It's hosted by popular New York Times technology columnist David Pogue, with an entertaining mixture of wonder and humor. The first installment, "Making Stuff Stronger," looks at what defines strength. Among the materials explored: steel, Kevlar, carbon nanotubes, bioengineered silk, mollusk shells, a toucan's beak.
Pogue travels from the deck of a U.S. naval aircraft carrier to a demolition derby to the country's top research labs to check in with experts who are re-engineering what nature has given us to create the next generation of strong stuff.The one-hour show was written, directed and produced by Chris Schmidt.
* Making Stuff: Smaller
Future technologies will depend on tiny stuff—from silicon chips to micro-robots that probe the human body. (Premiering January 26 on PBS)
* Making Stuff: Cleaner
Can innovative materials help solve the energy crisis and lead to a sustainable future? (Premiering February 2 on PBS)
* Making Stuff: Smarter
Explore a new generation of ingenious materials, from clothes that monitor your mood to real-life invisibility cloaks. (Premiering February 9 on PBS)
What will the future bring, and what will it be made of? From the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age to more recent periods dominated by plastics and silicon, materials have defined the progression of humankind. Now we are once again poised on the verge of a materials revolution, as researchers around the globe push the boundaries further than ever before, using biology and chemistry to imbue materials with new qualities that are expanding our technological frontiers.You can watch the fascinating series here.
Meanwhile, here's the first episode, in seven "chapters":
"Making Stuff" is produced in cooperation with the Materials Research Society (MRS), an international organization of nearly 16,000 materials researchers from academia, industry, and government.