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NOVA: Beyond the Elements

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Catalogue Number:  041962
Producer:  PBS Video
Subject:  Documentary, Science
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin:  United States
Copyright Year:  2021
Running Time:  159:44

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Picking up where he left off in NOVA's popular special, Hunting the Elements, David Pogue sets out on a worldwide quest to find the key molecules and chemical reactions that have paved the way for human civilization, life, and even the universe as we know it. And along the way, he uncovers the simple principles that produce such a dizzying diversity of matter from elements on the periodic table.

Episode 1: Reactions Just about every solid, liquid or gas in the world begins with reactions between individual atoms and molecules. David Pogue dives into the transformative world of chemical reactions, from the complex formula that produces cement to the single reaction that's allowed farmers to feed a global population--a reaction that when reversed, unleashes the powerful chemistry of high explosives.

Episode 2: Indestructible Scientists and engineers have created virtually indestructible versions of common materials by manipulating the chains of interlocking atoms that give them strength--but have they made them too tough? Host David Pogue explores the fantastic chemistry behind the everyday materials we depend on, and how the quest for durability can be balanced with products' environmental impact.

Episode 3: Live Without the chemistry of photosynthesis, ozone, and a molecule called Rubisco, none of us would be here. So how did we get so lucky? To find out, host David Pogue investigates the surprising molecules that allowed life on Earth to begin, and ultimately thrive. Along the way, he finds out what we're all made of--literally.

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