Macs in Chemistry

Insanely Great Science

The Modern Alchemist

I’ve been watching the Royal Institution Christmas lectures with my family, and ever they are brilliantly presented exploration of an area of science. This year it is the turn of Peter Wothers “The Modern Alchemist” to explain about the chemicals in the air we breath and the water we drink. Hopefully inspiring the next generation of scientists and hopefully convincing people that “chemicals” far from being man-made toxins are in fact essential for all human life.

If you have ever wanted to know what the reaction of caesium with fluorine is like then have a look at lecture two.

The lectures are televised on BBC 4 and are available on iPlayer

Further behind the scenes clips and more information is available on the Royal Institution website

The two most reactive elements in the Periodic Table. In preparation for the 2012 Christmas Lectures Dr Peter Wothers heads off to the University of Leicester to conduct an extraordinary experiment - reacting the most reactive metal in the periodic table (Caesium) with the most reactive non-metal (Fluorine). Due to the extreme reactivity of the two elements, Fluorine expert Professor Eric Hope is on hand to enable the experiment to be conducted safely in a unique set of apparatus. We believe this is the first time the reaction has been caught on camera.

http://www.richannel.org/christmas-lectures/2012/peter-wothers#/the-modern-alchemist-reacting-fluorine-with-caesium