Science Fiction Reviews Science Nonfiction

‘Superheavy’ Review: What it Takes to Make an Element

Superheavy is the kind of nonfiction that takes an incredibly complex scientific field and breaks it down into an easy-to-understand set of narratives that are surprisingly entertaining. By the end of the book, you’ll know more about atoms and elements than you ever thought possible.

This book’s description sounded fascinating to me. I have trouble imagining how someone could invent anything out of thin air, much less an element that could change the course of human history. We get a first-hand look at the complexities of elemental creation, revealing the many scientists who worked tirelessly to expand mankind’s scientific understanding. There’s a real sense of excitement that permeates the book, showing the author’s fascination alongside the unbridled joy of these pioneers who discovered something new. At its heart, Superheavy is a history of the periodic table and its many elements. The author does a great job translating this complicated science for those of us who don’t spend much time with chemistry.

It’s easy to imagine concepts like the periodic table have always been known but, like all things, someone had to discover it first. This is the story of those discoveries and the ripple effect they had on the scientific community and the world at large. It’s compelling and extremely readable, and I left the book with a reverence for the kind of mind that can make such a monumental scientific discovery.

By Kit Chapman
Bloomsbury Sigma

NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

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