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Elements: Boron

June 11th, 2015

Episode 282 of 642 episodes

Boron is the mineral from the Wild West that stops glass from shattering and stops bullets in their tracks. Presenter Laurence Knight visits the Dixon Glass works to see why borosilicate glass is perfect for making chemistry equipment and much of the glassware we use in our day-to-day lives. Professor Andrea Sella demonstrates how this element puts the flub into flubber. Colin Roberson, founder of body armour firm Advanced Defence Materials, explains why being shot is like standing at the bottom of a volcano. And the BBC's Kim Gittleson travels to the deserts of California where the modern-day story of boron first began. (Photo: A sign for Pioneer Park Boron mine)