OXYGEN

a.k.a. dioxygen, molecular oxygen, liquid oxygen,
fire air - feuerluft, vitriol air, dephlogisticated air,
vital air, oxygene, elixir of life, unbound oxygen,
spiritus nitroaereus, molecular dioxygen, aerial food of life

THE STORY OF A PRIMAL FLUID OF
VITAL IMPORTANCE TO ALL LIFE FORMS ON
THE PLANET AND OUR INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP
WITH THIS EXTRAORDINARY GAS

By Dr. Chandra Senan

The topic chosen for this book was influenced by the fact that three of my previous tomes were on water, blood and alcohol. As we would not be alive without the first two fluids and the exclusion of the third is something that for many would make life onerous to cope with, I decided to keep the fluid theme going and to resolutely remain in the realm of substances absolutely crucial to our survival. Oxygen seemed the obvious choice. Fluids, incidentally, have relatively low viscosities, exhibit flow and display turbulence, possess mass and can be deformed and compressed. It is near-ubiquitous, life-sustaining oxygen which we take for granted that makes us (and the planet) tick, the four main categories of oxygen usage being medicine, metallurgy, chemical synthesis and rocketry. If you think life's a gas, you would almost certainly be right and that gas is none other than oxygen although nitrous oxide (a.k.a. factitious air) first laid claim to that accolade, owing to the euphoric effects of

inhaling it - an attribute that subsequently led to its recreational use as a dissociative anaesthetic, laughing gas parties being all the rage with the aristocracy (the hysterical participants falling about cachinnating) from as early as 1799. But it's oxygen in all its guises and the far reaching effects this element has had (and continues to have) on practically everything on our planet (and elsewhere) that takes centre stage in this offering of mine which, hopefully will seem like a breath of fresh air - an expression that sadly has become a contradiction in terms. In the sapient words of prolific science writer Dr. John Gribbin: "Oxygen exists in the atmosphere because there is life on Earth; and life exists on the land surface of the Earth because there is oxygen in the atmosphere."

Given the parlous state our planet is in, we would be unwise not to heed this warning by the eminent astrophysicist Carl Sagan: "Anything else you're interested in is not going to happen if you can't breathe the air and drink the water. Don't sit this one out. Do something."

Colour illustrated throughout, A5 size publication. 300 pages.
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OXYGEN by Dr. Chandra Senan

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