I just came across this, and it’s brilliant. Not least because our name, Mendeley, was partly taken from the discoverer of the periodic table. A team of chemists from the University of Nottingham set out to explain every single element in a brief, but very informative and funny, video: The Periodic Table of Videos.
The Hydrogen video, for example, largely consists of a guy named Pete blowing up balloons, and a frizzy-haired scientist explaining the reaction. My favourite moment comes at the end:
Frizzy-haired scientist: Deuterium gas, in all its properties, will be very similar to hydrogen. Of course it is denser, because it has a neutron as well as a proton, but it’s still much lighter than air. So, a deuterium balloon will still float up to the ceiling and make Pete look just as stupid as the hydrogen one.
Camera guy: But I was thinking more about fusing it, now that sounds like a really big explosion we could do at the back!
Frizzy-haired scientist: No, fusion reactors are way beyond what Pete can do. Unless he’s a lot cleverer than I think.
Here’s the video, but I encourage you to check out the entire website:
P.S. The guy who blows things up is Pete Licence, a lecturer in chemistry and chemical engineering, and the frizzy-haired scientist is Martyn Poliakoff, CBE, a research professor at the University of Nottingham.