Theo Gray's Mad Science : Experiments You Can Do at Home
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.