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Theo Gray's Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do at Home -- But Probably Shouldn'tby Theodore W. Gray
Synopses & Reviews
In the spirit of Discovery Channel's MythBusters and Smash Lab, Popular Science columnist Theo Gray demonstrates fundamental scientific principles through wacky, daredevil experiments that will have readers exclaiming, Holy *$#. Witness as he makes subatomic radioactive particles dance in a cloud chamber, mixes sodium and chlorine to create a smoke that will salt a super-sized bag of popcorn, adds 500 pounds of quicklime to water to create a homemade hot tub, builds a liquid battery out of copper sulfate, launches a rocket with a Snickers bar, and uses liquid nitrogen to make a gallon of ice cream in record time. These are just a few of the 52 extreme experiments brought to life by Theo Gray in Mad Science.
Culled from his column Gray Matter, which has been a favorite of Popular Science readers for years, these experiments have been expanded to include even more of the fascinating science behind them, as well as hundreds of additional images. Every experiment is accompanied by stunning full-color photographs that provide a front-row seat to split-second chemical reactions and glorious subatomic activity.
Gray's writing is fresh, hip, and makes the science exciting and easy to understand. Not only are the experiments visually arresting, each one explains a fascinating principle of elemental science in a unique and irresistibly compelling way.
Mad Science is the perfect book for anyone-of any age, who is fascinated by all things electrical, chemical, or explosive, and who loves a vicarious thrill.
Book News Annotation:
Gray, author of Popular Science magazine's column "Grey Matter", presents this lively and engrossing cookbook of educational, fascinating, and often terribly dangerous science experiments. Probably better experienced vicariously then attempted on one's own, each of the 55 entries includes brilliant photographs and a detailed explanation of the chemical reactions involved from start to astounding result. Each demonstration revolves around a principle element and most include step by step instructions and danger alerts, though readers will need access to chemicals, metals and lab equipment should they actually want to give it a go. Experiments include making instant ice-cream with liquid nitrogen; creating a melting spoon or sinking ice cubes; home-made nylon thread, light-bulbs, strike-anywhere matches, and graphite pencils; and on the more spectacular end a phosphorus sun in a glass globe, a glimpse of quantum mechanics in a glass, or a "hillbilly hot-tub" heated with quick-lime. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Author of the best-selling book The Elements Theodore Gray demonstrates essential scientific principles through thrilling daredevil experiments.
"What a magnificent book. It's gorgeous, playful, and draws you in." --Adam Savage, cohost of Mythbusters
"Theodore Gray...has attained a level of near superhuman geekery that the rest of us can only mutely admire." --Cecil Adams, "TheStraight Dope"
"Gray's encyclopedic knowledge and contagious enthusiasm transport us to deep intellectual realms while never sacrificing a sense of wonder and, above all, fun." --Oliver Sacks, author of Awakenings, Musicophilia, and Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood
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 hot tub by adding 500 pounds of quicklime to water. These are just a few of the 54 experiments included in this astonishing book that demonstrates essential scientific principles in ways you were likely never exposed to in school.
Every experiment in Mad Science is accompanied by full-color photographs that provide a front-row seat to rarely seen chemical reactions and glorious subatomic activity. To further enhance the hands-on experience, Gray includes step-by-step instructions for nearly every experiment. Following all of the safety guidelines, readers can even re-create some of the experiments in the book.
Mad Science is the perfect book for anyone fascinated by all things chemical, electrical, or explosive, and who loves a vicarious thrill.
About the Author
Theodore W. Gray is the author of Popular Science's "Gray Matter" column. He is the co-founder of Wolfram Research and co-creator of the technical computing software Mathematica. He is also the creator of the wooden periodic table and of the self published photographic periodic table poster, which has sold more than 46,000 copies to date. His web site can be visited at periodictable.com. He lives in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.
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