place to start.

    Don Lincoln

    Senior Scientist, Fermilab; author of The Large Hadron Collider: The Extraordinary Story of the Higgs Boson and Other Stuff That Will Blow Your Mind

  • An informative and beautifully illustrated journey into the world of the atom. Concise and digestible, Challoner puts meat on the bones of the atomic model from school science lessons.

    Andy Brunning

    chemistry educator, founder of the chemistry blog Compound Interest, and author of Why Does Asparagus Make Your Pee Smell?