The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements (Google eBook)

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Little, Brown, Jul 12, 2010 - Science - 400 pages
21 Reviews
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.
  

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Review: The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

User Review  - Tippy Jackson - Goodreads

What Neil DeGrasse Tyson does for astronomy and David Attenborough does for zoology, Sam Kean does for chemistry and physics TOGETHER. There were a few times when the author simplified technical ... Read full review

Review: The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

User Review  - Nathan - Goodreads

This book constipated my reading for almost a month. I have overdue fines from other books that were stacked up behind it. Not because I wasn't enjoying the book: it's readable, fascinating, and chock ... Read full review

All 6 reviews »

Contents

15
Part V
16
17
18
19
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND THANKS
Reading Group Guide

5
6
7
Part III
8
9
10
11
Part IV
12
13
14
A conversation with Sam Kean
Questions and topics for discussion
Sam Keans topfive favorite elements
Sam Keans suggestions for further reading
NOTES AND ERRATA
BIBLIOGRAPHY
THE PERIODIC TABLE OF THE ELEMENTS
CONTENTS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Extraordinary acclaim for Sam Keans
Copyright
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Sam Kean is a writer in Washington, D.C. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Mental Floss, Slate, The Believer, Air & Space, Science, and The New Scientist. He is currently working as a 2009 Middlebury Environmental Journalism fellow.

Bibliographic information