The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes incredible stories of science, history, finance, mythology, the arts, medicine, and more, as told by the Periodic Table. Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why is gallium... show more
From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes incredible stories of science, history, finance, mythology, the arts, medicine, and more, as told by the Periodic Table.
Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why is gallium (Ga, 31) the go-to element for laboratory pranksters?*
The Periodic Table is a crowning scientific achievement, but it's also a treasure trove of adventure, betrayal, and obsession. These fascinating tales follow every element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, and in the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. THE DISAPPEARING SPOON masterfully fuses science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, and discovery--from the Big Bang through the end of time.
*Though solid at room temperature, gallium is a moldable metal that melts at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. A classic science prank is to mold gallium spoons, serve them with tea, and watch guests recoil as their utensils disappear.
Publish date: 2010-07-12
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pages no: 394
Edition language: English
DNF @ page 81. Dear fellow Flatbookers, I am so sorry. I really thought I had turned a corner. I really thought I had found a book that could keep my interest and that would not lead me to yet another DNF of a pop science book. But here's the thing, after making it through Part 1 of Kean's ...
Finished the first chapter, and I take what I said back. Sam Kean isn't condescending; he's trying to imitate his earlier terrible teachers and mystify us. I thought I understood the periodic table, but Kean's explanations were all over the place and diverged into so many tangents about Plato and ...
Date Published: August 18, 2010 Format: Audiobook (Tantor Audio) Source: RB Digital/RAF Lakenheath Library Date Read: January 3-5, 2019 BL's Flat Book Society book club pick for January 2019 Blurb: Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? Why did the Japanese kill Godzilla with missiles made of cadmiu...
Storytelling at its best. The author steps through the periodic table and tells the stories he knows about the elements' uses, discoveries, etc. The stories are all short, and therefore, of course, a little over-simplified. I don't think some of them would pass a rigorous scholarly historical int...
This book is a fun romp through chemistry's periodic table, and an enjoyable read. Sam Kean has a real knack for picking stories about the elements (and the creation of the table itself) that are not only informative, but make entertaining reading. Kean focuses on the personalities of the scienti...