Royal Institution Christmas Lectures 2012
When medieval alchemists staged spectacular stunts in front of royalty they never revealed the secrets of their mystical potions and fire-breathing creations. Today’s chemists can perform equally impressive feats, but they do so to explain and explore the extreme frontiers of our material world. In the 2012 Christmas Lectures, Dr Peter Wothers unpicks the chemistry of the world around us – looking at Air, Water and Earth.
Having grown up watching the lectures, it was amazing to be asked to work alongside Dr Peter Wothers to produce this series on chemistry. Although the lectures were titled Air, Water and Earth, there was plenty of fire in all three! Filmed ‘as-live’ in front of 300 young people in the Faraday Theatre of the Royal Institution we found out the weight of an audience member in real blocks of gold, floated a boat in a tank of gas and filmed the violent reaction between caesium and fluorine for the very first time.