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 (Trade Paperback, 2011)
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.
  • Little, Brown and Company
    • Format: Trade Paperback

    • Price: $16.00 US/$18.00 CAN

    • ISBN-13: 9780316051637

    • On Sale Date: 06/06/2011

    • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

    Formats Available: Hardcover Book, Trade Paperback, Electronic Book

  • Newsletter

    Don't miss updates about our authors, including book tour info and new book releases.

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.

Sam Kean is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Disappearing Spoon and The Violinist's Thumb and the forthcoming book The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Mental Floss, Slate, and New Scientist and has been featured on NPR's Radiolab, All Things Considered, and Fresh Air.

  • THE DISAPPEARING SPOON by Sam Kean

  • "Kean...unpacks the periodic table's bag of tricks with such aplomb and fascination that material normally as heavy as lead transmutes into gold. A-" (Entertainment Weekly).

  • "Kean's writing sparks like small shocks...he gives science a whiz-bang verve so that every page becomes one you cannot wait to turn just to see what he's going reveal next." (The Boston Globe).

  • "[Kean turns] The Disappearing Spoon into a nonstop parade of lively science stories...ebullient." (New York Times).

  • "Kean's palpable enthusiasm and the thrill of knowledge and invention the book imparts can infect even the most right-brained reader." (Miami Herald).

  • "With a constant flow of fun facts bubbling to the surface, Kean writes with wit, flair, and authority in a debut that will delight even general readers." (Publishers Weekly).

  • "Nearly 150 years of wide-ranging science...and Kean makes it all interesting. Entertaining and enlightening." (Kirkus).

  • "Fascinating stories...Kean writes in a whimsical yet easy-to-read style." (Library Journal).

  • "Only once in a rare while does an author come along with the craft and the vision to capture the fun and fascination of chemistry.  The Disappearing Spoon is a pleasure and full of insights.  If only I had read it before taking chemistry." (author of Salt and Cod ).

  • "If you stared a little helplessly at the chart of the periodic table on the wall of your high school chemistry class, then this is the book for you.  It elucidates both the meanings and the pleasures of those numbers and letters, and does so with style and dash." (author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet).

  • "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." (author of Cold).

  • (Library Journal).

  • (Library Journal).

Formats

Product Details

The Disappearing Spoon
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Price: $16.00 US/$18.00 CAN
  • Pages: 416
  • Physical Dimensions: 5-1/2" x 8-1/4"
  • ISBN-13: 9780316051637
  • On Sale Date: 06/06/2011
The Disappearing Spoon

Categories

Genres
Science

Sub-Genres
Science / General

OpenBookTM

The Disappearing Spoon