A two-hour special from the producers of "Making Stuff" Where do nature's building blocks, called the elements, come from? They're the hidden ingredients of everything in our world, from the carbon in our bodies to the metals in our smartphones. To unlock their secrets, David Pogue, technology columnist and lively host of Nova’s popular "Making Stuff" series, spins viewers through the world of weird, extreme chemistry: the strongest acids, the deadliest poisons, the universe's most abundant elements, and the rarest of the rare—substances cooked up in atom smashers that flicker into existence for only fractions of a second.
The final lecture in the series begins with a 'heist'. A jewel thief steals a precious man-made diamond from the Royal Institution's collection. Can forensic evidence conclusively identify and convict the criminal responsible? To find out, the Royal Institution's lecture theatre is transformed into a courtroom and the audience acts as jury on the case, with a special guest king's counsel invited to defend the suspect. Forensic evidence is based on probability; it can never be 100 per cent certain. So, how convincing does the evidence need to be for the court of the Royal Institution's own jury to reach a guilty verdict? Includes insights from real criminal investigations.
Humanity is under threat - from storms that seem to get ever fiercer, earthquakes that seem ever more deadly, and killer viruses that are engulfing the globe. Some scientists think it's time for us to fight back. Can we - should we -hack the planet?
Saiful explores one of the most important issues facing the modern world - how to store energy. He tackles his toughest challenge yet - trying to work out how to store enough energy to power a mobile phone for a whole year and still fit it in his pocket!