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

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

Hardback

By (author) Sam Kean

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  • Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
  • Format: Hardback | 400 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 236mm x 38mm | 635g
  • Publication date: 5 August 2010
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0316051640
  • ISBN 13: 9780316051644
  • Edition: 1
  • Illustrations note: Integrated: 10, b/w illus
  • Sales rank: 26,747

Product description

The Periodic Table is one of man's crowning scientific achievements. But it's also a treasure trove of stories of passion, adventure, betrayal and obsession. The infectious tales and astounding details in THE DISAPPEARING SPOON follow carbon, neon, silicon and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the arts, poison and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. We learn that Marie Curie used to provoke jealousy in colleagues' wives when she'd invite them into closets to see her glow-in-the-dark experiments. And that Lewis and Clark swallowed mercury capsules across the country and their campsites are still detectable by the poison in the ground. Why did Gandhi hate iodine? Why did the Japanese kill Godzilla with missiles made of cadmium? And why did tellurium lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history? From the Big Bang to the end of time, it's all in THE DISAPPEARING SPOON

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Author information

Sam Kean is a writer in Washington, D.C. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Mental Floss, Slate, The Believer, Air & Space, Science and The New Scientist. He is currently working as a reporter at Science magazine and as a 2009 Middlebury Environmental Journalism fellow.

Review quote

'With a constant flow of fun facts bubbling to the surfaace, Kean writes with wit, flair and authority in a debut that will delight even general readers' - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY