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Materials scientist Mark Miodownik explores the invention and impact of bronze, an alloy of copper and tin which was the first man-made alloy.

Mark explains how bronze helped our early ancestors to progress quickly, improving technology and the chance to build but it also led to weapons that were more deadly too.

He also talks about the importance of alloys.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
11 May 2012

Classroom Ideas

Ask students to explain why an alloy has different physical properties from those of the pure elements they are made from. Following the clip, students could undertake the ‘turning copper coins gold’ experiment in which ‘copper’ coins are coated in zinc and then heated to produce brass.