The story of uranium is part science, part history and all epic adventure. It’s a journey through place and time, around the most dangerous and wondrous rock on Earth.
Born violently in the collapse of a star long ago, uranium is woven throughout the fabric of Earth. It has properties like no other rock: the element spits energy which can transform DNA, shaping the very nature of what it means to be human. Once considered worthless, this rock has become the most desirable, most expensive and most feared substance in the world. And on a warming planet with limited fossil fuel, uranium may transform once again—into our savior.
Uranium: Twisting the Dragon’s Tail is an action-packed journey to explore this dangerous, wondrous and controversial rock. Join physicist Dr. Derek Muller, creator of YouTube channel Veritasium, as he travels to Russia, Japan, North America, Europe and Australia to explore the vast world of this fascinating element.
Episode 1: The Rock that Became a Bomb
At the turn of the 20th century, uranium was virtually unknown and basically worthless, but in just a single generation, it transformed into the most valuable and terrifying rock on the planet. The discoveries of scientists such as Marie Curie, Ernest Rutherford and Albert Einstein unlock the secrets of the uranium atom, and allow us to peer into the very nature of the universe. Then one clear morning above the city of Hiroshima, uranium unleashed a terrifying power that changed the world forever.
Episode 2: The Rock that Changed the World
In Northern Australia, the indigenous people have ancient stories for the place where uranium is found. They say a great creation spirit sleeps underground, and disturbing this spirit will unleash disaster. This episode goes on a remarkable journey to see how from the ashes of Hiroshima, uranium promised a new age. The same power that destroyed the city will be harnessed to generate limitless energy and treat cancer.
Episode 3: The Rock in Our Future
Uranium saves lives, treats cancer and brings hope to millions. Uranium was also a promise of clean limitless power. Dr. Derek Muller travels to Chernobyl and Fukushima, where uranium became a nightmare. In our energy-hungry,
warming world, uranium both tempts with unbelievable power and threatens all life on Earth.
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