The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements is an exciting series about one of the great adventures in the history of science: the long and continuing quest to understand what the world is made of. Three episodes tell the story of seven of history’s most important scientists as they seek to identify, understand and organize the basic building blocks of matter. Rhode Island PBS presents The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements on Mondays at 9 beginning September 21 (September 28 and October 5).
The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements shows us not only what these scientific explorers discovered but also how, using actors to reveal the creative process through the scientists’ own words and conveying their landmark discoveries through re-enactments shot with replicas of their original lab equipment. Knitting these strands together is host Michael Emerson, a two-time Emmy Award-winning actor.
Meet Joseph Priestley and Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, whose discovery of oxygen led to the modern science of chemistry, and Humphry Davy, who made electricity a powerful new tool in the search for elements. Watch Dmitri Mendeleev invent the Periodic Table, and see Marie Curie’s groundbreaking research on radioactivity crack open a window into the atom. Learn how Henry (Harry) Moseley’s investigation of atomic number redefined the Periodic Table, and how Glenn Seaborg’s discovery of plutonium opened up a whole new realm of elements still being explored today.
The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements brings the history of science to life for today’s television audience.
About the Episodes
Episode 2: Unruly Elements (1859-1902) Over a single weekend in 1869, a young Russian chemistry professor named Dmitri Mendeleev invents the Periodic Table, bringing order to the growing gaggle of elements. But this sense of order is shattered when a Polish graduate student named Marie Sklodowska Curie discovers radioactivity, revealing that elements can change identities — and that atoms must have undiscovered parts inside them.