Comments for The Disappearing Spoon
The Disappearing Spoon: 03/30/14
The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean is a history of the periodic table and a collection of some memorable stories of the elements. It's written in a light, easy to approach manner — good for the casual reader curious about chemistry.
Though Kean doesn't go through the elements in order, he does manage through his anecdotal stories to explain how the table came to be and why it is the shape it is. Further more his stories illustrate why the shape has to be the way it is.
His stories outline the fits and starts we've had with the elements. Things we now see as dangerous or poisonous we once used for parlor tricks, health remedies and all manner of other bizarre things. It gives one pause to wonder what substances we might be happily ingesting now that later generations will shudder at!