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00:35:00
Thrown from supernovae, silicon is the eighth most abundant element in the universe and second only to oxygen in the Earth���s crust, which is primarily comprised of silicate compounds, including silica (SiO2), or quartz, commonly found in sand. Silica is absorbed by plants and transformed into intricate glass shells by radiolarians and other microscopic marine creatures. Humans, for their part, have worked silica into glass, ceramics, and devices such as phonograph pickups and crystal oscillators for clocks.

00:24:00
Thrown from supernovae, silicon is the eighth most abundant element in the universe and second only to oxygen in the Earth���s crust, which is primarily comprised of silicate compounds, including silica (SiO2), or quartz, commonly found in sand. Silica is absorbed by plants and transformed into intricate glass shells by radiolarians and other microscopic marine creatures. Humans, for their part, have worked silica into glass, ceramics, and devices such as phonograph pickups and crystal oscillators for clocks. Join Exploratorium exhibit developer, Denise King, as she explores the magic of biogenic silica.

00:20:07
Neon is normally odorless and colorless, reacting with no one, not even itself. Abundant in the universe, uncommon on Earth, it drifts aloof from any bond. When isolated by Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers inside a vacuum tube in 1898, the noble gas betrayed its excitement in brilliant red. That excitement, glowing within Georges Claude���s ingeniously curved lamps since 1923, has captured our imaginations ever since.

00:23:05
At the center of each chlorophyll molecule sits one magnesium ion, a linchpin for photosynthesis. Our cells require magnesium for hundreds of enzymes and metabolic processes. Spawned from supernovae and scattered through interstellar dust, this life-giving alkaline earth metal readily reacts and is abundant in seawater and a host of minerals from dolomite to olivine.

00:38:13
Essential, explosive sodium is a soft, silvery alkali metal that roils in water, releasing clouds of hydrogen gas that fan its yellow flames. It reacts with most elements, and is naturally found only in compounds, such as sodium chloride, or common salt. Ancient Egyptians knew sodium from natron, a mix of salts prized for cleaning, personal hygiene, and preservation, particularly in mummification. Humphry Davy first isolated the element from caustic soda in 1807, naming it sodium; Jakob Berzelius preferred natrium, hence its symbol (Na). As a metal, liquid sodium cools nuclear reactors, and sodium-vapor lamps bathe streets at night in yellow, monochromatic light.

00:20:24
Learn how the mix of saltwater and freshwater in the San Francisco Bay affects its diverse ecosystems with John Largier, professor of coastal oceanography at the University of California, Davis.

00:32:10
Neon is normally odorless and colorless, reacting with no one, not even itself. Abundant in the universe, uncommon on Earth, it drifts aloof from any bond. When isolated by Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers inside a vacuum tube in 1898, the noble gas betrayed its excitement in brilliant red. That excitement, glowing within Georges Claude���s ingeniously curved lamps since 1923, has captured our imaginations ever since.

00:27:47
Recorded live at the Exploratorium 2015. Earth, water, air, fire: our world is ruled by oxygen, the third most abundant element in the universe. Originating inside of stars, oxygen is scarce on planets outside our own. It comprises roughly half the mass of Earth���s crust and a fifth of its atmosphere. Nonmetallic and highly reactive, oxygen is key to combustion and corrosion, and forms stable bonds with almost every element, notably hydrogen (H2O) and itself.

00:14:27
Recorded live at the Exploratorium in 2015. Earth���s oxygen is produced in equal measure by terrestrial vegetation and microscopic life in the sea. Explore the profound influence of phytoplankton on the atmosphere with Exploratorium scientist Jennifer Frazier, and learn how their populations are changing along with our climate. Investigate oxygen���s physical properties and follow the history of its discovery, as well as its more breathtaking applications.

00:30:00
Follow the trail of this intriguing element through ceramics, cleaning agents, fireworks, nuclear reactors, and nanotubes. Get a primer on quantum mechanics, play with slime, and see live flameworking with Russell Taylor of Public Glass.