Friday, 17 December 2010

The World's Smallest Periodic Table

This blog is supposed to give some "behind the scenes" insights about my videos.

So today I'm going to give away a little secret about our latest video - The World's Smallest Periodic Table.

First, here is the video itself:

I had the idea for the video a few weeks ago when filming a Sixty Symbols video which used the electron microscope.

During that video, we kept comparing everything to "the width of a human hair".

I guess it wasn't much of a creative leap to think of Professor Martyn Poliakoff's memorable hair and imagine etching a periodic table onto one of the strands.

So here's the little secret!

It was simply coincidence that the microscope was available (ie: not being used for real science) on The Professor's birthday - December 16.

So it was a last-minute decision to centre the video around the birthday.

And so far I feel a bit like the decision has backfired.

That's because most of our YouTube viewers seem more excited about wishing Martyn a happy birthday than commenting on our "world first periodic table (*)".

Serves me right for breaking my own golden rule, which I constantly repeat to the scientists: "A video should only be about ONE thing!"

PS: There is a bonus video of extra footage from the shoot... Here it is:

(*) We are speculating that our periodic table is the world's smallest simply because we've not seen or heard of one smaller. It's not a claim we've verified though and is simply meant to be a bit of fun!


  1. That's a good rule. Maybe you can edit it and over dub it... "here we are 'printing' a tiny periodic table, a world first, onto a human hair"

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