Page last updated at 15:27 GMT, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 16:27 UK

Elements brought to life online

Periodic Table of Videos (University of Nottingham)
Users can click on the links to see video demonstrations

The chemical elements are being brought to life online in a series of YouTube videos filmed at a UK university.

The project by a team in Nottingham is designed to stimulate interest in chemistry and comprises videos illustrating each of the 118 elements.

They feature a variety of experiments, some of which are too dangerous to be performed in classrooms.

The team behind the new guide to the periodic table said it should be complete by the end of July.

In the videos, scientists also recall personal anecdotes and amazing facts about each element in the table, from hydrogen (1) to Ununoctium (118).

Among the professors taking part is Martyn Poliakoff, the brother of playwright and film director Stephen.

Filming began only a few weeks ago, but in the last few days it has been promoted on YouTube, resulting in a surge of viewers to the site. The website has already received more than 100,000 page hits.

Professor Poliakoff said: "I never imagined this level of success so quickly¿ it has been fantastic.

"In the space of a few hours I lectured to more people than I had in my entire life."

The videos are being filmed and directed by BBC video journalist Brady Haran.

Mr Haran said: "I've only got about 30 more videos to go, but now feel under pressure to get them finished.

"The last ones will probably be online in the next few days."

The website features a hyperlinked table of elements allowing users to click through to a video illustrating the one they want to learn about.

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