The great structural element - both in the natural world and in modern engineering
Bromine-based flame retardants are all over your home, but are they a health risk?
The bringer of life and death on a massive scale, as well as an environmental headache.
Gallium & Indium (Ga, In)
LED lighting and the other electronics revolutionised by two obscure chemical elements.
The mineral from the Wild West that toughens glass and stops bullets in their tracks.
Copper (Cu) - materials
The distinctive red metal that distills whisky and kills hospital super-bugs.
Copper (Cu) - electricity
Why copper wires? And do solar power and batteries herald the death of the old AC grid?
The economy of Nickel, the metal and element that made the jet age possible
The metal of modernity - think Harleys and skyscrapers - chromium also has a dark side.
The key building block for CFCs and a string of other gases posing a threat to mankind
The metal in magnets and phone batteries - but is some of it being mined by children?
Essential for medical imaging, supplies of this manmade element are far from guaranteed.
Oxygen (O) - oxidation
The “element of life” also makes our atmosphere very dangerous and costly to operate in.
Titanium (Ti) - materials
Stronger than steel, could this glamorous metal eventually become as common as steel?
Oxygen (O) - industrial uses
Why is oxygen essential to steelmaking, and can you inhale too much of it?
Hydrogen (H) - acids
These powerful chemicals are essential for industry, but are dangerous to handle.
Titanium (Ti) - catalysts
The metal behind plastics, paints, and buildings that clean both themselves and the air.
The metal that overcame a fiery reputation to regain its role in making planes and cars.
This toxic metal can do serious damage to your lungs, so is it safe to use?
The 'element of life' also makes our atmosphere very dangerous and costly to operate in
How the abundant metal lron became the very stuff of modern industrial life
Tantalum & Niobium (Ta, Nb)
Are these notorious conflict minerals still being smuggled into and laundered in Rwanda?
Gallium and Indium
LED lighting and the other electronics revolutionised by the elements Gallium and Indium
Radioactives (Po, Ra, Rn)
Radium, polonium and radon sound frightening, but are they actually useful for anything?
It's stronger than steel, but could this glamorous metal become as common as steel?
Nanotech, virtual reality, and the stuff that could oust the silicon from Silicon Valley.
Magnesium and Beryllium
Two metals with sinister reputations - one for flammability, the other for lung disease
Noble Gases (Ar, Ne, Kr, Xe)
Neon, argon, krypton & xenon: From blinding arc lights to the dying trade of sign-making.
Hydrogen (H) - water (part 1)
Northwest India is fast running out of groundwater. Is migration and conflict inevitable?
Hydrogen (H) - water (part 2)
As climate change plays havoc with the rain, could we draw water directly from the ocean?
The self-sacrificing metal that brings shelter and good health to India's poorest.
Hydrogen (H) - energy
Is the dream of a hydrogen-fuelled zero-carbon economy achievable?
India is completely dependent on imports of potash, a fertiliser essential for crops.
This toxic metal is being phased out of our lives, but still keeps planes up in the air.
Hydrogen (H) - fusion
Could we finally be about to crack this source of potentially unlimited clean energy?
Why does iodine deficiency still blight children in developing countries like India?
The shiniest and showiest of metals has some surprisingly modern applications.
The poison in everything from paint and sweets, to telegraph polls and drinking water.
Platinum group (Pt, Pd, Ru, Rh, Os, Ir)
Six rare metals that clean the air but are the focus of violent conflict in South Africa.
This metal offers thousands of years of nuclear energy, but is it any safer than uranium?
Why do we value this useless metal? And does it bring out the worst in human nature?
In the final programme in the series we look at the rarest members of the periodic table.
The changing face of farming
Chris talks about some of the technological changes on the farm down the decades.
Trafodaeth ar natur, bywyd gwyllt a chadwraeth, mewn fersiwn fyrrach o raglen bore Sadwrn.
The Great Science Publishing Scandal
Matthew Cobb asks who owns research. Scientists, publishers or the public?
Tim Weeks explores the weird and wonderful world of Wiltshire online.
Cupcakes and cycling!
Plus, a fantastic new local singer influenced by the coast and local countryside.