“The Disappearing Spoon”

The Disappearing Spoon” is written by Sam Kean, the book is 391 pages but really ends at page 346 because past p. 346 are the acknowledgements and notes that explain more in detail about some topics within the book, however I have yet to finish the book due to my location at page 271.

As we all know, I am a fan of fiction and most often write about it in this blog, well I decided to give this book a try knowing that it’s not fiction at all. “The Disappearing Spoon” talks about chemistry (*gasp*), I never thought that I would be reading a book about chemistry but it turned out to be interesting. The author writes about the periodic table and how it influenced some parts of history, since the creation of the periodic table up until now in the twentieth-first century. Reading this book taught me some things, such as why Gandhi hated iodine (I, 53) or why scientists go to gallium (Ga, 31) for pranks. But seriously, the author did put some effort in writing this book (since he was able to research most of the information due to his master’s degree in library science), the amount of facts found in this book is astounding, each topic leads to others but eventually comes back to the original subject. The reason Sam Kean wrote this book is that there “were great stories out there about elements that” people “never got to talk about in chemistry class. “There were hidden and lost stories out there about elements like gold and aluminium (aluminum, the naming situation is complicated) that everyone thinks they know so well.”

The book is still going to be relevant in several hundred years because, its about the periodic table, and as we all know, new elements could be found which could mess up the sequencing of the periodic table again and again; elements could have interesting stories behind them and no one would know, this the reason why “The Disappearing Spoon” was written, to show us that some elements have cool or tragic stories behind them. On the other hand, discoveries of new elements in the near future could create more content for books about the periodic table that could be written in the near future. Chemistry may be changing but the periodic table may be the one changing the most in the near future.



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