List of fictional elements, materials, isotopes and atomic particles

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This list contains chemical elements, materials, isotopes or (sub)atomic particles that exist primarily in works of fiction (usually fantasy or science fiction). No actual periodic elements end in "-ite", though many minerals have names with this suffix. Some of the materials listed as elements below may indeed be minerals, alloys, or other such combinations, but fictional works are often vague on such distinctions.

Fictional elements and materials[edit]

Name Source Uses
Adamant / Adamantine Greek Mythology As a noun adamant has long been used to designate any impenetrably or unyieldingly hard substance and, formerly, a legendary stone/rock or mineral of impenetrable hardness and with many other properties, often identified with diamond or lodestone.[1] The English word is used both as a noun and an adjective and is derived from the Latin: adamans, adamantem [accusative] referring to the property of impregnable, diamondlike hardness, or to describe a very firm/resolute position, itself from the Greek word adamastos meaning untameable. Diamond is also derived from the same word.[2] Adamant and the literary form adamantine (utilising the suffix -ine meaning 'of the nature of' or 'made of') occur in many works. In mythology Kronos was said to have used an adamantine sickle to castrate his father Uranus;[2] in Prometheus Bound, Prometheus is bound to the rocks "in adamantine bonds infrangible",[3] in Virgil's Aeneid (in which the gates of Tartarus are protected by columns of solid adamantine) [2] and in Paradise Lost, in which adamant and adamantine are mentioned eight times to describe the gates of hell, Satan's shield, fallen angel's armour and Satan's chains.[2] In fiction Adamant is referred to in The Faerie Queene, Gulliver's Travels, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Lord of the Rings, His Dark Materials trilogy, and the games Final Fantasy and Runescape and many more besides.[4] Adamantine is referred to in the film Forbidden Planet (as "adamantine steel"), in many books such as Mary Shelley's Mathilda, and Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, as well as many games including Dungeons and Dragons.[5] The word adamant is used as the basis for other fictional materials such as Adamantium (see below), Adamantite (see below), Adamantle (from the Sims[6]), and Adiamante (from L. E. Modesitt Jr.'s 1996 novel of the same name[6]).
Adamantite numerous including
Final Fantasy;
World of Warcraft
A metal ore that appears in a number of fictional universes. In Final Fantasy it is a material used to create armour, its source being from another world and its properties including being able to contain great amounts of energy.[6] In World of Warcraft, it is an uncommon ore used to produce weapons and armour of uncommon, rare and epic grade.[6] In the Dark Elf books by Salvatore set in the Dungeons and Dragons[6] universe it is used to create drow weaponry. It is also used for armour in The Elder Scrolls III,[6] and in the game Terraria it is a red ore used to produce armour and other items besides.[6] The word is an extension of the English noun and adjective adamant (see entry above) adding the suffix '-ite' which is often used to form the names of minerals.
Adamantium Marvel Comics A fictional metal alloy that appears in the Marvel Universe, first appearing in Marvel Comics' Avengers #66 (July 1969), by writer Roy Thomas and artists Barry Windsor-Smith and Syd Shores. Although it is first presented as part of the character Ultron's outer shell[7] it is best known as the substance bonded to the character Wolverine's skeleton and claws.[8][9][10] The defining quality of adamantium is its practical indestructibility.[5] Adamantium is not depicted as being a naturally occurring metal but rather as having been inadvertently invented by the fictional American metallurgist Dr. Myron MacLain in an attempt to recreate his prior discovery, a unique alloy of steel and vibranium. Despite its potential applications in armament and armature, adamantium is rarely used due to its high cost and inability to be reshaped.[5] Other forms of adamantium of varying durability are mentioned within the Marvel Universe including Secondary Adamantium, Adamantium Beta and Carbonadium.[11] Aside from Ultron's outer shell and Wolverine's skeleton and claws, Adamantium is associated with a number of other characters and implements including but not limited to Bullseye's spinal column, certain iterations of Captain America's shield[12] and Lady Deathstrike's skeleton and talons. The word is an extension of the English noun and adjective adamant (see entry above) adding the Neo-Latin '-ium' to denote a metallic name.[2] Adamantium is also used in the Games Workshop universe of Warhammer 40000[5] and the MMORPG Maplestory.[6]
Byzanium Raise the Titanic![13] Byzanium is a fictional element within the book Raise the Titanic! and its film adaptation, which serves as a main focus of the story arc. It is a powerful radioactive material sought after by both the Americans and Russians for use as either an energy source for a missile defense system or atomic super bomb. The largest known natural source of Byzanium was on the island of Novaya Zemlya, which was mined in the early 20th Century and supposedly taken aboard the ill fated RMS Titanic during her first and only voyage.
Cobalt Thorium G[14][15] Dr. Strangelove, Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot In Dr. Strangelove it is an element used in the Russians' doomsday device. Both (real) elements Cobalt and Thorium can be used in atomic weapons to increase the amount of dangerous nuclear fallout, which agrees with the sense in which "Cobalt Thorium G" is used in the movie.

In the "Wages of Fire" episode of Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot, it is revealed that the BGY-11 is powered by a Cobalt Thorium G power core.

Collapsium The Terro-Human Future History, The Collapsium Collapsium was first mentioned by H. Beam Piper in his Terro-Human Future History series. Piper describes it as "the electron shells of the atoms collapsed upon the nuclei, the atoms in actual contact."[16] Collapsium can only be worked by abrasion with cosmic rays. It is resistant to both ordinary matter projectiles and all forms of radiation, and can be plated on to ordinary steel to form a protective layer. The main use for collapsium is as armor for spacecraft.

A different version of collapsium appeared in Wil McCarthy's novel The Collapsium. McCarthy's collapsium is composed of black holes and can be used to warp space and time in accordance with the wishes of its inventor.[17]

Kryptonite DC Comics A crystalline material, originally in various colors with separate effects, harmful to Kryptonians and created during the destruction of Superman's home planet Krypton; synthesis is also possible. John Byrne's retcon of the DC Comics universe established green kryptonite as a compound and later issues had experiments by Batman and Luthor reestablish the Pre-Crisis versions of red, blue, and gold. Kryptonite has been found in the real world (according to its chemical composition) and has none of the properties or color variations of fictional kryptonite. However, DC Comics had previously described kryptonite as an alien element with a higher atomic number than known Earth elements.
Mithril Middle-earth, Dungeons & Dragons,The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, RuneScape, Golden Sun, Terraria, World of Warcraft, Clash of Kingdoms, MapleStory, Guild Wars 2 Originally described in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy,[18] mithril is a durable silvery metal that is very light and extremely strong. Mithril means "grey gleam", but is translated as "true silver".[19] It was mined in native form in Moria. It can also be worked into other forms with unusual properties such as reflecting only the light of the Moon.The fictional metal has expanded to be included in various other fantasy universes, games, and books. "Mythril" appears in the video game series Final Fantasy. Also, "Mithral" is used in D&D books and "Milrith" in Simon the Sorcerer. In the Warhammer world, the High Elven metal "Ithilmar" has similar properties and usage. In RuneScape it is a lightweight blue metal stronger than steel. In World of Warcraft, Mithril is a silvery-white mid level mineral, that can be mined as an ore and smelted into a bar using the mining profession.[20] In Defense of the Ancients, the multiplayer online battle arena version of Warcraft, players can purchase the Mithril Hammer from the Main Shop. "Mithral" is also featured in the Dungeon Master series. It appears in armor form in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It also appears as a cyan metal used to make armor and weapons in MapleStory. Mithril is also depicted as a light green metal used to craft armor and weapons in Terraria.
Nintendium Internet Mythology[21] Nintendium is the fictional 133rd element described as “the hardest, most durable material known to mankind, discovered by Nintendo for usage in their console, the Nintendo Entertainment System.” It is a mysterious metal, as it appears that all its common isotopes last a very long time, as well as one being completely stable. It appears to commonly bond with nearly anything, and certain bonds of it with Beryllium and Selenium create a tough, plastic-like material named Nintendium Beryselecate. The folklore also says that the manufacturing process of the substance was perfected sometime prior to the invention of the portable Game Boy by Nintendo hardware designer Gunpie Yokoi. [22] Proof of Nintendium came in 2005 with Nintendo’s acquisition of a Game Boy machine that was recovered from a bombarded barrack during the Gulf War. Although its plastic body was heavily damaged, the hardware seemed to be perfectly functional when it was placed on permanent display with the classic puzzle game Tetris at the Nintendo Center located in New York City.[23] Since the birth of the Nintendo 64 (IE, N64), Nintendium has become harder to produce or find, as the quality of the Nintendium used in the Nintendo DS (IE, NDS) and Wii (IE, Nintendo Wii?) have been reasonably weaker than their predecessors, though the WiiMote has been known to resist bullets, fly straight through Television Screens, and cause injuries when thrown, and is considered to be encased in the purest, most refined Nintendium seen since Gunpie Yokoi left Nintendo and died.[24]

Octiron Discworld A strange, iridescent metal that is highly valued. It radiates dangerous amounts of raw enchantment and is so unstable it can only exist in a universe saturated with raw magic.[25]
Orichalcum Mythology (Atlantis), Fate of Atlantis, Shadowrun, Earthdawn, Exalted, Irregular Webcomic!, Star Ocean, Final Fantasy (various), Poseidon: Master of Atlantis, Age of Mythology: The Titans, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, MapleStory, Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, Guild Wars 2, Terraria, Kingdom Hearts A metallic pink or red colored metal mined in Atlantis; another name for it is mountain copper.[26] May be based on Auricupride. Used to power machinery in Atlantis in the Indiana Jones adventure game. In the Exalted setting Orichalcum is the strongest of the five magical materials and can be made by distilling ordinary gold using Gaia's blood (Magma) and concentrating sunlight using large occult mirrors. Found in Final Fantasy as a rare material with varying properties. In the Soul Calibur series, Sophitia has a sword and shield set named Orichalcum. Used in smithing to craft Orcish weapons and armor in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. In Maplestory it is a fuchsia metal used to craft armors and items. In Shadowrun, orichalcum is a magical alloy of gold, silver, mercury, and copper. Also named "Orichalcon" in some games. Orichalcum is depicted as a purple metal in Terraria and is used to make weapons, armor, and different walls and blocks.
Polydenum OtherSpace A metallic, radioactive, explosive element found in some planetary cores that is mined and refined to become the main fuel for starship sub-light engines in the OtherSpace multiverse, as well as a potent explosive.[27] Never to be mistaken for Molybdenum.
Radium X The Invisible Ray Radium X was an intensively radioactive extraterrestrial element discovered by Dr. Janos Rukh (Boris Karloff) in the 1936 film the The Invisible Ray. In the film, Dr. Rukh creates a death beam projector which harnesses the incredible power of Radium X for use as a destructive weapon of mass terror. Interestingly, Radium X also had healing powers. In a memorable scene, Rukh restores the sight of his blind mother (Violet Kemble Cooper) with the Radium X projector after developing a filter to curb its destructive effects. According to legend, this scene inspired John Lawrence (the younger brother of physicist Ernest Lawrence) to use radiation on his mother—who had been diagnosed with inoperable cancer of the uterus.[28] Not to be confused of the real life Radium.
Strongium 90 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Used by gym owner Wally Airhead and his men in the episode "Leonardo Cuts Loose". Provides the user with strength.[29] Not to be confused with real element Strontium, which has a radioactive isotope called Strontium-90.
Theor+ Bertil Mårtensson's Jungfrulig planet A superheavy element, number 183, stable, "eerily unscientific properties". Necessary for protecting the crew of faster-than-light spaceships from high-energy graviton radiation associated with powering up (or powering down) the engines.[30]
Timonium Stardust series,[31] Liaden universe, Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends In the Liaden universe, the planet Surebleak[clarification needed] was at one time a mining center for timonium before large amounts were discovered in another nearby star system. Timonium is a radioactive element used as an internal powersource for high tech devices.[32]
Unobtanium Aerospace term [33] A substance having the exact properties required for a piece of hardware or other item of use, but not obtainable either because it theoretically cannot exist, geopolitical events preclude access to it,[34] or because current technological limitations prevent its manufacture.
Vibranium Marvel Comics A fictional metal that appears in the Marvel Universe, first appearing in Daredevil #13 (February 1966), by writer Stan Lee and artist John Romita. It is a rare, naturally occurring metallic substance theorized to be of extraterrestrial origin.[35] It is most commonly known as one of the materials used to construct Captain America's shield, but it is also noted for its connection to the Black Panther and his native homeland of Wakanda (a fictional country in Africa).[36] It exists in two forms: the Wakandan variety, is native only to the small African nation of Wakanda.[37] This isotope possesses the ability to absorb all vibrations in the vicinity as well as kinetic energy directed at it.[38] The energy absorbed is stored within the bonds between the molecules that make up the substance. As a result, the more energy vibranium absorbs the tougher it becomes. This variety of vibranium is a powerful mutagen.[39] The Antarctic variety, better known as Anti-Metal, is an isotope native to the Savage Land, producing vibrations of a specific wavelength that break down the molecular bonds in other metals.
Wishalloy Aerospace term [40] An alternative to unobtainium, possibly indicating that the substance in question is theoretically impossible according to known scientific theory. Historically Scramjets have been described[by whom?] as being made from unobtainium reinforced wishalloy.
Xirdalium The Chase of the Golden Meteor An element which is, in the French first edition of the novel, about a hundred thousand times more radioactive than radium.[41] In the English first edition this has been reduced to a hundred times.[42] Xirdalium was invented by Jules Verne's son Michel, who introduced it to the novel, together with the character Zephyrin Xirdal,[43] a 'private genius' who synthesized the new element. In the story Xirdal then uses Xirdalium in a contraption emitting a strong tractor beam able to alter the trajectory of the meteor mentioned in the novel's title.
Xithricite Vendetta Online A bright green mineral used to produce incredibly strong alloys originally discovered by explorers from the Neutral Territories.[44] References to it are found throughout the game's item descriptions and is used in everything from spaceship hulls to railgun ammunition. Ore containing Xithricite can be mined from asteroids by players.

Fictional isotopes of real elements[edit]

Name Isotope of Source Uses Reality
80Ir Iridium Riptide According to the book, one second of direct exposure is equivalent to a lethal dose, with a reading of 3217.89 Rads/hr from 15 metres away. The blade of St. Michael's sword was forged from it.[45] 80Ir does not exist; the lightest known isotope is 164Ir.
186Pu Plutonium The Gods Themselves An isotope of plutonium which is too unstable to exist in our universe but which exists naturally in fictional parallel universes whose strong nuclear forces are more intense. This is utilised as a source of energy where it is turned into 186W, releasing electrons in the process.[citation needed] The description of this isotope is entirely correct; the lightest known isotope of plutonium is 228Pu.
Quantium any element, but most commonly potassium Babylon 5 This rare and expensive substance used in jumpgates is formed when ordinary matter is subjected to the stresses of a supernova, pushing some of its electron pair-bonds into hyperspace. The most commonly found form is derived from 40K, giving quantium-40. The name was coined by David Strauss in response to a request from the show's creator.[46] 40K is a naturally occurring isotope of potassium which is used to date rocks. However, the method of obtaining quantium as described has not been demonstrated in real life.

Fictional Subatomic Particles[edit]

Name Source Properties
Inspiration Particle Discworld A fundamental particle of the Discworld universe, in which millions travel, sleeting through the universe and time in a tachyon like manner. When one passes a human brain an inspiration particle receptor in the brain creates an idea in that humans mind.[47]
Reson Discworld The constitute particle of the Thaum. Its name literally means "thing-ies". It comes in 5 "flavors" or types: Up, Down, Sideways, Sex-Appeal and Peppermint.[48]
Thaum Discworld The basic unit of magical strength, it is the amount of magic needed to create one small white pigeon or three normal-sized billiard balls. The Thaum has been shown to be made up of Resons in the Unseen Universities High Energy Magic Building.[49]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "adamant - definition of adamant".
  2. ^ a b c d e Mark Rogers, The Esoteric Codex: Magic Objects I, (, 2014, ISBN 1312114568, 9781312114562, p11
  3. ^ Great Books of the Western World Vol. 4 pg 40
  4. ^ Mark Rogers, The Esoteric Codex: Magic Objects I, (, 2014, ISBN 1312114568, 9781312114562, p12
  5. ^ a b c d Mark Rogers, The Esoteric Codex: Magic Objects I, (, 2014, ISBN 1312114568, 9781312114562, p13
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Mark Rogers, The Esoteric Codex: Magic Objects I, (, 2014, ISBN 1312114568, 9781312114562, p14
  7. ^ Walker, Karen (February 2010). "Ultron: The Black Sheep of the Avengers Family". Back Issue! (TwoMorrows Publishing) (38): 23–30. 
  8. ^ Sharon Packer MD, Superheroes and Superegos: Analyzing the Minds Behind the Masks, (ABC-CLIO), 2009, ISBN 0313355371, 9780313355370, p238
  9. ^ Marco Arnaudo (translated by Jamie Richards), The Myth of the Superhero, (JHU Press), 2013, ISBN 1421409534, 9781421409535, p19
  10. ^ Gail E. Hawisher, Cynthia L. Selfe, Literacy, technology, and society: confronting the issues, (Prentice Hall), 1997, p100
  11. ^ David Bell, Barbara M. Kennedy (ed), The Cybercultures Reader, (Psychology Press), 2000, ISBN 0415183790, 9780415183796, p114
  12. ^ Seth Godin, The Encyclopedia of Fictional People: The Most Important Characters of the 20th Century , (Boulevard Books), 1996, ISBN 1572970731, 9781572970731, p4
  13. ^ "Program Notes: Raise the Titanic! (1980)". Kansas City Public Library. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  14. ^ continuity screenplay
  15. ^ shooting draft
  16. ^ Piper, H. Beam (2007). Junkyard Planet. Wildside Press. Retrieved 2014-11-19. 
  17. ^ "Fiction Book Review: The Collapsium by Wil McCarthy". Publishers Weekly. 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-19. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ Tolkien, J.R.R. (1954). The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-08254-4. 
  20. ^ Lummis, Michael (2006). World of Warcraft Master Guide Second Edition. Bradygames. p. 248. ISBN 0-7440-0819-0. 
  21. ^ "133rd Element". The Better Best Wiki Ever With Science Wiki. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  22. ^ One, Twenty. "Nintendium knowyourmeme". Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  23. ^ ninja, Plaid. "Earliest known Nintendium mention". Pure Pwnage. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  24. ^ Modnar, Zixaphir. "Nintendium Definition". Urban Dictionary. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  25. ^ Pratchett, Terry; Briggs, Stephen (2012). Turtle Recall: The Discworld Companion...So Far. Victor Gollancz Ltd. p. 271. ISBN 978-0-575-09120-7. 
  26. ^ Leadbeater, C.W. The Masters and the Path Adyar, Madras, India: 1925—Theosophical Publishing House
  27. ^ Wes Platt (2002). Otherspace: The 2001 Yearbook. iUniverse. p. 247. ISBN 978-0-595-22157-8. ISBN 0-595-22157-2. ..."It will generate a controlled fusion reaction within its interior until it reaches the proper temperature, using a carefully calculated amount of polydenum for a starter." 
  28. ^ Lynn Yarris (June 29, 2005). "Breast Cancer Research at Berkeley Lab: Part 1: An Era of Hope for Breast Cancer Patients". Berkeley Lab News Center. 
  29. ^ "Leonardo Cuts Loose". TV Com. 1991. Archived from the original on 2013-02-07. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  30. ^ [1]
  31. ^ Stephen Tall. The Stardust Voyages. Berkley Medallion. ISBN 0-425-02972-7. 
  32. ^ Sharon Lee (writer); Steve Miller (writer) (1982). I Dare. Meisha Merlin. ISBN 1-892065-12-6. 
  33. ^ Hansen, James R. (1987) "Engineer in Charge: A History of the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory, 1917–1958." The NASA History Series, sp-4305. Chapter 12, recounting an October 1957 meeting, mentions the problems caused by "the lack of a superior high-temperature material (which the Langley structures people dubbed 'unobtainium')" This paragraph in turn cites Becker, John V. "The Development of Winged Reentry Vehicles, 1952–1963," unpublished, dated 23 May 1983.
  34. ^ Jones, Richard (2010-01-10). "EXCLUSIVE: Inside China's secret toxic unobtainium mine". Mail Online. Retrieved 2010-06-04. The rare-earths blasted out of rocks here [ Baiyun Obo ] feed more than 77 per cent of global demand... 'Dysprosium, for instance, allows systems to work under extreme conditions,' he explained. 'The US military doesn't want to buy it on the open market. They need a guaranteed supply and it's becoming a problem. 
  35. ^ John Morrow, The Collected Jack Kirby Collector, Volume 3, TwoMorrows Publishing, 2004, p132
  36. ^ Gabrielle Hecht (2012). Being Nuclear: Africans and the Global Uranium Trade. MIT Press. 
  37. ^ "Marvel brings back first black superhero". Star - Gazette - Elmira, N.Y. February 18, 2005. 
  38. ^ Eric Eisenberg (May 5, 2010). CinemaBlend, ed. "7 Things You Need To Know About The Marvel Universe Before Seeing Iron Man 2". Retrieved May 12, 2011. 
  39. ^ Booker, M. Keith (2010). Encyclopedia of Comic Books and Graphic Novels. Greenwood. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-313-35746-6. Retrieved May 13, 2010. 
  40. ^ Heppenheimer, T. A. (2004) "The Space Shuttle Decision: NASA's Search for a Reusable Space Vehicle" The NASA History Series, sp-4221 Chapter 8, discussing Lockheed Martin's decision to specify silica tiles for thermal protection during reentry, states that a design using non-mass-producible materials "had no more intrinsic credibility than one that proposed to use the miracle metals Unobtanium and Wishalloy."
  41. ^ Jules Verne; Michel Verne (1908). La Chasse au météore. Collection Hetzel. p. chpt. X. «Ceci, Messieurs, disait-il, c’est du Xirdalium, corps cent mille fois plus radioactif que le radium. J’avouerai, entre nous, que, si j’utilise ce corps, c’est un peu pour la galerie. Ce n’est pas qu’il soit nuisible, mais la terre rayonne assez d’énergie pour qu’il soit superflu de lui en ajouter. C’est un grain de sel dans la mer. Toutefois, une légère mise en scène ne messied pas, à mon sens, dans une expérience de cette nature.» 
  42. ^ Jules Verne; Michel Verne (1909). The Chase of the Golden Meteor. Grant Richards. p. 125. „This, gentlemen.“ he said, „is Xirdalium, a body a hundred times more radio-active than radium. I am willing to own you that, if I utilize this body, it is more for show. Not that it is deleterious; but the earth radiates enough energy for me to do without adding more. It is a grain of salt thrown into the sea. Still, a little display is not unbecoming, methinks, in an experiment of this nature.“ 
  43. ^ Jules Verne; Frederick Paul Walter (2006). The meteor hunt. University of Nebraska Press. p. xi. To Verne’s seventeen chapters Michel added four more. He created a dominant new character, Zephyrin Xirdal, who in effect takes over the action and the outcome. 
  44. ^ Vendetta Online – The Chronicles of Exile Section 08
  45. ^ Preston, Douglas (1999). Riptide. New York: Warner Books. p. 446. ISBN 0-446-60717-7. 
  46. ^ Unofficial Babylon 5 Technical Manual
  47. ^ Pratchett, Terry; Briggs, Stephen (2012). Turtle Recall: The Discworld Companion...So Far. Victor Gollancz Ltd. p. 198. ISBN 978-0-575-09120-7. 
  48. ^ Pratchett, Terry; Briggs, Stephen (2012). Turtle Recall: The Discworld Companion...So Far. Victor Gollancz Ltd. p. 351. ISBN 978-0-575-09120-7. 
  49. ^ Pratchett, Terry; Briggs, Stephen (2012). Turtle Recall: The Discworld Companion...So Far. Victor Gollancz Ltd. p. 350. ISBN 978-0-575-09120-7. 

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