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Jim Al-Khalili tells how the first 'natural philosophers' began to unlock electricity's mysteries, studying its curious link to life and building instruments to create it.

Professor Jim Al-Khalili tells the electrifying story of our quest to master nature's most mysterious force - electricity. Until fairly recently, electricity was seen as a magical power, but it is now the lifeblood of the modern world and underpins every aspect of our technological advancements.

Without electricity, we would be lost. This series tells of dazzling leaps of imagination and extraordinary experiments - a story of maverick geniuses who used electricity to light our cities, to communicate across the seas and through the air, to create modern industry and to give us the digital revolution.

Episode one tells the story of the very first 'natural philosophers' who started to unlock the mysteries of electricity. They studied its curious link to life, built strange and powerful instruments to create it and even tamed lightning itself. It was these men who truly laid the foundations of the modern world. Electricity was without doubt a fantastical wonder. This is the story about what happened when the first real concerted effort was made to understand electricity - how we learned to create and store it, before finally creating something that enabled us to make it at will - the battery.

1 hour

Last on

Fri 17 Aug 2018 03:00

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Role Contributor
Presenter Jim Al-Khalili
Producer Tim Usborne
Director Tim Usborne
Series Producer Steve Crabtree
Executive Producer Tina Fletcher-Hill


Find out more about electricity with The Open University

Find out more about electricity with The Open University

Discover how much energy it takes to start up a range of objects in an interactive game.