BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.


Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio
BBC Radio 4 - 92 to 94 FM and 198 Long WaveListen to Digital Radio, Digital TV and OnlineListen on Digital Radio, Digital TV and Online

PROGRAMME FINDER:
Programmes
Podcasts
Schedule
Presenters
PROGRAMME GENRES:
News
Drama
Comedy
Science
Religion|Ethics
History
Factual
Messageboards
Radio 4 Tickets
Radio 4 Help

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 

Science
THE MATERIAL WORLD
MISSED A PROGRAMME?
Go to the Listen Again page
PROGRAMME INFO
Thursday 16:30-17:00
Quentin Cooper reports on developments across the sciences. Each week scientists describe their work, conveying the excitement they feel for their research projects.
Contact Material World
LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 20 March
PRESENTER
QUENTIN COOPER
Quentin Cooper
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Thursday 20 March 2008
Plastic alphabet letters
Party time for polythene  ...

75th Anniversary of Polythene

In 1933 a remarkable series of coincidences led to the discovery of a material that would change our lives forever.

In this week’s Material World, Quentin Cooper celebrates the 75th anniversary of the discovery of polythene.

He is joined by Geoff Mitchell, Professor of Polymer Physics at the University of Reading and by Professor Dame Julia Higgins from Imperial College London to find out about polythene’s uses, abuses and why polymers and plastics are still at the front line of scientific research.

Sound perception

How does the brain process sound?

How exactly can we distinguish between the clatter of cutlery or the beauty of singing.

Sounds are pressure waves moving through the air, but our brains somehow manage to interpret this one-dimensional information and reconstruct the object that created it.

Quentin is joined by Jan Schnupp, Neuroscientist from the University of Oxford and Sophie Scott from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience to find out how. 

Next week: Quentin Cooper reports from Edinburgh Science Festival ...
Listen Live
Audio Help
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
DON'T MISS
Leading Edge
The Material World
Current Programmes
Previous Programmes
Science, Nature & Environment Programmes
Current Programmes
Archived Programmes

News & Current Affairs | Arts & Drama | Comedy & Quizzes | Science | Religion & Ethics | History | Factual

Back to top


About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy