PBS Anywhere

Providing Support for PBS.org

The Mystery of Matter

Marie Curie | The Radium Craze

After Marie and Pierre Curie’s discovery of radium, the new element’s wondrous ability to glow in the dark inspired a worldwide craze — a rush of radium-laced products that promised to cure everything from impotence to hair loss. What few people realized — and the Curies were reluctant to admit — was the great harm this radioactive element could do.

Episodes of The Mystery of Matter3

Video thumbnail: The Mystery of Matter Episode 3: Into the Atom | Full Episode

The Mystery of Matter

Episode 3: Into the Atom | Full Episode

Find out how the creation of a new element changes the world forever.

55:19

Episode 3: Into the Atom | Full Episode

55:19

Video thumbnail: The Mystery of Matter Episode 2: Unruly Elements | Full Episode

The Mystery of Matter

Episode 2: Unruly Elements | Full Episode

Explore how the discovery of radioactivity changed how elements were understood.

53:50

Episode 2: Unruly Elements | Full Episode

53:50

Video thumbnail: The Mystery of Matter Episode 1: Out of Thin Air | Full Episode

The Mystery of Matter

Episode 1: Out of Thin Air | Full Episode

See how Joseph Priestley & Antoine Lavoisier trigger a worldwide search for new elements.

54:20

Episode 1: Out of Thin Air | Full Episode

54:20

See all Episodes

Clips of The Mystery of Matter8

Video thumbnail: The Mystery of Matter  Joseph Priestley | A Momentous Encounter

The Mystery of Matter

Joseph Priestley | A Momentous Encounter

See how Priestley’s friendship with Benjamin Franklin led to his own career in science.

3:55

Joseph Priestley | A Momentous Encounter

3:55

Video thumbnail: The Mystery of Matter Antoine Lavoisier | Lavoisier’s Better Half

The Mystery of Matter

Antoine Lavoisier | Lavoisier’s Better Half

Meet Marie Anne, Antoine Lavoisier’s young wife and most important collaborator.

4:17

Antoine Lavoisier | Lavoisier’s Better Half

4:17

Video thumbnail: The Mystery of Matter Carl Wilhelm Scheele | Discovering Fire Air

The Mystery of Matter

Carl Wilhelm Scheele | Discovering Fire Air

In this bonus clip, hear about a Swedish apothecary's role in the discovery of oxygen.

1:30

Carl Wilhelm Scheele | Discovering Fire Air

1:30

Video thumbnail: The Mystery of Matter Dmitri Mendeleev | The Element Mendeleev Never Accepted

The Mystery of Matter

Dmitri Mendeleev | The Element Mendeleev Never Accepted

Discover why radium was the one element whose properties Dmitri Mendeleev never accepted.

4:53

Dmitri Mendeleev | The Element Mendeleev Never Accepted

4:53

See All Clips

Previews of The Mystery of Matter6

Video thumbnail: The Mystery of Matter Episode 3: Into the Atom | Preview | Glenn Seaborg

The Mystery of Matter

Episode 3: Into the Atom | Preview | Glenn Seaborg

Learn how Glenn Seaborg created a new element that changes the world.

0:31

Episode 3: Into the Atom | Preview | Glenn Seaborg

0:31

Video thumbnail: The Mystery of Matter Episode 2: Unruly Elements | Preview | Dmitri Mendeleev

The Mystery of Matter

Episode 2: Unruly Elements | Preview | Dmitri Mendeleev

Follow the story of Dmitri Mendeleev's invention of the Periodic Table.

0:31

Episode 2: Unruly Elements | Preview | Dmitri Mendeleev

0:31

Video thumbnail: The Mystery of Matter Episode 2: Unruly Elements | Preview | Marie Curie

The Mystery of Matter

Episode 2: Unruly Elements | Preview | Marie Curie

Learn why the discovery of radioactivity shatters the order of the Periodic Table.

Episode 2: Unruly Elements | Preview | Marie Curie

Video thumbnail: The Mystery of Matter Episode 1: Out of Thin Air | Preview | Humphry Davy

The Mystery of Matter

Episode 1: Out of Thin Air | Preview | Humphry Davy

See how Humphry Davy entered the search for new elements with by discovering laughing gas.

Episode 1: Out of Thin Air | Preview | Humphry Davy

See All Previews