• Video
  • 5 mins
  • Level 1: Introductory

Rough Science 6 Colorado: Video extras: Mine

Updated Tuesday 29th November 2005

Watch Hermione in this exclusive video extra as she collects radioactive rock and use it to test her cloud chamber, as part of the sixth BBC/OU TV series Rough Science, based in Colorado

Video

The video will play automatically once enough is loaded, please be patient. You'll need the free Quicktime Player (version 5 or later) to watch this video extra.

Text

Hermione Cockburn: So I’ve just come down to the mountain south of where we are, just on the eastern edge of the Colorado Plateau, and this whole area has a long history of uranium mining. And I think what they were mining was a uranium mineral called carnotite, which is characteristically bright yellow. And interestingly, the very first uranium used for the atomic bomb, the development of basically the cold war nuclear arms race, came from this whole area.

So in these kind of little crevices what I’m hoping to find ... Uhhh! Look at that. Can you see this bright yellow sort of precipitate here? And what happens is that hot hydrothermal fluids, that’s basically hot mineralised ground water, circulates through the sandstones concentrating, leeching out and concentrating uranium in these secondary minerals just like this. So this should serve as a brilliant natural source for our cloud chamber to test it.

Kate Humble: Now then, good morning.

Hermione: Morning.

Kate: Is this is?

Hermione: This is it.

Kate: Let’s have a look at this. Oh is this what you found yesterday?

Hermione: Yes. So this bright yellow, just this, the bright yellow crust on the rock ...

Kate: Yes.

Hermione: ... that’s the uranium mineral

Kate: Right.

Hermione: I picked out yesterday, so this is the true test.

Kate: Okay. Now you’re confident that that definitely is a uranium mineral that is definitely radioactive?

Hermione: Yes.

Kate: Well this is going to tell us. If it works, if it can work with a natural source.

Hermione: Okay, there you go.

Kate: Let’s see, so you put the alcohol in.

Hermione: The alcohol’s in, it’s on the dry ice.

Kate: Yep.

Hermione: Just might take a minute or so to set up the temperature gradient and start the activity.

Kate: Oh no, no, no, look! Look! It’s instant! It’s working.

Hermione: There you see. Just radiating out from the yellow crust there.

Kate: Wow!! Hermione Cockburn, you have a success on your hands!

Hermione: So I now reckon I can distinguish between any radioactive source and any non-radioactive source.

 

 

For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?

Other content you may like

Rough Science 6 Colorado: Video extras: Mountain Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team video icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Rough Science 6 Colorado: Video extras: Mountain

Follow Hermione and Kate in this exclusive video extra, as they search for volcanic rock, as part of the sixth BBC/OU TV series Rough Science, based in Colorado

Video
5 mins
Rough Science 6 Colorado: Video extras: Safety Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team video icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Rough Science 6 Colorado: Video extras: Safety

Follow Hermione in this exclusive video extra as she collects and works with limestone, as part of the sixth BBC/OU TV series Rough Science, based in Colorado

Video
5 mins
Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity - Revelations and Revolutions Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity - Revelations and Revolutions

The final episode of Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity tells the story of how a new age of real understanding dawned.

Article
Rough Science 4 Death Valley: Mike Bullivant's diary: Rover Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Rough Science 4 Death Valley: Mike Bullivant's diary: Rover

Charcoal and pumping under extreme conditions - Mike Bullivant is back facing some Rough Science.

Article
Life: The making of Life: Life's rich tapestry Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Life: The making of Life: Life's rich tapestry

Mike Gunton, Executive Producer of the BBC/OU series Life, shares his experiences of filming in the Antarctic

Article
OU on the BBC: Inside The Medieval Mind - Sex Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: photos.com article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OU on the BBC: Inside The Medieval Mind - Sex

Unearth remarkable evidence of the complex passions of medieval men and women in the medieval world, as Robert Bartlett explores Sex.

Article
OU on the BBC: Inside the Commons - Episode 2 Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OU on the BBC: Inside the Commons - Episode 2

Michael Cockerell explores the ‘Upstairs-Downstairs’ world of the House of Commons in the second episode of Inside the Commons. 

Article
Theo's Adventure Capitalists: Six Months On Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The Open University article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Theo's Adventure Capitalists: Six Months On

How did our companies get on? Six months after their meetings with Theo, we catch up with the exporters.

Article
OU Lecture 2009: Developing natural selection Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: OU image library video icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OU Lecture 2009: Developing natural selection

Professor Richard Dawkins discusses Darwin’s peers and the development of the theory of Natural Selection.

Video
10 mins