The Disappearing Spoon
And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
Paperback ISBN: 0316051632
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. 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. THE DISAPPEARING SPOON masterfully fuses science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, and discovery--from the Big Bang through the end of time. *Though solid at room temperature, gallium is a moldable metal that melts at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. A classic science prank is to mold gallium spoons, serve them with tea, and watch guests recoil as their utensils disappear.
Mad Science 2
Experiments You Can Do at Home, But Still Probably Shouldn't
Hardcover ISBN: 1579129323
Best-selling author Theodore Gray is back with all-new, spectacular experiments that demonstrate basic principles of chemistry and physics in thrilling, and memorable ways. For nearly a decade, Theodore Gray has been demonstrating basic principles of chemistry and physics through exciting, sometimes daredevil experiments that he executes, photographs, and writes about for his monthly Popular Science column "Gray Matter." Theo Gray's Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do at Home, But Probably Shouldn't, published by Black Dog in 2009, collected Gray's Popular Science columns, along with hundreds of photographs, many of which were not published with the original columns. Now comes the second volume of mad-scientist experiments, which includes more dramatic, enlightening, and sometimes daring demonstrations in which Gray dips his hand into molten lead to demonstrate the Leidenfrost effect; crushes a tomato between two small magnets to demonstrate the power of neodymium-iron-boron magnets; and creates trinkets out of solid mercury to demonstrate how the state of matter depends very much on the temperature at which it exists. Other experiments include: A foil boat floating on an invisible sea! DIY X-ray photos! A bacon lance that cuts steel! Charging a smart phone with apples and pennies! And dozens more!
Vincent Van Gogh
Chemicals, Crises, and Creativity
Hardcover ISBN: 0817636161
At the time of his suicide, in 1890, the genius of Vincent van Gogh was acknowledged by only a small cadre of friends and followers. His jagged life was marked by early years of uncertainty, interludes of luckless love affairs, wrenching episodes of self-mutilation, crises of debilitating illness, and periods of painful striving for lofty goals. Today, his art is universally recognized. He is on everybody's list of outstanding artists and in every catalog of creative people. This scholarly yet very readable work addresses all of the features of van Gogh's life and underlying illness, the family history, the environment, and the artist's uniqueness. Dr. Arnold provides an accurate, balanced, and sometimes hard-hitting evaluation of all the hypotheses and suggestions from the past. He keeps people, places, and paintings in perspective. He explains the chemistry, medicine, and biology and offers new proposals that are always elegant, often provocative, and sometimes audaciously simple. A theme that distinguishes the present analyses is that van Gogh not only suffered from an identifiable disease but that his life-style directly influenced the expression and severity of symptoms, exacerbated his condition, and provoked medical crises. The consequences of such well-documented and seemingly disparate factors as overindulgence in alcohol (especially as the romantic but toxic absinthe), smoking too much, malnutrition, fasting (because the artist elected to buy paints and canvas, instead of his daily bread), environmental exposure, and infections, all come together here and support a unifying hypothesis. This book, beautifully complemented with many full color reproductions of paintings, is presented by a scientist who enjoys the art, evaluates the data, produces new models, and advances the field with thought-provoking ideas. The portrait of Vincent van Gogh is not as a mad artist, but rather as an exceptional man who suffered from an inherited metabolic disorder. He was wonderfully creative because of intelligence, talent, and hard work. He was a genius in spite of his illness - not because of it.
Theo Gray's Mad Science
Experiments You Can Do at Home - But Probably Shouldn't
Paperback ISBN: 1579128750
Gray, author of Popular Science magazine's column "Grey Matter", presents this lively and engrossing cookbook of educational, fascinating, and often terribly dangerous science experiments. Probably better experienced vicariously then attempted on one's own, each of the 55 entries includes brilliant photographs and a detailed explanation of the chemical reactions involved from start to astounding result. Each demonstration revolves around a principle element and most include step by step instructions and danger alerts, though readers will need access to chemicals, metals and lab equipment should they actually want to give it a go. Experiments include making instant ice-cream with liquid nitrogen; creating a melting spoon or sinking ice cubes; home-made nylon thread, light-bulbs, strike-anywhere matches, graphite pencils; and on the more spectacular end, a phosphorus sun in a glass globe, a glimpse of quantum mechanics in a glass, or a "hillbilly hot-tub" heated with quick-lime. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Symphony in C
Carbon and the Evolution of Almost Everything
Hardcover ISBN: 039360943x
A leading earth scientist presents a lyrical history of the essential chemical element of carbon, tracing its origins from shortly after the dawn of creation and the first Big Bang-created atoms to the improbable natural carbon structures of the Earth.
A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe
Paperback ISBN: 1579128955
An eye-opening, original collection of gorgeous, never-before-seen photographic representations of the 118 elements in the periodic table. The elements are what we, and everything around us, are made of. But how many elements has anyone actually seen in pure, uncombined form? The Elements provides this rare opportunity. Based on five years of research and photography, the pictures in this book make up the most complete, and visually arresting, representation available to the naked eye of every atom in the universe. Organized in order of appearance on the periodic table, each element is represented by a spread that includes a stunning, full-page, full-color photograph that most closely represents it in its purest form. For example, at -183°C, oxygen turns from a colorless gas to a beautiful pale blue liquid. Also included are fascinating facts, figures, and stories of the elements as well as data on the properties of each, including atomic weight, density, melting and boiling point, valence, electronegativity, and the year and location in which it was discovered. Several additional photographs show each element in slightly altered forms or as used in various practical ways. The element's position on the periodic table is pinpointed on a mini rendering of the table and an illustrated scale of the element's boiling and/or melting points appears on each page along with a density scale that runs along the bottom. Packed with interesting information, this combination of solid science and stunning artistic photographs is the perfect gift book for every sentient creature in the universe.
Memories of a Chemical Boyhood
Paperback ISBN: 0375704043
The scientific wonder of youth is skillfully evoked in this intriguing memoir by the distinguished neurologist and author of Awakenings in which he describes his fascination with metals, gases, and chemicals, especially "Uncle Tungsten," and with unravelling the complex mysteries of the world around him. Reprint. 100,000 first printing.
The Chemistry of Alchemy
From Dragon's Blood to Donkey Dung, How Chemistry Was Forged
Hardcover ISBN: 1616149159
Demonstrations and brief profiles explain how ancient alchemists stumbled on the science of chemistry, revealing the unrealized theoretical understandings of European alchemists who discovered the properties and reactions of elements.
The Longest War
Paperback ISBN: 1451691602
An environmental journalist traces the historical war against rust, revealing how rust-related damage costs more than all other natural disasters combined and how it is combated by industrial workers, the government, universities, and everyday people.