Creating an element is no easy feat. It's the equivalent of firing six trillion bullets a second at a needle in a haystack, hoping the bullet and needle somehow fuse together, then catching it in less than a thousandth of a second – after which it's gone forever. Welcome to the world of the superheavy elements: a realm where scientists use giant machines and spend years trying to make a single atom of mysterious artefacts that have never existed on Earth.
From the first elements past uranium and their role in the atomic bomb to the latest discoveries stretching our chemical world, Superheavy will reveal the hidden stories lurking at the edges of the periodic table. Why did the US Air Force fly planes into mushroom clouds? Who won the transfermium wars? How did an earthquake help give Japan its first element? And what happened when Superman almost spilled nuclear secrets?
In a globe-trotting adventure that stretches from the United States to Russia, Sweden to Australia, Superheavy is your guide to the amazing science filling in the missing pieces of the periodic table. By the end you'll not only marvel at how nuclear science has changed our lives – you'll wonder where it's going to take us in the future.
Kit Chapman is an award-winning science journalist and broadcaster. Initially qualifying as a pharmacist, Chapman began his career on medical journal The Practitioner before moving to Chemist+Druggist, the UK's leading magazine for pharmacists. Here he was named PTC New Business News Journalist of the Year and garnered further award nominations from the British Society of Magazine Editors (BSME) and Professional Publishers Association (PPA). After stints as campaign website manager for the British Medical Association and clinical editor for The Pharmaceutical Journal, Chapman was appointed comment editor for Chemistry World, the official magazine of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Chapman also writes for the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, and has appeared as an expert for the BBC and Sky News.