The disappearing spoon : and other true tales of madness, love, and the history of the world from the periodic table of the elements / Sam Kean

Author(s): Kean, Sam
Location:
Retrieving Holdings Information
Subjects: Chemical elements--Miscellanea
Formats: Print
Material Type: Books
Language: English
Audience: Unspecified
Edition: 1st ed
Published: New York : Little, Brown and Co., c2010
LC Classification: Q, QD
Table of Contents: Introduction 3
Part I. Orientation: Column by Column, Row by Row
1. Geography Is Destiny 11
2. Near Twins and Black Sheep: The Genealogy of Elements 32
3. The Galapagos of the Periodic Table 47
Part II. Making Atoms, Breaking Atoms
4. Where Atoms Come From: "We Are All Star Stuff" 65
5. Elements in Times of War 81
6. Completing the Table... with a Bang 98
7. Extending the Table, Expanding the Cold War 115
Part III. Periodic Confusion: The Emergence of Complexity
8. From Physics to Biology 135
9. Poisoner's Corridor: "Ouch-Ouch" 152
10. Take Two Elements, Call Me in the Morning 161
11. How Elements Deceive 186
Part IV. The Elements of Human Character
12. Political Elements 203
13. Elements as Money 222
14. Artistic Elements 238
15. An Element of Madness 255
Part V. Element Science Today and Tomorrow
16. Chemistry Way, Way Below Zero 277
17. Spheres of Splendor: The Science of Bubbles 295
18. Tools of Ridiculous Precision 314
19. Above (and Beyond) the Periodic Table 331
Acknowledgments and Thanks 347
Notes and Errata 349
Bibliography 377
Index 379
The Periodic Table of the Elements 392
Notes: LCCN: 2009040754
ISBN: 9780316051644
ISBN: 0316051640
Includes bibliographical references (p. 377) and index
Summary: The periodic table of the elements is a crowning scientific achievement, but it's also a treasure trove of passion, adventure, obsession, and betrayal. These tales follow carbon, neon, silicon, gold, and all the elements in the table as they play out their parts in human history. The usual suspects are here, like Marie Curie (and her radioactive journey to the discovery of polonium and radium) and William Shockley (who is credited, not exactly justly, with the discovery of the silicon transistor)--but the more obscure characters provide some of the best stories, like Paul Emile François Lecoq de Boisbaudran, whose discovery of gallium, a metal with a low melting point, gives this book its title: a spoon made of gallium will melt in a cup of tea.--From publisher description
Physical Description: vi, 391 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
OCLC Number: 456551224
ISBN/ISSN: 9780316051644
0316051640

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