Film: 3861

Science | 1970 | Sound | Colour


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The film utilises the personal notebooks of the founder of Electrochemistry, Humphrey Davy.

Opens in the West Country with scenes of the Cornwall coastline and its majestic cliffs. The film discusses the discoveries that resulted from the mine workings and the waste that resulted therefrom which were laden with chemicals. The power of nature is compared with man's efforts to extract flood water from mine shafts beneath the seabed with remains of pump houses which were driven by steam. 1800 saw advances in electricity and how research in this area led to electrochemistry. Apparatus consisting of a rotating glass cylinder to cause friction against rubber to produce 'a charge'. Test with two different metal plates paced in impure water containers connected together with a wire produces a current. Early form of battery demonstrated. Various tests are shown, these were prevalent at the time with other scientist, from there electrolysis was discovered. Day's experiments with potash and soda are detailed using his apparatus which still exists. The sodium test and potassium test, show how these elements react with water. A film that reveals how chemical compounds yielded their secrets in the past and how nature was harnessed for the benefit of mankind.

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