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April 16th, 2012

BBC to broadcast ‘Ceramics: How They Work’

Published on April 16th, 2012 | Edited by: Peter Wray



Screenshot of superconductors from BBC4 presentation of “Ceramics: How They Work.” Credit: BBC.

I don’t have access to BBC channels (and I am unclear how much of the network’s programming is available online after the original broadcast), I but I received an announcement that this special show on ceramic science will be aired tonight on BBC4 and BBCHD at 10 p.m. (GMT). It will be rebroadcast at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday on BBC4 and 11:20 p.m. Thursday on BBC.

This show is the last part of a three-part series narrated by Mark Miodownik, a professor specializing in materials science and engineering at University College London. Previous episodes include “Metal: How it Works” and “Plastics: How it Works.”

The BBC website offers this description of the ceramics program:

Miodownik’s three-part series on the materials that shaped the modern world ends with what you might think is a mundane subject. But in his hands, the stories  of how an 18th-century alchemist redeemed himself by cracking the secret Chinese recipe for porcelain, or how glass gradually became tougher and clearer, are vibrant.  Miodownik then applies his nicely judged mix of practical experiments, awestruck giggles and molecular animations to the present and the scintillating future: fibre-optics, super-conductors and modern architecture.

Mark Miodownik charts how mankind learned to use naturally occurring substances to create pottery, glass and concrete, and examines the ways these materials changed the world. He scientifically analyses the properties of ceramic materials, explaining why glass can be completely transparent and why concrete continues to harden for hundreds of years, and reveals the exciting and surprising roles that ceramics could play in the future.

The BBC website offers online replays of the Metals and Plastics episodes, but in a note on its website, it says they can be used only by residents of the UK.

ADDING: The Independent seems to have liked the program!


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One Response to BBC to broadcast ‘Ceramics: How They Work’

  1. Paul says:

    I’m in the UK so had no trouble seeing it. I’m not a specialist but I loved it.

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