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

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

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, betr...

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

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

  • Lisa Vegan
    This is an absolutely brilliant idea for a book and it’s a superb book. It’s beautifully organized and well written. It’s a wonderful way to learn and/or deepen knowledge of chemistry. This book is fine for laypeople, but will give meaning and extra enjoyment even for advanced chemist...
  • Jason
    Stop the search. Recall the teams. I have found the non-fiction, summer read of 2010! The Disappearing Spoon.First, what’s a summer read, Mr. Josey Wales thumbnail photo? A summer read is one you can enjoy during a vacation to the beach, with fresh cocktails and clean towels provided by the swa...
  • Kate
    Okay. Let me tell it to you honestly.This book is not the most well written book - the sentences are clunky and there is not a clear narrative. It is much more of a rambling collection of stories and facts and quirky science knowledge.That said, I couldn't get back to reading this fast enough. I tho...
  • rmn
    I should have liked this book more and I can't really explain why I didn't. It's not poorly written (though it ain't Solzhenitsyn) and it's not that uninteresting of a topic, but I just found that after the first 40ish pages, I dreaded having to read more. It was like pulling teeth, only a bit less ...
  • Valerie
    This does for the periodic table what I am always trying to do for math....link the science to the historical events, the people, and the economics that push scientific discoveries. I was fascinated by the many details about the hunt for elements, the private lives of the Curies, the radioactive boy...
  • K
    There's a certain type of goodreads troll -- the one who defends their beloved book by saying something like, "Well, if you knew the topic didn't interest you why were you stupid enough to pick up the book?" To that goodreads troll I now have an answer: this book.If you had told me a few weeks ago t...
  • Paul Bryant
    My GR friend Jason writes sturdy and trustworthy reviews, but I must take exception with him here :The Disappearing Spoon is quick, light reading out in the sun. It handles complex theory in a comfortable, approachable way.Yes, it is all that, IF such stuff as this makes sense to you :The strongest ...
  • Emily
    This book took me 76 days, or almost three months, to read. In this case, I needed all seventy-six individual days to work my brain through passages like this one: For instance, thirteen aluminium atoms grouped together in the right way do a killer bromine: the two entities are indistinguishable in ...
  • Mackey
    This is on the banned book list - why!? Oh that's right. Certain parents think that science is too "real" for their precious babies. What a lot of baloney! The Disappearing Spoon is, quite literally, one of the most fascinating, informative, FUNNY, books about the Periodic Table that I've ever read....

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