Comment »Posted on Wednesday 6 August 2008 at 4:14 pm by Jacob Aron
In Chemistry, Getting It Right

The internet moves pretty fast, so I apologise if you have already seen this. If you haven’t, then you’re in for a treat. The University of Nottingham’s Chemistry department has created The Periodic Table of Videos. The site has a video for each of the 188 elements, from hydrogen to ununoctium.

Each video is only a few minutes long, and gives you a quick overview of the properties of the element, as well as example experiments – many of which are considered “too dangerous” to be demonstrated in secondary schools any more. They are a highly enjoyable watch, and a great use of modern technology to teach people all over the world about chemistry.

The two main presenters are Pete Licence, who is great at demonstrating the explosive properties of sodium or the flow of liquid mercury and Martyn Poliakoff, who provides much of the hard facts from his office plastered with many periodic tables, including the periodic table of desserts. He also has the most wonderful mad scientist hair I have ever seen.

I haven’t yet made it through all of the videos, but I’m enjoying visiting the site for half an hour or so at a time as I check out some elements and brush up on my chemistry. I think this should be required viewing for all GCSE science students, and I can’t praise UoN enough. I hope they see a spike in their chemistry admissions next year! If I still haven’t convinced you, check out this trailer and you’ll hopefully be hooked.

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