MnSTA Collected Science Links
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The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements is a multimedia project about one of the great adventures in the history of science: the long (and continuing) quest to understand what the world is made of – to identify, understand and organize the basic building blocks of matter. In a nutshell, the project is about the human storybehind the Periodic Table of the Elements.
The centerpiece of the project is a three-hour series that premiered Aug. 19, 2015 on PBS. The Mystery of Matter introduces viewers to some of history’s most extraordinary scientists: Joseph Priestleyand Antoine Lavoisier, whose discovery of oxygen—and radical interpretation of it—led to the modern science of chemistry;Humphry Davy, who made electricity a powerful new tool in the search for elements; Dmitri Mendeleev, whose Periodic Table brought order to the growing gaggle of elements; Marie Curie, whose groundbreaking research on radioactivity cracked open a window into the atom; Harry Moseley, whose investigation of atomic number redefined the Periodic Table; and Glenn Seaborg, whose discovery of plutonium opened up a whole new realm of elements, still being explored today.
The Mystery of Matter shows not only what these scientific explorers discovered but also how, using actors to reveal the creative process through the scientists’ own words, and conveying their landmark discoveries through re-enactments shot with replicas of their original lab equipment. And knitting these strands together into a coherent, compelling whole is host Michael Emerson, a two-time Emmy Award-winning actor best known for his roles on Lost andPerson of Interest.