… the amazing, dangerous, and beautiful things you can do with the proper application of chemistry and physics? Mad Science 2, by Theodore Gray, collects short articles explaining the concepts behind more than thirty projects, including incinerating a diamond and cutting steel with bacon. This book covers everything from how carbide miner’s lamps worked to charging a cell phone using an apple and pennies.
Each article has a brief description of the experiment and the scientific principles involved, an overview of how it was done, several amazing photographs, and the warnings. They are very serious warnings because many of the projects displayed in this book are extremely dangerous. You, yes you, could do these experiments with the proper training (and/or supervision) and the right equipment. If you don’t have that, enlist the help of someone who does. While you’re working on that (or if you don’t mind getting your excitement second hand), read this book and pick out your favorite experiment — turning a frozen turkey into a fireball, sticking your hand in liquid nitrogen, creating a shower of sparks, freezing mercury…. There are so many cool things that it’s hard to pick one.
Reviewed by Fran (staff)