Mark Miodownik: Everyday Miracles TV - Madonna - Beautiful Minds: Professor Andre Geim TV - Horizon TV - Marcus du Sautoy TV - Imelda Marcos - Robert Tressell - The Story of Stuff 2007 - Michio Kaku TV - L S Lowry -
Everyday miracles have transformed our homes, our worlds and ourselves. Mark Miodownik, Everyday Miracles: The Genius of Sofas, Stockings and Scanners I, BBC 2015
Inventors and designers have transformed our homes. ibid.
Our first everyday miracle ... foam ... Just quite how important materials are – they are at the heart of civilisation … ibid.
A new technology that soon everyone in the world would want ... Cragside: he [Armstrong] wanted to go electric ... The light-bulb was born ... In 1948 transistors arrived that could do the same job as valves ... Next came silicon ... LED lights ... ibid.
Concrete has been used as a building material for over four thousand years ... It can be moulded in almost any shape ... Steel is unbelievably strong under tension. ibid.
Plywood is another everyday miracle ... The glue bonds with the woods fibres and sets hard ... Strength, flexibility and mouldability ... The Mosquito was the fastest aircraft in the world, and the secret to its success was that it was made almost entirely of plywood ... All because of the remarkable properties of plywood. ibid.
Materials have transformed the ways we live. ibid.
We know it simply as plastic ... The ultimate manufacturing material ... Plastic fibres ... Nylon ... ibid.
Every day our lives collide with thousands of things ... The trappings of modern life and the materials they are made of have transformed our lives. Mark Miodownik, Everyday Miracles: The Genius of of Sofas, Stockings and Scanners II, BBC 2015
It’s called carbon-fibre composite ... His high-performance running leg. ibid.
MRI is now a standard diagnostic technique – an everyday miracle. ibid.
It’s with us now and it’s called 3D printers ... A powerful new technology. ibid.
The material that’s perhaps our greatest achievement is something entirely artificial invented by us and created in the lab – plastic. Mark Miodownik, Plastic: How it Works, BBC 2017
We’re on the verge of creating a new generation of materials. ibid.
As the industrial revolution swept across the globe it brought an insatiable demand for new materials. ibid.
The race was on to find something to replace ivory. ibid.
Celluloid – and it would turn out to be the world’s first practical plastic. ibid.
It could be made extremely flexible and sensitive to light … the dawn of cinema. ibid.
He [Baekeland] named his new plastic Bakelite. ibid.
Graphene: it’s the strongest material we know, two hundred times stronger than steel. ibid.
Everything around me is man-made and it’s built on this: sand and clay. We’ve transformed sand into transparent glass, malleable clay has metamorphosized into hard earthernware and brittle porcelain. From rock and ash we’ve unleashed the power of concrete, the most widely used man-made material in the world. These miracle materials are ceramics. Mark Miodownik, Ceramics: How They Work, BBC 2012
One of the lightest solids on the planet: it’s aerogel, it’s 97% air. ibid.
The finest ceramic then known on Earth – porcelain. The Chinese had held the secret of porcelain-making for over a thousand years. Finer, lighter, harder, whiter, with a glassy glaze. Porcelain was superior to any pottery we’d created in the west and it was highly prized: known as white gold. ibid.
It was concrete that gave the Romans their great structures. ibid.
Steel is the perfect partner for concrete. ibid.
Our lives hang on a handful of natural resources. But they are not the ones you think they are. Forget oil, coal and gas, today we depend on a new set of super-elements with obscure names ... These super-elements are driving innovation. But there’s a problem: they’re rare and they are already running out. The stuff that makes smart phones work could be gone in a decade. Mark Miodownik, Secrets of the Super Elements, BBC 2018
Smart phones: your average smart-phone contains over half the elements on the planet … one stands out from the rest … Indium … It can turn into a liquid … that conducts electricity … mix it with tin and oxygen you get Indium-tin-oxide, a transparent electrical conductor, and that’s how you make the touch-screen. ibid.
We are uncovering the super-powers of ever more unusual and rare ingredients. ibid.
Rhenium: incredible tough and endurable … heat-resistant … You could plunge it into molten steel and it wouldn’t melt … It’s like alien technology … used to make jet engines … Planes burn less fuel … We’ve got used to cheaper air travel. ibid.
The super-element in these magnets is called Neodymium: it makes the strongest permanent magnets known. ibid.
Lithium: when it comes to energy storage this stuff is a game-changer … ibid.
Super-fluid helium can flow through solid materials. ibid.
Tungsten: no other material is tough enough. ibid.
The Phosphorus glows because it’s highly reactive in oxygen … The backbone of our DNA and the DNA of all living things. ibid.
We’re going to need new sources of supply. ibid.
We are living in a material world
And I am a material girl … Madonna, Material Girl, song 1984
Professor Andre Geim hit the headlines in 2010 with Graphene, a ground-breaking new material. Beautiful Minds: Professor Andre Geim, BBC 2012
A tape that sticks to surfaces like a Gecko’s foot. ibid.
Our world is made up of materials. They are the framework, the stuff of modern life. Stuff: A Horizon Guide to Materials, BBC 2012
Materials have changed everything. ibid.
It looked like Ward’s new material [Starlight] had huge commercial potential. ibid.
Discovering new materials can be costly. ibid.
Helium 3 is a gas ejected from the surface of the sun ... On the moon, where there’s nothing to block it, the gas is trapped by the lunar soil. It would be enough to power the Earth for hundreds of years. ibid.
The discovery of super-conductivity ... They behave normally at room temperature, but when they are made very cold their properties change: at temperatures lower than minus 140 degrees Celsius they emit a powerful magnetic force, and they also conduct electricity almost perfectly. Scientists were convinced that they were on the brink of a great leap for progress. ibid.
Conventional cables lose around 10% of the electricity they carry because of resistance. ibid.
Using an ultra-high pressure and high temperature machine they transformed a mixture of metal and carbon into diamond. ibid.
Synthetic diamonds have never become as popular as the natural form. ibid.
1992: They were stunned to find a third type [of carbon]. ibid.
Harry Kroto and his team repeatedly noticed clusters of sixty carbon atoms. ibid.
A new form of carbon – one that was round ... Buckyballs. ibid.
C-60 was a promising new material. ibid.
Other more intriguing forms of carbon. ibid.
Transistors were to become the building blocks of ... computers ... The silicon revolution gathered pace. ibid.
The silicon chip – a device that promised a brave new world. ibid.
Japan was at the forefront of the silicon gold-rush. ibid.
There is a physical limit to how small silicon resisters can be made. ibid.