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Behold beryllium, an exceptionally light, strong metal that is both prized and poisonous. Found in minerals such as emeralds and other forms of beryl, beryllium is highly conductive to heat and electricity, nonmagnetic, capable of great elasticity, and impervious to a wide range of temperatures, making it a favored material for aerospace projects such as space shuttles and satellites.
In this video you will discover the element’s ancient and atomic histories with host Ron Hipschman! Join Dr. Jay Daniel, Director of Engineering at L-3 Integrated Optical Systems Tinsley, to explore beryllium’s central role in the future James Webb Space Telescope. Recorded live at the Exploratorium 2015
An element for the modern age, lightweight lithium is commonly used in rechargeable batteries, fireworks, and medications for treating bipolar disorder. Lithium is highly reactive, and has served as a fuel source for nuclear weapons as well as a cooling agent in nuclear reactors. See its scarlet contributions to pyrotechnics, and discuss its divided reputation as being both restorative and potentially toxic to our health.
Recorded live at the Exploratorium 2015
In a recent study by the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Dr. Julie Andersen found that low doses of lithium prevented Parkinson's symptoms in aged mice with a human mutation for the disease. Join Dr. Andersen to learn more about her research, and lithium’s potential for treating neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Recorded live at the Exploratorium 2015
Plumb the dark and dangerous worlds of commercial diving and marine construction with Thomas Belcher, President of Underwater Resources, Inc., and learn how helium enables deep-sea divers to safely breathe under pressure.
Featuring: A People's History of the Periodic Table with Paul Stepahin Is there a constitutional right to “physician-assisted suicide”? What about a “dignified death”—and what is a dignified death? Should terminally ill patients facing mental incapacitation or unbearable pain have access to fatal ingestion—also known as physician aid in dying? Or would that jeopardize our society’s progress toward more compassionate, comfort-based care? Neutrinos can escape from extremely dense environments around black holes or the heart of a star, and thus carry unique information on the most violent processes in the universe—and may shed light on the nature of dark matter.
The Ebola virus has spread from West Africa to the United States with three confirmed cases and one death. The outbreak is generating fear, airport screenings, and a storm of media coverage. But how worried should we really be? Get the facts about Ebola from UCSF physician and infectious disease researcher Charles Chiu, who studies the Ebola virus and how it spreads. Join Exploratorium scientist Paul Doherty as he illuminates the most primitive objects—comets, icy leftovers from the formation of our solar system over 4.6 billion years ago.