After ordering a copy of Cox’s “The Elements” from ABE., I received a copy previously owned by Gene Bertin, a pioneer in the field of x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, who passed away in 2008. The book is meticulously annotated, with elegant lettering. The graphs he annotated are better than as printed, not just different. In the plot of binding energy vs. stable nuclide, he carefully labelled the break between exothermic fusion and fission, then connected it to the adjacent graph that was a detail of the Z=10-30 region with careful “zoom-lines.”  The text is carefully underlined with a straightedge in key sections. No sloppy highlighting here.

I feel somehow privileged.

Dr. Bertin’s obituary can be found in Powder Diffr. 24, 59.

The book is a classic Oxford Science text: Short, concise, dense, and interesting. It covers the basics of nucleogenesis and the geochemistry of both the Earth and the solar system. I’m interested in understanding the distribution of phosphate-bearing minerals. (Also, rare-earth-bearing minerals, but that’s a different story.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s