Monday, February 21, 2011

BBC - Chemistry, a volatile history

I just finished watching a 3 part BBC series by Professor Jim Al-Khalili called Chemistry, a volatile history. Orignally broadcast in 2010. I particularly enjoyed going through the stories about the discovery of some of the 92 naturally occurring elements. Above Al-Khalili holds a flask containing burning Phosphorous, the first element discovered that does not occur naturally in a pure elemental form. An alchemist was attempting to transmute Urine into Gold. It took over 1000 liters of urine to produce 60 grams of phosphorous.

The series also has the fascinating story of the creation of the periodic table and the creation of man-made elements including Plutonium.

I found the series informative and recommend watching it, especially for students who may need a bit of inspiration while studying chemistry.

BBC Page for Series

The series is available to watch on Youtube, but is annoyingly split up into 6 clips per episode, I think because of Youtube's limitations.

No comments: