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
(Little Brown and Company, Hardcover, 9780316051644, 391pp.)

Publication Date: July 2010

List Price: $28.00*
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Description
From New York Times bestselling 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.



About the Author
Sam Kean is a writer in Washington, D.C. His work has appeared in the "New York Times Magazine", "Mental Floss", "Slate", the "Believer", "Science", and the "New Scientist".


NPR
Friday, Oct 1, 2010

Did you know Mark Twain tried his hand at science fiction? In the book The Disappearing Spoon, author Sam Kean writes about Twain's prescient story "Sold to Satan." In the story, Satan�s problems stem, in part, from the fact that he is made entirely of the newly discovered radioactive element radium. More at NPR.org

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NPR
Saturday, Jul 17, 2010

Most people wouldn't describe the periodic table of elements as gripping, but Sam Kean makes it just that in his new book, The Disappearing Spoon. More at NPR.org

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