All matter in the universe – including our own bodies – is made of a relatively small number of basic ingredients known as elements. From the lead used in Ancient Roman plumbing to the hydrogen that powers the stars, elements make up everything there is and has ever been. The Periodic Table of the chemical elements is one of the iconic achievements of recent times. This book tells its story, revealing how humankind has struggled to understand the nature and composition of matter. It traces a journey of experiment and discovery, from the dawn of science to the space age, revealing the elements and the individuals who recognised, named, and classified them.