Film: 379

Science | 1950 | Sound | B/W

Synopsis:

Part I: The growth of man's ideas about electricity.
Shots of a lightning storm and wind whipping through the woods. St Elmo's Fire in ship's rigging. A night sky and the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, over snow covered pine trees. First electricity experiments by Thaddesus in Greece. He rubs a piece of amber against some animal fur and uses the electricity created to pick up pieces of wool fluff with the amber. Ducas, another pioneer of electricity, dressed in 18th century costume does a similar experiment with a glass rod and a stone. More shots of a stormy night sky. Benjamin Franklin and friends are in a stable watching the kite - key - lightning experiment. Close up of key sparking. Diagram of negative and positive charges. An Italian experiment using a dead frog's legs and a charged knife to put a current through the dead frog's legs to make them move. Conducting electricity with water, zinc and copper to move a gold leaf. Invention of first electric battery. Magnetism of north on a compass. Faraday and his induction loop. Interior of power station. Exterior of a power station.
Part II: Man's ideas about electricity today:
Battersea Power station from Chelsea Bridge. A laundry van (Darleydale Laundry Ltd) passes in the foreground. Two young men look in a shop window filled with electrical goods including a television, lights, lamps, vacuum cleaners, heaters. Power pylons in the countryside. Close up of power pylon. Close up of sign reading: Danger, 132,000 volt lines. Table of elements with silhouette of scales. Full periodic table of elements. Close up on hydrogen. Balloon filled with hydrogen. Uranium rod, comparison of atomic complexity of different elements. Silver and close up of lump of silver. Diagram of groups of atoms with electrons spinning round the outside. Animation showing paths of negative electrons round positive nucleus. Shot of hydrogen balloon, diagram of composition of atomic structure. Shot of uranium bar, diagram of atomic structure. Close up of end of copper cable, diagram of atomic structure. Hydrogen, copper and uranium atomic structure diagrams are compared showing increasing complexity of structure. Diagram representing atoms in copper, free moving electrons and effect of moving currents. Torch battery close up. Interior of power station showing turbines. Diagram of electric current. Diagram of a complete circuit with a battery, copper wires (conductors) and a light. Explanation of what happens when an atom looses a negative electron and it becomes positive by use of a diagram. Shot of shop window again.


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