How It Works

60 minutes

The secret alchemy of material science revealed - how we transform materials, and materials transform the world.

60 minutes

The secret alchemy of material science revealed - how we transform materials, and materials transform the world.

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Previous Episodes
Watch How It Works Season 1 Episode 3 - Ceramics: How They Work

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s1e3 Ceramics: How They Work
April 16, 2012
Professor Mark Miodownik traces the story of ceramics. He looks at how we started with simple clay, sand and rock and changed them into pottery, glass and concrete - materials that would allow us to build cities, transform the way we view our world and communicate at the speed of light. Deep within their inner structure Mark discovers some of ceramics' most intriguing secrets. He reveals why glass can be utterly transparent, why concrete continues to harden for hundreds of years and how cooling ceramics could transform the way we power cities of the future.
Series Finale
Watch How It Works Season 1 Episode 2 - Plastic: How It Works

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s1e2 Plastic: How It Works
April 9, 2012
Professor Mark Miodownik tells the story of plastics - created in the lab, they have brought luxury to the masses and shaped the modern age. He recounts tales of the mavericks responsible for some of plastic's most outrageous failures and heady successes, from the explosive attempts to make a replacement for ivory billiard balls to the ultimately ubiquitous Bakelite. Investigating at atomic level, Mark discovers the extraordinary properties that have allowed plastics to dominate our world and reveals how the next generation of plastics will take its inspiration from nature, creating man-made materials which behave as though they are alive and which could help rebuild the human body.
Watch How It Works Season 1 Episode 1 - Metal: How It Works
s1e1 Metal: How It Works
April 2, 2012
April 2, 2012
Metal: How It Works
Series Premiere
Watch How It Works Season 1 Episode 3 - Ceramics: How They Work
Series Finale

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