In the periodic table you will find everything you need to know about the world around you from how the oxygen in the air gets into the blood when you breathe and why the steak becomes so juicy and delicious when you cook it correctly - to why steel gets stronger with the right combination of metals.
But the history of the periodic table is also a history of those who discovered the elements and their time. It is the story of how chemistry became a science – from the Greeks' first hesitant attempt, through gold-thirsty alchemists to modern research laboratories. It's the story of luck and bad luck – and of sloppiness. And as always when it comes to new discoveries, there are stories of jealousy, envy and pursuit of honor and fame.
At its best, Torgersen resembles Bill Bryson and his brilliant «A short story of almost everything ».