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The Disappearing Spoon...and other true tales from the Periodic Table - Sam Kean

The Disappearing Spoon...and other true tales from the Periodic Table

By: Sam Kean

Paperback Published: 1st September 2011
ISBN: 9780552777506
Number Of Pages: 400

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Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? Why did the Japanese kill Godzilla with missiles made of cadmium (Cd, 48)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why did tellurium (Te, 52) lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history?The periodic table is one of our crowning scientific achievements, but it's also a treasure trove of passion, adventure, betrayal and obsession. The fascinating tales in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, gold and every single element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, conflict, the arts, medicine and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. Why did a little lithium (Li, 3) help cure poet Robert Lowell of his madness? And how did gallium (Ga, 31) become the go-to element for laboratory pranksters? The Disappearing Spoon has the answers, fusing science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, discovery and alchemy, from the big bang through to the end of time.

Industry Reviews

"Kean has Bill Bryson's comic touch... a lively history of the elements and the characters behind their discovery" * New Scientist *
"A wealth of fascinating stories with a dazzling cast of heroes and villains. Written with gusto and backed by a mind-boggling amount of research, this is a real page turner" -- Robert Matthews * Daily Telegraph *
"One of the most readable and entertaining books about science yet published ... [Kean] is master of enlightening metaphors" * Daily Express *
"The periodic table meets the best-seller list with Sam Kean's Disappearing Spoon, an engaging tour of the elements... with the eclat of raw sodium dropped in a beaker of water" * The New York Times *
"the anecdotal flourishes of Oliver Sacks and the populist accessibility of Malcolm Gladwell" * Entertainment Weekly *

I would recommend this book to science nerds.

4

A good read with many interesting side stories. The only down side is that the author uses uses slang and expressions only meaningful to other Americans.

Melbourne, Australia

true

The Disappearing Spoon

4.0 1

100.0

ISBN: 9780552777506
ISBN-10: 0552777501
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 400
Published: 1st September 2011
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.9 x 12.9  x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.27
Edition Number: 1

Earn 38 Qantas Points
on this Book