There are nearly 100 chemical elements that make up everything around us. But how are they arranged into solid molecular forms? Answers begin over 150 years ago, with a political hothead Frenchman who developed a type of mathematics called group theory and then got himself killed in a duel. His new math, which seemed useless initially, gives us new ways to look at shapes in space and is of fundamental importance in the development of methods for the determination of molecular structures, many of which, DNA for example, have profound significance for us today. Join Larry Brehm, physics professor at SUNY Potsdam, as he sheds light on this fascinating chapter of science history and its far-reaching, present-day consequences.
Produced by Kim Villemaire.