This year the University of Nottingham’s Periodic Videos have posted their 500th video – a collection of some of the best moments from this unexpected internet sensation.
If you haven’t heard of the Periodic Table of Videos, you’re missing out. Five years ago, the team aimed at making a video for each element of the periodic table, highlighting their history, uses and any interesting facts about each one. They’re interesting to any lover of chemistry or science in general – adults and children alike. Even so, no one expected them to prove so popular – the channel has now hit over 350,000 subscribers from around the globe.
The channel took off to such an extent that the videos have now been extended, with videos about current events and news in the science community, significant molecules and compounds in the world right now, and many of the elements are having new videos made about them. As the videos became more popular, funding was increased and many of the videos now involve trips to far off destinations such as Sydney’s Bondai Beach and and the base camp of Mount Everest.
Much of the success may be attributed to the popularity of the videos’ main personality – Professor Martyn Poliakoff. Viewers love both his ‘mad scientist’ appearance and his genuine passion for chemistry, and we’ve even had visitors flying over from abroad to visit him in person. Other members of our academic staff feature in the videos as well, giving their expert insight into elements that interest them and getting involved with the demonstrations – including my own supervisor, Dr Deborah Kays.
If you’re interested in the elements, I strongly suggest you take a peek. There’s plenty of everyone – with fun, flashes and bangs, and maybe a bit of education along the way. We all thoroughly enjoy watching them here at the university, and I’m sure you will too!