The Periodic Table of Videos (usually shortened to Periodic Videos) is
a series of videos about chemical elements and the periodic table.
They are published on
YouTube and produced by Brady Haran, a former
BBC video journalist, featuring Sir
Martyn Poliakoff ("The
Professor"), Peter Licence, Stephen Liddle, Debbie Kays, Neil Barnes,
Sam Tang and others at the University of Nottingham.
6 Further reading
7 External links
The project began recording on 9 June 2008 and the initial videos were
completed on 17 July 2008. The collection includes videos, each
just a few minutes long, for all 118 known elements with a video for
each element, as well as many additional supplemental chemistry
videos. The 118 element videos and introduction videos were all shot
unscripted in June and July 2008.
Since the initial videos were completed in 2008 the team has been
refining and uploading revised versions of the videos with new video
and in higher resolutions. A key example of this revising is with
the xenon video that was redone in honour of professor Neil Bartlett
who died on 5 August 2008; Bartlett prepared one of the first xenon
compounds, xenon hexafluoroplatinate.
Poliakoff is the most visible presenter on the videos and his hair,
Einstein or a mad scientist, is frequently commented
upon in the videos. The combination of the professor's hair and
amusing experiments has made these videos quite popular. Although
uncertain what to think about the attention given to his hair,
Professor Poliakoff is excited with the success of the videos, stating
"With a few hours of work, I have lectured to more students than I
have reached in my entire career." The
YouTube channel as of
December 2017, has over 1 million subscribers and the videos have
surpassed 170 million views. The
YouTube channel is now one of
the most popular chemistry related channels on all of YouTube. The
producers of the videos have received praise from Nobel Laureates,
chemistry professors, and the general public, says Professor
Poliakoff. Chemistry Nobel Laureate
Roald Hoffmann has even offered
his praise of the videos, stating they "are like the best reality show
I've ever seen—the universe revealing itself, element by
The videos feature various experiments and demonstrations of the
elements, some too dangerous to be performed in a classroom.
Though the presenters take appropriate precautions when doing such
experiments and provide adequate warnings, some scientists have
criticized the dangerous experiments fearing people might try them at
home and get hurt. The intent of the videos is to bring chemistry
to a new generation of students and to get them enthused about science
and understand how chemists think and what chemists are trying to
do. Many school teachers now incorporate these videos into their
classes, and the professor has even recorded video responses to
some of the students' questions. Some of the most popular videos
are those of sodium, potassium, and uranium.
The Periodic Table of Videos team has had two live performances to
date, the first in May 2009 at the
Broadway Media Centre
Broadway Media Centre in
Nottingham, and most recently in July 2010 at the
Forum (ESOF) in Turin, Italy.
A grant from the
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council of
£25,249 was awarded on 19 January, 2010 to extend the video library
to include topical videos on molecules of general interest. The
first of these new videos were on carbon dioxide and methane.
The Periodic Table of Videos has filmed at least one video for each of
the 118 elements (from hydrogen to oganesson). They have also
filmed several videos that discuss molecules such as D2O (heavy
water) and sulfuric acid. Also filmed are "Chem definitions"
that provide an explanation to words that are used in chemistry.
Lastly, the team has filmed "Roadtrips" where they travel to different
places in the world that have an importance in chemistry (such as the
mine outside Ytterby, Sweden, which had four elements —
yttrium, terbium, erbium, and ytterbium — named after it.)
^ @periodicvideos (2 Dec 2017). "A million subscribers on
thanks everyone… Plenty more good stuff to come" (Tweet) – via
^ Jonathan M. Gitlin (July 16, 2008). "Periodic Table brought to
life". Ars Technica. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
^ a b c d
Brady Haran (producer) (31 May 2010). The Professor talks
about The Periodic Table of Videos. United Kingdom: The Periodic Table
of Videos. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k Ritter, Stephen (September 15, 2008).
"Elements Achieve Internet Stardom". Chemical & Engineering News.
American Chemical Society. 86 (37): 42–43. Retrieved July 17,
^ "Periodic Table of Videos Channel". Retrieved 17 July 2010.
^ a b c It's elementary, my dear Poliakoff!. Engineering and Physical
Sciences Research Council. June 4, 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
^ Staff (15 July 2008). "Elements brought to life online".
Retrieved 17 July 2010.
^ a b Web Wizard. CBS News. 20 December 2009. Retrieved 17 July
^ a b Matthew Moore (15 Jul 2008). "
YouTube periodic table: Explosive
video guides". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
Brady Haran (producer) (3 August 2009). Questions for The Professor
– Periodic Table of Videos. United Kingdom: The Periodic Table of
Videos. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
^ "The Periodic Table of Videos: MolVids Grant". Engineering and
Physical Sciences Research Council. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
^ Read below the periodic table "Tables charting the chemical elements
have been around since the 19th century – but this modern version
has a short video about each one. We've done all 118 – but our job's
not finished. Now we're updating all the videos with new stories,
better samples and bigger experiments. Plus we're making films about
other areas of chemistry, latest news and occasional adventures away
from the lab. We've also started a new series – The Molecular Videos
– featuring our favourite molecules and compounds. All these videos
are created by video journalist Brady Haran, featuring real working
chemists from the University of Nottingham."
Heavy water video
Sulfuric acid video
Haran, Brady; Poliakoff, Martyn (21 February 2011). "How to measure
the impact of chemistry on the small screen". Nature Chemistry. 3 (3):
180–182. Bibcode:2011NatCh...3..180H. doi:10.1038/nchem.990.
PMID 21336314. (subscription required)
Haran, Brady; Poliakoff, Martyn (27 May 2011). "The Periodic Table of
Videos". Science. 332 (6033): 1046–7. Bibcode:2011Sci...332.1046H.
doi:10.1126/science.1196980. PMID 21617067.
The Periodic Table of Videos
Periodic Videos' channel on YouTube
Test Tube Project
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