Metals • 2016 • episode "Part 2" Treasures of the Earth

Category: Environment
Download:

The enduring luster of gold, the conductivity of copper, the strength of steel—the special properties of metals have reshaped societies and defined eras; they have such an important role in human history that entire ages have been named after them. But what gives metals their astounding characteristics? From the perfect ring of a bronze bell to the awe-striking steel construction of Beijing’s “Bird’s Nest” stadium, how have humans perfected metalworking? And how have metals enabled our modern hi-tech world? Explore the science of metals with chemists and engineers as they literally test the mettle of metals and investigate how these remarkable materials have ushered humanity from the Stone Age to the stars.

Treasures of the Earth • 2016 • 3 episodes •

Gems

Their beauty has captivated us for millennia. Their cost can be extraordinary–some are even considered priceless. Precious gems like diamonds, rubies, emeralds, opal, and jade are the ultimate treasures of the earth, and each one is made from a specific–and often torturous–recipe of chemistry, pressure, and heat. The secrets to their sparkle, color, and even strength lie deep inside the gems themselves, but could they also hold clues to one of the most enduring mysteries in the field of geology? From Tiffany’s workshop in New York to the sapphire mines of Sri Lanka, from North Carolina’s emerald fields to the jade-laden Forbidden City of China.

2016 • Environment

Metals

The enduring luster of gold, the conductivity of copper, the strength of steel—the special properties of metals have reshaped societies and defined eras; they have such an important role in human history that entire ages have been named after them. But what gives metals their astounding characteristics? From the perfect ring of a bronze bell to the awe-striking steel construction of Beijing’s “Bird’s Nest” stadium, how have humans perfected metalworking? And how have metals enabled our modern hi-tech world? Explore the science of metals with chemists and engineers as they literally test the mettle of metals and investigate how these remarkable materials have ushered humanity from the Stone Age to the stars.

2016 • Environment

Power

Drill down to discover the treasures beneath our feet that power our world. Fossil fuels–coal, oil, and natural gas–powered the industrial revolution and allowed us to build a way of life that many cherish today. Personal cars, planes, lights, hot showers–all of these are gifts from our fossil fuels… but they have a dirty dark side in that they are polluting the planet. What is it about these natural resources that have allowed them to fuel our civilization? What secrets are locked in their molecules? Where did that energy come from, and can we find alternative energy resources that come in a cleaner form? The hunt is on for new treasures that might allow us to power our modern way of life without damaging the environment. Join NOVA as we explore the resources that both power and pollute, from modern-day oil prospecting in California, to a mega-city utility company struggling to keep the lights on during hot summer days, to China where an engineer strives to solve one of the greatest obstacles to the success of solar power. Travel the globe to see how our energy treasures are changing—and if they can keep the lights on.

2016 • Environment

You might also like

Climate Science: What You Need To Know

Learn the basic science of climate change in 24 easy steps.

It's Okay To Be SmartEnvironment

Build a Waste Free World

Prince William, David Attenborough and Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim see how we might reimagine our production lines to solve the problem of the vast amount of waste we produce.

S1E5The Earthshot Prize Repairing Our Planet • 2021 • Environment

Plastic Pollution

We investigate the emerging threats posed by plastic pollution to life on Earth. The hyper-convenience of our modern way of living produces staggering volumes of plastic waste daily. Scientists now know that this waste breaks down into ever tinier pieces, spreading right across the globe and posing direct health risks, including through bioamplification of toxic additives moving up the food chain. We explore the drastic changes it will take to deliver a sustainable future for our planet.

2021 • Environment

Solar Storm

When Earth gets hit by a a massive chunk of the Sun known as a deadly Solar Storm, our planet's electrical system turns into a smoking ruin. How does modern civilization cope without power?

S1E5Doomsday: 10 Ways the World Will End • 2016 • Environment

Descent into Darkness

Will Smith heads to the bottom of the ocean to discover a world of color in the dark.

S1E2Welcome to Earth • 2021 • Environment

Sonic Sea

Sonic Sea is a documentary about the devastating impact of industrial and military ocean noise on whales and other marine life. The film begins with a mystery: the unexplained stranding and mass mortality of several species of whales in the Bahamas in March 2000. As the mystery unfolds, the film explores the critical role of sound in the sea, and the sudden, dramatic changes human activity is inflicting on the ocean's delicate acoustic habitat -- changes that threaten the ability of whales and other marine animals to prosper, to function, and ultimately, to survive. Sonic Sea features several charismatic scientists, including Ken Balcomb, the former Navy pilot and acoustics expert who proved to the world that naval sonar is killing whales, as well as the musician and environmental activist, Sting, whose moving interview connects the sonic world of marine life with our sonic world on land. The film offers solutions (and, by extension, hope) for a quieter ocean, and underscores that the ocean's destiny is inextricably bound with our own.

2016 • Environment