“In some sense, what you might have suspected from the first day of
high-school chemistry is true: The periodic table is a colossal waste of
time. Nine out of every 10 atoms in the universe are hydrogen, the
first element and the major constituent of stars. The other 10 percent
of all atoms are helium. That’s already 100 percent. The rest of the
periodic table, Elements 3 through 118, lithium through ununoctium,
barely register on a cosmic scale. The rest of the universe, you and I
included, is a rounding error.” ~~Sam Kean
Sometimes, I think we could all stand to be reminded that most of the things that keep us up at night, or give us indigestion when we watch/read the news really amount to little more than a tempest in a teacup.
Sam Kean is a science reporter who writes for, appropriately, Science (the journal). He’s releasing a book on July 12 called The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements. I plan to give it a read and a critical review from my chemist’s perspective. It sounds like it is a very good book, chemistry accessible to the masses. I hope so, and I’ll let you know what I think of it.