The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales Of Madness, Love, And The History Of The World From…

Paperback | June 6, 2011

bySam Kean

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FromNew York Timesbestselling 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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From the Publisher

FromNew York Timesbestselling 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 pranks...

Sam Kean is the author of theNew York TimesbestsellersThe Disappearing SpoonandThe Violinist's Thumband the forthcoming bookThe Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons.His work has appeared in theNew York Times Magazine, Mental Floss, Slate,andNew Scientistand has been featured on NPR'sRadiolab, All Things Considered,andFresh Air.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1 inPublished:June 6, 2011Publisher:Little, Brown And CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316051632

ISBN - 13:9780316051637

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Customer Reviews of The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales Of Madness, Love, And The History Of The World From The Periodic Table Of The

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Making science fun A fun look at physics, chemistry, and the periodic table. The glimpse at the stories behind the table is a great set of small stories about science. A fast fun read.
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 'The Disappearing Spoon' Excellent book! Very good to use for the antidotes of elements on the periodic table. Very good for a summer assignment for students who are going to be going into chemistry, so that they get a type of history of the elements. I would recommend it to anyone.
Date published: 2015-07-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Scientific page turner Have you ever wondered how and why the periodic table has come to be? This in depth study of one of the most basic tools of science, show the intimate relationships that each element has to the other in a way that is completely fascinating for the average nerd. And it is quite readable for the rest of us!
Date published: 2013-06-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I enjoyed this book alot, the first few chapters are alittle dry since it tries to go over scientific concepts so the stories later on make sense, but the stories are worth it, some even made me laugh, others intrigued me. Its a very good book and I'm currently on the watch for more books by Sam Kean.
Date published: 2011-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Very Lively and Sweeping Portrayal of Science This is five-star science writing at its best. Although the book’s main theme is the periodic table of the elements – chemistry’s rallying point – the scientific fields that are discussed are quite diverse. They include: various branches of physics, geology, palaeontology, biology and several others. But that’s not all. The scientific discussions are blended into a backdrop of archaeology, history – from ancient through medieval to modern – as well as the occasional political and social machinations. And last, but definitely not least, the author has enriched almost every page with the ever-present, always-fascinating, often-confrontational and sporadically-baffling human element that many authors often omit. As pointed out by at least one other reviewer, there are some technical errors; I found some in the discussions involving radioactivity and nuclear physics. But these minor shortcomings do not detract from the book’s important qualities. The writing style is very lively, friendly, often humorous/tongue-in-cheek, entertaining, widely accessible, never boring and quite captivating. In short: a page-turner. This book can be thoroughly enjoyed by anyone, especially those with a fascination for science: how it works, how some discoveries came about, some of the people involved (ancient to recent) and science’s wonderful history. It is also a special treat for science buffs. I believe that this work is an important contribution towards making science understandable and fun for the general population. It may even inspire future Nobel Prize winners. To the author: well done!!
Date published: 2010-08-08

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Editorial Reviews

"The Disappearing Spoon shines a welcome light on the beauty of the periodic table. Follow plain speaking and humorous Sam Kean into its intricate geography and stray into astronomy, biology, and history, learn of neon rain and gas warfare, meet both ruthless and selfless scientists, and before it is over fall head over heels for the anything but arcane subject of chemistry."-Bill Streever, author of Cold