Section: Archived News Stories

NOVA's "Hunting the Elements" - Atomic Zoom

April 4th, 2012 ›


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, the lively host of NOVA's popular "Making Stuff" series and technology correspondent of The New York Times, 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.

In a two hour special from PBS entitled, "Hunting the Elements", Pogue reveals the story of the elements to be a rich stew simmering with passion, madness, and obsessive scientific rivalry. Punctuated by surprising and often alarming experiments, this program takes NOVA on a roller-coaster ride through nature's hidden lab and the compelling stories of discovery that revealed its secrets.

Professor David Muller, with the help of specialized microscopes, shows what bronze looks like at an atomic level.  To view his part of the video, click on the picture.

The Full episode can be viewed online at PBS.