The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of Elements by Sam Kean
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. The Disappearing Spoon masterfully fuses science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, and discovery -- from the Big Bang through the end of time. 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.
Though solid at room temperature, gallium is a moldable metal that melts at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. A classic science prank is molding gallium spoons, serving them with tea, and watching guests recoil as their utensils disappear.
Paperback 416 pages.