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Beyond the Elements: Indestructible

Discover the fascinating chemistry that makes our world and everything in it—including us.

Premiered: Runtime: 53:17Topic: Physics + MathPhysics & MathNova
Premiered on PBS

Glass so strong you can jump on it, a rubber-like coating tough enough to absorb a bomb blast, endless varieties of plastic. Scientists and engineers have created virtually indestructible versions of common materials by manipulating the chains of interlocking atoms that give them strength—but have they made them too tough? Host David Pogue explores the fantastic chemistry behind the everyday materials we depend on, and how the quest for durability can be balanced with products’ environmental impact. (Enjoy this program with Audio Description.)

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Major funding for this program is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the George D. Smith Fund.

National corporate funding for NOVA is provided by Draper. Major funding for NOVA is provided by the David H. Koch Fund for Science, the NOVA Science Trust, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS viewers.