This is a dreadful book. Don't waste your time or money. I had recently read and heard quite a number of physics books, most of which were very good (Nothing, The First War of Physics, The Quantum Story, The Disappearing Spoon, Cosmic Jackpot, For The Love of Physics, Electric Universe, The Grand Design, The 4% Universe, etc.), and this was by far the worst. It is a combination of school marmy preaching, name dropping, hyperbolic pep talk, full of herself prim pseudophilosophizing, and LHC tour guidance. Dull and duller by turns. There is some interest in the description of the LHC experiments, but just. Another one of those 'we are on the verge...' chronicles that never even approach a good explanation of why.
If you like stories about science, specifically centered on elements of the periodic table, you will love this book. They are not science stories, but great stories related to science. Along the way you will get a little science, but not so much. It's mostly about great stories, like why you can track the Lewis & Clark expedition by the mercury laxatives they took, why spoons were made from gallium, why Fleishman and Ponds, why they put bismuth in pepto, and on and on. The stories are only related by their chemical connection, but it all hangs together in a terrific collection performed excellently. Five stars for the stories, four for the performance. Very entertaining.
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