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. Watch as David Pogue unlocks their secrets.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
David Pogue ...
Himself - Host
Mike Lassiter ...
Himself - Refinery Supervisor, Barrick Gold Corporation
Lawrence L. Jones ...
Himself - The Ames Laboratory
Lindsay Baker ...
Herself - Gatorade Sports Science Institute
Theo Gray ...
Himself - Chemist and Author
Harriet Hunnable ...
Herself - Managing Director, CME Group
John Taule ...
Himself - Miner, Barrick Gold Corporation
Gayle Fitzwater ...
Himself - Laboratory Supervisor, Barrick Gold Corporation
Ed Moses ...
Himself - Director, National Ignition Facility
Anthony Grisanti ...
Himself - Commodities Trader
Ralph Jung ...
Himself - Bell Maker, The Verdin Company
Igor Dmitriev ...
Himself - Director, Mendeleev Museum
David Muller ...
Himself - Cornell University
Tim Collister ...
Himself - Ordnance Technician
Christa Hockensmith ...
Herself - Senior Research Chemist
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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. Watch as David Pogue unlocks their secrets.

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TV-G
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2012 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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User Reviews

Novel way to look at the periodic table and the elements.
15 July 2013 | by (Houston, Tx, USA, Earth) – See all my reviews

I am I Chemist, as a student in high school, college, graduate school, and in my career, the Periodic Chart was a constant companion and a reminder of the order and structure of the elements.

This program examines the Periodic table and the individual elements, and the system used to organize them. I often got tired of the host's constant jokes and other attempts to be silly or funny, but when I ignored his antics and focused on what the lesson was, I found it to be very interesting.

The program features a large Periodic Table which is literally a table, and for each element is a compartment below its symbol, name, atomic number. Inside each compartment are the elements themselves, many in appropriate containers. Demonstrations include such things as how sodium metal can be cut like cheese, and how it reacts violently with water.

There are also very interesting sections of the heavy metals, and the rare earth metals, and methods used to mine and purify them. Most interesting to me was the process for converting many tons of dirt and rock into gold bars. One of those giant trucks carry enough dirt (ore) to yield over $1 Million in pure gold. So, while the yield is very low, the premium is very high.

All in all a very interesting discussion of the elements and the structure of the Periodic Table of Elements.


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