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Theo Gray's Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do at Home - But Probably Shouldn't

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  292 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Author of the best-selling book The Elements Theodore Gray demonstrates essential scientific principles through thrilling daredevil experiments.

In Mad Science, Theodore Gray launches a toy rocket using the energy released from an Oreo cookie, ignites a phosphorus sun by suspending half a gram of white phosphorus in a globe filled with pure oxygen and creates a homemade h
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 25th 2009 by Black Dog & Leventhal
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 ·  292 ratings  ·  31 reviews


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Heather
Nov 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: science, non-fiction
Theodore Gray has an encyclopedic knowledge of chemistry and the elements and his knowledge and passion just ooze out of the pages in this thrilling science experiment book. What's in here? Making ice cream with liquid nitrogen, casting real silver bullets, preserving a snowflake for decades, electroplating your iPod and lots of things that burn or go BOOM!

But wait .. don't get too excited. Most of these experiments, as cool and mind stimulating as they are, have a high danger/explosive/toxicit
...more
Jennifer
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
There's no vinegar and baking soda reactions in this book! It's stuffed with madcap experiments that generally outpace the average household. Science geek that I am, I would be unable / unwilling to do many of these experiments without my lab or local facilities yard.

That said, I love the way the book is written. The photographs are fantastic; more than once I caught someone reading this book over my shoulder on the train. I also appreciate the author maintaining a website (graysci.com) with up
...more
Thomas Ray
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: para-ninos
Theodore Gray's chemistry books:

Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe
Photos of Gray's collection of objects made of pure or nearly-pure chemical elements. Comparing this book to Molecules: The Elements and the Architecture of Everything drives home the fact that it's only in combining with other elements that the chemical elements become interesting.

Molecules: The Elements and the Architecture of Everything
Takes some of the mystery out of organic chemistry by showing
...more
Skyler
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Theo Gray’s Mad Science
By Theodore Gray 
Everything about this book appeals to human nature and curiosity. Its contents 
are summarized spectacularly by the subtitle on the front cover: Experiments you can 
do at home – but probably shouldn’t. And the author, Theodore Gray, wasn’t joking, 
some of the concepts in this book are quite dangerous! This book is awesome in the 
true sense of the word. Explaining chemical reactions and concepts in the most extreme 
ways possible, Theodore Gray explains the r
...more
Bob Lewis
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm the kind of person who often takes warnings to "not try this at home" as a challenge. I like to tinker and experiment, and I have a particular fondness for demonstrations that look incredibly dangerous but are actually quite safe as long as I've taken the proper precautions. I purchased this book in the hopes of being able to proudly disregard the "...but probably shouldn't" part of the subtitle. On that point, I was largely disappointed, but the book made up for this shortcoming in other wa ...more
Karen
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: includes-review, 2019
4.5stars - anything that makes chemistry this fun gets my vote.

Theo Gray is basically the missing Mythbuster - the one who specialises in Chemistry. The light and sound and explosions that Theo can create are every bit as spectacular as those that Adam and Jamie can manage with explosives and large machinery.

This book is terrific and lots of fun, however I do have two complaints (which are not at all negative, if that makes sense). Firstly, I wish this book were accompanied by a Youtube channel,
...more
Ryan
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun book with many experiments you could do at home, although not recommended. I like that for each one he explains exactly why each experiment is dangerous and how it could hurt you. I wasn’t a fan of the experiments involving mercury just because, as cool as it is, no one should be playing with that stuff. I found this to be more of a photo book of cool science experiments instead of a “cool science experiments you can do at home” book. In fact some titles weren’t even experiments or project ...more
Brianna
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Barely any information is provided on how to do the experiments. Don't understand the point of this book.
Thomas Ray
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Theodore Gray's chemistry books:

Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe
Photos of Gray's collection of objects made of pure or nearly-pure chemical elements. Comparing this book to Molecules: The Elements and the Architecture of Everything drives home the fact that it's only in combining with other elements that the chemical elements become interesting.

Molecules: The Elements and the Architecture of Everything
Takes some of the mystery out of organic chemistry by showing
...more
Glenn
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won a copy of this book and it has taken me a while to get to it. My 16 year old son got to it first and is adding things to his Christmas list so he can do some of the experiments himself. There are lots of very cool things in the book and some of them definitely fall into the "not in my house" category. Others I will enjoy performing with my 2 teen-aged boys. This definitely gets the creative juices flowing and is fostering an interest in science in our home.
Michael Roop
Apr 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: diy-books
Okay. I know. I just picked this book up today, how could I have read it that quickly? Then answer is simple. I haven't. It's a DIY book full of projects you can do all on your own with detailed instructions on how to do it and a bunch of fluff to fill it out. This book is impressive. There are few projects in here that are elementary to Jr. high level, while others are freakin hardcore bordering on the insane. I have already made a list of all the projects in this book that I plan on busting ou ...more
Sarah
Thanks to Goodreads and the publisher for a free copy of Theodore Gray's Completely Mad Science!

This book is exactly what it says on the tin: science experiments that you should try out -- at least without serious amounts of safety equipment -- because wow, could they ever go wrong.

Really, this speaks to the beautiful curiousity of humans. (Why would you want to charge your iPhone using fruit? Especially when you're risking shocking yourself or frying your phone? The better question is why would
...more
Martyn Lovell
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mad science is an anthology of Gray's columns from Popular Science - in which he does relatively dangerous, but nonetheless fun experiments in his home with a mixture of everyday materials and obscure elements. The book is beautifully illustrated, but unless you are confident and a little crazy you won't be trying most of these at home - the copious frank safety warnings tell you why to steer clear.

Each experiment is only a few hundred words, so the coverage is naturally shallow. The writing sty
...more
Alex
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
Another great book from Theo Gray. I don't think I liked it as much as his The Elements, but still a good read. I was expected it to contain more experiments that you could actually (practically and safely) do at home in hopes of using them in my chemistry classroom, but it was more of an FYI kind of read. There were a few that I think I could pull off, but most are too dangerous or too expensive. However, the pictures and explanations and history are FANTASTIC as always, and I will certainly re ...more
Frederick Bingham
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was better than the second edition of the book. I especially liked the description of what happens when you combine sodium metal and chlorine gas: "Combining them borders on lunacy". I also enjoyed his description of how to handle gold leaf: "Brushes known as gliders' tips, made of red squirrel hair (none of that gray squirrel crap mind you) are used to pick up the sheets by static electricity." Unfortunately none of the experiments he describes are way beyond what us ordinary people are ab ...more
Gord
Apr 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference, technology
I've been waiting to get my hands on this one. Theo Gray has the temerity to show you how to do some experiments that must have given the publisher's lawyers fits.

Making salt? Sure. Sugar rockets? Check. Thermite?!? You betcha.

I'm really liking this movement back to giving readers a bit of credit. We're capable of thinking for ourselves and following directions and it's refreshing to be treated like an adult.
Vanessa
Aug 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Such a neat concept with lots of awesome experiments, cool results, and info about the elements. The only downside is that many of the experiments require very specialized equipment. Still, definitely fun for the armchair scientist.
Tiffany
Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
It read much more like an actual book compared to "Elements" and "Molecules". This one is not jam packed of gorgeous photos. I have really enjoyed reading about the variety of reactions, some simple and some complex.
Lee
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book. Very cool exp.
Elizabeth
always fun to pick up.
Lafcadio
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: honeydew, classy, hall
The subtitle says it all. These experiments are dangerous and fascinating... and possible to do at home.
Dean Parker
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
Mad Science Experiments was o.k. In looking for things I could and might try, this book wasn't too helpful. However, some of the experiments were very creative and interesting.
Ed
Jan 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Fun to read but I wouldn't recommend trying many if any of the experiment that are shows. Most of them are dangerous to very dangerous. But fun to read.
Jeanette
Mar 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: homeschool
Interesting book....but there is NO way anyone could perform these at home.
Patti P
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: won-on-goodreads
This was great. Really enjoyed it.
Zed
Dec 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chemistry
A wonderful jaunt though the interface of chemistry and physics (with a bias towards chemistry).
Pepquímic
Spectacullar experiments you can perform in the lab.
Scott
May 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
So many cool ways to burn off eyebrows and/or separate fingers from hands
Ai Jariyaiam-Udom
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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Theodore Gray is the author of 'The Elements' and 'Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do at Home-But Probably Shouldn't', and of Popular Science magazine's 'Gray Matter' column. He is the proprietor of periodictable.com and the creator of the iconic photographic periodic table poster seen in universities, schools, museums, and on TV shows from 'MythBusters' to 'Hannah Montana'. In his other life, he ...more

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