The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements The Disappearing Spoon discussion


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Melissa This book was written when there were only 112 named elements. However, in January (or sometime around then), elements 114 (Fl or Flerovium) and 116 (Lv or Livermorium) were officially recognized. So, can anyone think of something notable about these elements? (If the book was written after Fl and Lv were added to the table, what might be said about them in this book?)


Aloysius Melissa wrote: "This book was written when there were only 112 named elements. However, in January (or sometime around then), elements 114 (Fl or Flerovium) and 116 (Lv or Livermorium) were officially recognized. ..."

not much, I'm afraid. Most of these new elements last only a fraction of a second, and thus can't be made to do any useful application, as far as I know.


message 3: by Melissa (new) - added it

Melissa True...but then, 112 didn't last so long, and it still is in there. So maybe there is something interesting about, say, their discovery.

And who knows - maybe as other new elements are created, they will break down into more stable isotopes of Fl/Lv...


Annemarie Donahue Just finished this book earlier this week and absolutely loved it. I'm hoping to bring it into my writing workshop class this coming Fall for my sophomores to make them more active in science and connect it to writing.
Can't really think of anything anecdotal for the new elements, but then Kean did a great job of finding something cool about either the element, the usage, the position on the table, the people connected to it.
Livermorium has a bit of a scandal in it's name. It was originally going to be "Mosconium" but was changed to Livermorium, after an American city (I'm pretty sure). This is a little reminiscent of the naming/renaming problem of America and European schools mentioned in the book. Maybe "Cold War Gets Heavy" since it's a superheavy element.
Wow, let the geek flag fly!


Gary I really enjoyed this book and the anecdotal romp through the periodic table! I think if i had read this as a sophmore in school my interest in learning about chemistry would have been piqued! Another book "Periodic tales" is on my reading to do list. Can any one offer some words of comparison?


Annemarie Donahue Gary wrote: "I really enjoyed this book and the anecdotal romp through the periodic table! I think if i had read this as a sophmore in school my interest in learning about chemistry would have been piqued! An..."

Gary, haven't read _Periodic Tales_ but am going to now! Thanks for the reference!


message 7: by Melissa (new) - added it

Melissa Annemarie wrote: "I'm hoping to bring it into my writing workshop class this coming Fall for my sophomores to make them more active in science and connect it to writing"

Good idea :-). I'm a freshman who was a science geek prior to this book but I found it made the Table even more interesting.


Annemarie Donahue Melissa wrote: "Annemarie wrote: "I'm hoping to bring it into my writing workshop class this coming Fall for my sophomores to make them more active in science and connect it to writing"

Good idea :-). I'm a fresh..."


thanks! really hoping this makes my students more interested in not only reading but science.


message 9: by Melissa (new) - added it

Melissa Annemarie wrote: "thanks! really hoping this makes my students more interested in not only reading but science."

I hope it works :)


Gillian Porter I found it a very enjoyable and illuminating book...didn't realize scientists could be such drama queens


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