The Secret World of Materials (01:44)
Material scientist Mark Miodownik details fire forged ceramic applications made by humans.
Mark Miodownik examines Aerogel, one of the lightest materials on the planet, illustrating its insulating properties. Aerogel is comprised of almost one hundred percent air, the remaining portion is a glass foam.
Chemical Process (02:06)
Learn the history of pottery and clay working. View animation of molecules during of the chemical process of forging.
Roman Influence (02:28)
See how Romans developed glass making techniques to create the first clear windows from casts.
Understand the key to transparent glass on the molecular level.
Concrete Foundation of Roman Empire (05:28)
Chris Brandon helps Mark Miodownik recreate Roman concrete. View examples of ancient structures in Rome made possible by unique properties of concrete.
Venice Italy (03:08)
Venetian glass makers in the 15th century kept glass making secrets guarded to produce Cristallo glass, the clearest glass ever. Mark Miodownik explains how clear glass leads to the development of the lens and the telescope.
Galileo & Hook (01:52)
Galileo's improvement to the lens alters the dogma of the church. Hook's microscope unlocks secrets of life in inner space.
Structural Weakness (04:38)
Mark Miodownik demonstrates compression and tension by walking on a concrete plank. Dr. Phil Panell explains the properties of concrete and the development of reinforced concrete.
Stable Cracks (01:46)
Mark Miodownik reveals how cracking in concrete is stable when the concrete is reinforced with steel.
Larger Buildings (01:15)
Concrete's success lies in its durability. View famous buildings comprised of reinforced concrete.
Glass Imperfections (03:24)
See how a brewer in the Czech Republic creates a demand for glass to showcase his new lager. Imperfections like air bubbles and scratches weaken glass. Watch Mark Miodownik test the strength of flawed glass.
Perfecting Glass (03:00)
Sheet glass is floated in a sheet of molten metal which settles to uniform thickness because of gravity. Float glass is still the way we make large sheets of glass. Although flawless, it is still brittle. Safer and stronger tempered glass is born.
View the chemical process of tempering glass which yields great strength. See tempered glass crumble when broken. The search is on to make even stronger glass.
Safety Glass (01:29)
Mark Miodownik demonstrates the strength of safety glass and likens it to a sandwich with a plastic filling. Plastic is flexible and helps glass absorb impacts making it hurricane proof, bomb proof, and bullet proof. This glass brings us to age of skyscraper.
Information Age (02:13)
We shift our focus to glass on a small scale. Fiber optic threads carry light through bent rods. Bundles of bent fibers become fiber optics. Glass is normally brittle and stiff but on the micro scale it has an elastic property.
How Light Bends (02:35)
Watch an optical fiber demonstrate how light bends. As light travels from dense to a less dense medium, the interface allows internal reflection. This property transmits information at the speed of light. Ceramics begin taking over duty for metals.
Super Conductivity (03:03)
As electricity travels miles of metal wires, some of the electricity is lost. When frozen to near absolute zero, mercury conducts energy without losing any electricity, creating super conductivity.
Ceramic Super Conductors (03:25)
Cooled ceramic generates its own magnetic field, becoming a superconductor. Ceramic superconductors can be used in the power grid without losing any energy. Understand implications for ceramics in the future.
Transforming Materials (00:57)
Ceramics have designed our modern world and sparked an information revolution. In the last century, mankind has transformed more materials than in any stage of human history.
Credits: Stuff: A Horizon Guide to Materials (00:34)
Credits: Stuff: A Horizon Guide to Materials
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