High-tech twist to elementary subject

22nd August 2008 at 01:00
The periodic table has been dragged into the YouTube age by scientists at Nottingham University.

They have created online video clips for every element.

Professor Martyn Poliakoff, brother of playwright and film director Stephen Poliakoff, is among the chemisty department members who introduce the 118 elements and demonstrate the properties which make each of them unique.

The Periodic Table of Videos had more than 106,000 hits in its first few days. The most popular clip has been of sodium fizzing and flaming after being dropped in water. It has been seen more than 39,000 times.

The website features a hyperlinked periodic table, allowing visitors to click on the elements they want to learn about. Schools can subscribe to a YouTube channel to keep track of updates.

Professor Poliakoff said: "I thought it was a great way of communicating our enthusiasm and enjoyment of the subject to a wider audience.

"We are very keen not only to recruit students to our university but also to stimulate an interest in science among all students, particularly those at GCSE age."

The Periodic Table of Videos is an off-shoot of the Test-Tube project, a website showcasing Nottingham University's scientific research, which last month won an international business award, www.test-tube.org.uk.

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