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What Are Things Made Of?

Wed, 04/04/2012 - 9:48am -- WCVE

It’s a simple question with an astonishing answer. Fewer than 100 naturally occurring elements form the ingredients of everything in our world from solid rocks to ethereal gases, from scorching acids to the living cells in our body.

David Pogue, lively host of NOVA’s popular Making Stuff series and personal technology correspondent for The New York Times, spins viewers through the world of weird, extreme chemistry on a quest to unlock the secrets of the elements in NOVA: Hunting the Elements.

Why are some elements, like platinum and gold, relatively inert, while others, like phosphorus and potassium, are violently explosive? Why are some vital to every breath we take, while others are potentially lethal?

Find out by watching NOVA: Hunting the Elements April 4 at 9:00 p.m. on WCVE PBS/WHTJ PBS

Watch on PBS Video

Teacher resources may be found here.

Length: 2 hours

SOLs: Science-5.4, 6.4, 6.6, PS.2, PS.4, CH.2