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: 2010-08-24
Publisher: Tantor Media
Edition language: English
I finally finished this one. It was a read for the Flat Book Society and I believe I was the last one still reading The Disappearing Spoon. It was not an easy read, especially at times. The first couple of chapters were all over the place and I know a lot of people DNFed at this point. I continued a...
I found this book fascinating, with all of its tales regarding the periodic table and the scientists to spent their lives researching, testing and searching for the elements, and all of the anecdotes associated. The author, in turns, educated, entertained, surprised and delighted me. I want to read ...
I really tried, you guys. I love popular science books, because although it wasn't my best subject at school, I found a lot of the history behind the discipline really interesting. So I read as many of these books as I can. However, this one alternately confused me and bored me to tears. I don't...
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 ...