Theo Gray's Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do at Home - But Probably Shouldn't

Overview

Author of the best-selling book The Elements Theodore Gray demonstrates essential scientific principles through thrilling daredevil experiments.

"What a magnificent book. It's gorgeous, playful, and draws you in." ?Adam Savage, cohost of Mythbusters

"Theodore Gray?has attained a level of near superhuman geekery that the rest of us can only mutely admire." ?Cecil Adams, "The Straight Dope"

"Gray's encyclopedic knowledge and contagious enthusiasm...

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Overview

Author of the best-selling book The Elements Theodore Gray demonstrates essential scientific principles through thrilling daredevil experiments.

"What a magnificent book. It's gorgeous, playful, and draws you in." —Adam Savage, cohost of Mythbusters

"Theodore Gray…has attained a level of near superhuman geekery that the rest of us can only mutely admire." —Cecil Adams, "The Straight Dope"

"Gray's encyclopedic knowledge and contagious enthusiasm transport us to deep intellectual realms while never sacrificing a sense of wonder and, above all, fun." —Oliver Sacks, author of Awakenings, Musicophilia, and Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood

In Mad Science, Theodore Gray launches a toy rocket using the energy released from an Oreo cookie, ignites a phosphorus sun by suspending half a gram of white phosphorus in a globe filled with pure oxygen and creates a homemade hot tub by adding 500 pounds of quicklime to water. These are just a few of the 54 experiments included in this astonishing book that demonstrates essential scientific principles in ways you were likely never exposed to in school.

Every experiment in Mad Science is accompanied by full-color photographs that provide a front-row seat to rarely seen chemical reactions and glorious subatomic activity. To further enhance the hands-on experience, Gray includes step-by-step instructions for nearly every experiment. Following all of the safety guidelines, readers can even re-create some of the experiments in the book.

Mad Science is the perfect book for anyone fascinated by all things chemical, electrical, or explosive, and who loves a vicarious thrill.

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Editorial Reviews

Oliver Sacks
“This is a fabulous book, and a real education, too – a beautiful introduction to hands-on chemistry. Theo Gray brings us dozens of experiments in minute, clear, and loving detail, and each one becomes a door onto the marvels of how chemicals react. Whether he is showing us how to make table salt from its violent elements, or, in a quieter vein, to make one’s own nylon thread or “lead” pencils, Gray’s encyclopedic knowledge and contagious enthusiasm transport us to deep intellectual realms, while never sacrificing a sense of wonder and, above all, fun.”

—Oliver Sacks, author of Awakenings, Musicophillia, Uncle Tungsten, and many others

Stephen Wolfram
“I've spent 22 years working with Theo Gray on creating software, seeing him find simple ways to do the seemingly impossible. You're in for a treat here when he applies the same creativity and insight to revealing the science of everyday things.”
—Stephen Wolfram, creator of Mathematica® and author of A New Kind of Science
Leon Lederman
What good is this Nobel Prize around my neck if it doesn’t produce admiration for science writers such as Theo Gray, whose skillful work helps convert young students into serious researchers.”

—Leon Lederman, winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics

Adam Savage
“What a magnificent book. It's gorgeous, playful, and draws you in. Every single photo shows not only a deep love of science in the abstract, but also a tinkerer's love of the STUFF of science; the tools and glass, the clay and metal, and all the things that make science accessible to everyone.”

—Adam Savage, star of MythBusters

Phillip Torrone
“Theo's MAD SCIENCE is destined to inspire and spark the imaginations of the next generation of makers, tinkerers, engineers and mad scientists!”

—Phillip Torrone, Senior Editor of Make magazine

Cecil Adams
“Theodore Gray has attained a level of near superhuman geekery that the rest of us can only mutely admire.”

—Cecil Adams, The Straight Dope

Oliver Sacks

“This is a fabulous book, and a real education, too – a beautiful introduction to hands-on chemistry. Theo Gray brings us dozens of experiments in minute, clear, and loving detail, and each one becomes a door onto the marvels of how chemicals react. Whether he is showing us how to make table salt from its violent elements, or, in a quieter vein, to make one’s own nylon thread or “lead” pencils, Gray’s encyclopedic knowledge and contagious enthusiasm transport us to deep intellectual realms, while never sacrificing a sense of wonder and, above all, fun.”

—Oliver Sacks, author of Awakenings, Musicophillia, Uncle Tungsten, and many others

Stephen Wolfram
“I've spent 22 years working with Theo Gray on creating software, seeing him find simple ways to do the seemingly impossible. You're in for a treat here when he applies the same creativity and insight to revealing the science of everyday things.”
—Stephen Wolfram, creator of Mathematica® and author of A New Kind of Science
Leon Lederman

What good is this Nobel Prize around my neck if it doesn’t produce admiration for science writers such as Theo Gray, whose skillful work helps convert young students into serious researchers.”

—Leon Lederman, winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics

Adam Savage

“What a magnificent book. It's gorgeous, playful, and draws you in. Every single photo shows not only a deep love of science in the abstract, but also a tinkerer's love of the STUFF of science; the tools and glass, the clay and metal, and all the things that make science accessible to everyone.”

—Adam Savage, star of MythBusters

Phillip Torrone

“Theo's MAD SCIENCE is destined to inspire and spark the imaginations of the next generation of makers, tinkerers, engineers and mad scientists!”

—Phillip Torrone, Senior Editor of Make magazine

Cecil Adams

“Theodore Gray has attained a level of near superhuman geekery that the rest of us can only mutely admire.”

—Cecil Adams, The Straight Dope

Oliver Sacks

“This is a fabulous book, and a real education, too – a beautiful introduction to hands-on chemistry. Theo Gray brings us dozens of experiments in minute, clear, and loving detail, and each one becomes a door onto the marvels of how chemicals react. Whether he is showing us how to make table salt from its violent elements, or, in a quieter vein, to make one’s own nylon thread or “lead” pencils, Gray’s encyclopedic knowledge and contagious enthusiasm transport us to deep intellectual realms, while never sacrificing a sense of wonder and, above all, fun.”

—Oliver Sacks, author of Awakenings, Musicophillia, Uncle Tungsten, and many others

Children's Literature - Amy S. Hansen
With chapter titles "Doomsday DIY" and "Playing with Fire" this book is not for the kitchen table scientist. It is for the readers that want to know the answer to "How do you blow something to smithereens anyway?" Gray provides competent warnings, and rightly points out that many of the projects people want to do, really aren't that dangerous. For example, making ice cream from a food grade fire extinguisher is fun, maybe messy, but not really that dangerous. Still, some of the projects have obvious dangers attached. In "Flaming Oxygen Drops" Gray explains how to make liquid oxygen and set it on fire. Having a working fire extinguisher on hand is listed in the supplies. Also having direct supervision, or at least a partner in case of a problem, seems like a good idea. This book will attract kids to the wilder part of science, the part that fits better in the basement than in the school laboratory. His writing is clear and playful and the projects are attainable if expensive. The photo illustrations are also intriguing. This isn't a science fair book, but will be checked out by people who want to explore the wilder side of science. Gray references resources throughout the book. Backmatter includes an index. Reviewer: Amy S. Hansen
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579127916
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/25/2009
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 820,232
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Theodore Gray

Theodore Gray is the author of The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe; Theo Gray's Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do At Home, But Probably Shouldn't; Mad Science 2: Experiments You Can Do At Home, But Still Probably Shouldn't; and Popular Science magazine's "Gray Matter" column. With his company Touch Press, Gray is the developer of best-selling iPad and iPhone apps, including The Elements, Solar System, Disney Animated, The Orchestra, The Waste Land, and Skulls by Simon Winchester. He lives in Urbana, Illinois.

Theodore Gray is the author of the bestselling book The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe and Theo Gray's Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do At Home, But Probably Shouldn't. He is the author of Popular Science magazine's monthly column, "Gray Matter" and the proprietor of periodictable.com. He is also cofounder of Touch Press, an ebook company that is defining the future of publishing, and the cofounder of Wolfram Research, creators of the world's leading technical software system, Mathematica and Wolfram Alpha™. He lives in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    High School Earth Science Demos

    I bought this book looking for demos I could do in my High School Earth Science class. I was able to find 11. This is about average (out of 10 books I was able to find a total of 110). However, these experiments are much more serious and more dangerous than any of the others I found. So I am very happy with this book it will certainly make the class much more exciting (if the lawyers don't shut us down first). I just hope this book doesn't put me on some kind of FBI watch list :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted November 15, 2009

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    Posted May 14, 2010

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