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Explosions: How We Shook the World

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Engineer Jem Stansfield is used to creating explosions, but in this programme he uncovers the story of how we have learnt to control them and harness their power for our own means.

From recreating a rather dramatic ancient Chinese alchemy accident to splitting an atom in his own home-built replica of a 1930s piece of equipment, Jem reveals how explosives work and how we have used their power throughout history. He goes underground to show how gunpowder was used in the mines of Cornwall, recreates the first test of guncotton in a quarry with dramatic results and visits a modern high explosives factory with a noble history.

Ground-breaking high speed photography makes for some startling revelations at every step of the way. Show less

Contributors

Presenter:
Jem Stansfield
Producer:
Alex Freeman
Director:
Alex Freeman
Producer:
Ed Booth
Executive Producer:
Tina Fletcher

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