The Disappearing Spoon
By Sam Kean
Review by Samantha (Chemistry)
When I went looking for books on the subject of chemistry, all the books I found initially were all based on the periodic table with the pages listing the elements and their properties. As much as the periodic table’s elements are an interesting and essential part of chemistry, I found that these books were not what I was looking for. Looking through these books became tedious quite quickly as they provided me with little information that I hadn’t already been given in science lessons at school.
This book has a variety of stories concerning how the periodic table had affected people as its different elements were discovered. There are also interesting stories where unexpected things had occurred, the primary example being the “disappearing spoon” in the book’s title. It also looked briefly into things like structure and how it might vary at different temperatures by explaining the significance to real life people’s experiences. I found that the chapters on different aspects allowed me to dip in and out of the book, allowing me to focus my reading on aspects that appealed more to my interests, rather than having to read large sections at a time.
I enjoyed the fact that, while educational, it wasn’t like I was reading a textbook, and was it was more just a way of showing some of the interesting history of developments in chemistry occurred. It helped me to see the significance of chemistry and the affect it has had on people in different events. It may not be the book for everyone but it was an interesting read and a good opportunity to read around the subject in a more casual way.
The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
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Published: 10 March 2023