Uranium Twisting the Dragons Tail

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Host and physicist Dr. Derek Muller unlocks the mysteries of uranium, one of the Earth's most controversial elements. Born from the collapse of a star, uranium has brought hope, progress, and destruction. It has revolutionized society, from medicine to warfare. It is an element that has profoundly shaped the past, will change the future, and will exist long after humans have left the Earth.

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About the Show

Legend says that there is a world beneath this one. Some say that it is there where "the Dragon" sleeps. Warm, coiled, ready to spring - the Dragon is rumored to breathe fire, her wings capable of enveloping the Earth.
 Many are advised to be careful to not wake the Dragon.

Join us on an epic adventure - a journey through place and time - around the cultural, scientific, and natural history of the most wondrous, and terrifying, rock on Earth: Uranium.

Uranium was created violently, with the collapse of a star long ago. A massive explosion, a supernova - this was the birth of our solar system. Uranium is woven throughout the fabric of our Earth, and it still crackles with the heat and violence of that creation.

Uranium spits energy unlike any other rock. Its energy transforms DNA and shapes the very nature of what it means to be human. You are who you are because of Uranium.

Uranium is a changeling. Leave a lump of it alone, and when you return, it will have turned into something else — all by itself. Uranium is a shape-shifter that transforms itself into new forms: a goblin rock that plays tricks, the greatest of which is to transform itself into a force in politics, culture, economics, and terror. This rock, considered worthless, transforms itself into the most desirable, the most expensive and the most feared substance on Earth. In a warming world, Uranium may yet transform again into our savior as a source of clean, limitless power. Be careful how you wake the Dragon.

Our program is a journey with host and physicist, Dr. Derek Muller. Muller addresses counter-intuitive concepts in science, and he’s been featured in Scientific American, Wired, Mashable, Gizmodo, and i09. He has a historian’s passion for detail, a physicist’s knowledge, and talent for finding great stories. He’s packed a suit, a tie, and hiking boots. He’ll need both for where he’s going - down mine-shafts, across arid deserts, into quiet libraries, up ivy-covered towers, and through the vast silence of a city abandoned after the world’s worst nuclear accident.

This is the extraordinary, untold story of Uranium.

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