The Disappearing Spoon
By Sam Kean
The elements in the Periodic Table are chock-full of odd cultural history. Science Magazine reporter Sam Kean's The Disappearing Spoonand Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements is a trove of intriguing tales of adventure and emotions in the world of science. Learn about pranks chemists have played on unwitting party guests (the disappearing spoon made of gallium!), why Gandhi disliked iodine, the tragic history of gold mining in the Congo, the rarity of niobium for cell phone parts, and much more. Paperback, 416 pages.