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And other true tales of madness, love, and the history of the world from the Periodic Table of the Elements

By Sam Kean


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 passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. These fascinating tales follow all the elements 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. The Disappearing Spoon masterfully fuses science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, discovery, and alchemy, from the big bang through the end of time.

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.




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