loader image
chemistry, Documentaries

The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements

YEAR: 2015 | LENGTH: 3 parts (~58 minutes each)  |  SOURCE: PBS

description:

From early alchemists to those obsessed with the atom itself, the collective knowledge of centuries of bold thinkers and tinkerers constructed what is today the basis of modern chemistry. This is the story of the trailblazers whose curiosity about their world helped unlock some of natures best kept secrets.

episodes:

One of science’s great odd couples — British minister Joseph Priestley and French tax administrator Antoine Lavoisier — together discover a fantastic new gas called oxygen, overturning the reigning theory of chemistry and triggering a worldwide search for new elements. Soon caught up in the hunt is science’s first great showman, a precocious British chemist named Humphry Davy, who dazzles London audiences with his lectures, introduces them to laughing gas and turns the battery into a powerful tool in the search for new elements.

Over a single weekend in 1869, a young Russian chemistry professor named Dmitri Mendeleev invents the Periodic Table, bringing order to the growing gaggle of elements. But this sense of order is shattered when a Polish graduate student named Marie Sklodowska Curie discovers radioactivity, revealing that elements can change identities — and that atoms must have undiscovered parts inside them.

Caught up in the race to discover the atom’s internal parts — and learn how they fit together — a young British physicist named Harry Moseley uses newly discovered X-rays to put the Periodic Table in a whole new light. And a young American chemist named Glenn Seaborg creates a new element — plutonium — that changes the world forever, unleashing a force of unimaginable destructive power: the atomic bomb.

trom
trom

Curating wonderful science materials for humans. Documentaries, lectures, and movies. All trade-free.