Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Sam Kean
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Sam Kean explains the history and meaning of how scientists learned what an atom was and how their viewpoints and hypotheses differed from each other. The book covers how the scientists then organized elements into the periodic table, the long-continued search for new elements, and the process for discovering how they fit in. Intermixed with all this information are stories of scientists that make discoveries, steal other peoples' discoveries, and often make humiliating mistakes.
Sam Kean unlocks the mysteries of the periodic table and brings it to life. Readers will learn how to understand the different groupings of elements, why and how the elements are arranged as they are, and be able to think critically about what it means. This is a wonderful resource for those preparing for or participating in a chemistry class. Kean does an amazing job at making this an approachable and interesting world to explore. The book includes some charts, illustrations, and sidebars with additional information to enlighten, inspire, and clarify. Additional books are also recommended by Kean for those who desire additional study.