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The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Rivalry, Adventure, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements (Young Readers Edition)

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Rivalry, Adventure, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements (Young Readers Edition)

by Sam Kean


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A young readers edition of the New York Times bestseller The Disappearing Spoon, chronicling the extraordinary stories behind one of the greatest scientific tools in existence: the periodic table.

Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why did tellurium (Te, 52) lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history's

The periodic table is a crowning scientific achievement, but it's also a treasure trove of adventure, greed, betrayal, and obsession. The fascinating tales in The Disappearing Spoon follow elements on the table as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, conflict, the arts, medicine, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.

Adapted for a middle grade audience, the young readers edition of The Disappearing Spoon offers the material in a simple, easy-to-follow format, with approximately 20 line drawings and sidebars throughout. Students, teachers, and burgeoning science buffs will love learning about the history behind the chemistry.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316388276
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 09/10/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 71,508
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile: 1210L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 18 Years

About the Author

Sam Kean is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Disappearing Spoon and The Violinist's Thumb andThe 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" and "All Things Considered."

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Disappearing Spoon 1

Part I Making the Table: Column by Column, Row by Row

Chapter 1 Geography of the Elements 11

Chapter 2 The Fathers of the Periodic Table 23

Chapter 3 All in the Family: The Genealogy of Elements 36

Part II Making Atoms, Breaking Atoms

Chapter 4 Where Atoms Come From: "We Are all Star Stuff" 47

Chapter 5 Elements in Times of War 54

Chapter 6 Completing the table … with a Bang 65

Chapter 7 Competitive Elements: Extending the Table, Expanding the Cold War 78

Part III Mistakes and Rivalries

Chapter 8 Bad Chemistry 95

Chapter 9 Poisoner's Corridor: "Ouch-Ouch" 104

Chapter 10 Take Two Elements, Call Me in the Morning 114

Chapter 11 How Elements Deceive 123

Part IV The Elements of Human Character

Chapter 12 Political Elements 133

Chapter 13 Elements as Money 146

Chapter 14 Artistic Elements 156

Chapter 15 An Element of Madness 165

Part V Element Science Today and Tomorrow

Chapter 16 Chemistry Way, Way Below Zero 179

Chapter 17 The Science of Bubbles 186

Chapter 18 Tools of Ridiculous Precision 191

Chapter 19 Above (And Beyond) The Periodic Table 204

Acknowledgments 213

Periodic Table of the Elements 214

Glossary 216

Bibliography 219

Index 221

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