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tv   Chemistry  Al Jazeera  September 13, 2017 6:32am-7:01am AST

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that number rise to three thousand by the end of the week. i mean of the arab league in cairo has descended into a shouting match as ministers from qatar in the four states blockade in the gulf nation traded insults the u.a.e. saudi arabia bahrain and egypt all cut diplomatic ties with qatar one hundred days ago. the prime minister of bangladesh has promised to help arrange a muslims who are fleeing violence in me and shake a scene of visited one of the camps housing refugees in a country bangladesh is struggling to cope with more than three hundred seventy thousand people who fled in the past three weeks the lower house of the philippine congress has approved an annual budget of just twenty dollars for the national human rights commission is twenty seven thousand budget was only fifteen million the rights body has repeatedly criticized president regurgitate his violent crackdown on drug crime thousands of people have been killed by police over the past year the new budget requires one more vote and approval by the senate before it becomes final. well those are the headlines the news continues here on
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al-jazeera a science and a golden age stage and that's a water bottle. we've now reached one hundred days since qatar was placed on the one hundred days of diplomatic social and economic adversity and as the crisis continues we're looking at the battles to influence opinion both on and offline share your views with the hash tag spread from the heart of the story here in doha our gulf crisis special on newsgroups between the eighth and fourteenth centuries there was a golden age of science when scholars from the islamic world introduced the rigorous experimental approach that laid the foundations of the modern scientific method they transformed the superstition of alchemy into the science of chemistry the chemical industry has of course reshaped the modern world giving us new fuel drugs and new materials but the methodology and principles of chemistry go back over a thousand years. and jamal clearly and i have been researching the contributions
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of the scientists of the golden age i'll be tracing back the roots of modern chemistry to the scholars of the earliest slummy quo. this is doha the capital of qatar two decades ago none of this existed all this development has only been possible because of a huge investment of revenue from oil and gas in other words the chemical industry
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. oil is was of a for much that we take for granted in daily life from fuel to plastics to medicines even the tama road i'm driving on the chemical plant over there is processing the gas and crude oil that exists in such abundance in the middle east. with oil in its raw state it is a mixture of many different chemicals and these are separated out through a process called fractional distillation. the crude oil is heated until it becomes a vapor the vapor rises up the distillation towers and separates interest different components as it cools the fractionating tower in a modern oil refinery is a high tech version of a piece of apparatus called an eleven dick used by the golden age scientists as a distillation tool over
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a thousand years ago. one early pioneer of distillation was the ninth century physician and chemist arathi amongst his many writings are the earliest known accounts of using distillation to produce substances like kerosene sulfuric acid and pure alcohol this wasn't for drinking but the use as a medical disinfectant. here in istanbul dr peter star studies the work of the scholars of the golden age has brought with him and still to show me how the early chemists used it for distillation. this one is made of copper and there were others made of of glass or a world glossy yes yes the important thing about a still is that there's a hot and cold and so the hotter and is where the steam is produced it condenses.
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and is received into the receiver here. what we would need would be water. first of all usually distilled water you could use rain water the. and then we'll need whatever we're going to distill for example if you want perfect roses with rose petals up i'm sure the restaurant of mind. and so the water with the rose petals will be heated up here as the steam given off it takes the scent of the rose as it reaches the bit where it condenses back to a liquid and drips down here into this other container who are the people who are carrying out these things the chemistry i think there are two main names which stand out above all the others above all. but also. jobber but high on a particular is very early on in the golden age and he is regarded by many as the first scientist of the golden age and the thing is he doing many of his chemical
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procedures are those which may still be used today. for example. or precipitation distillation. was a polymath who grew up in modern day iraq and vast work covers medicine music chemistry and much more there were thousands of manuscripts attributed to far more than a single man could actually have written believed that many later scholars wrote under his name because he was held in such high regard whatever the truth he's credited with applying an experimental based approach to chemistry. the scholars of the golden age began applying the scientific method to chemistry by which i mean they were conducting experiments in a way that was
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a big leap from the pure philosophical thinking of the greeks but to conduct careful experiments they. operates much of which hadn't even been invented at the time and for chemistry in particular they need to hone their skills at glass blowing and glass making and so i'm going to meet a man who's going to show me just how difficult easy it is to actually carry out that skill. so i want. to start my lee. there are some like sure. we can sure.
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are full of them but it has the i mean. this is judge. one. another i think. if john high and was making l.m. big back in the late eighteenth century he certainly would have been doing it this way the sort of blast they would have used one thousand years ago would have been very different they would've put this and unleaded all the other ingredients into these are vns and just cook them a bake them until they melted so although they did have glass blowing to shape the
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molten glass they didn't have something with such high temperature like this. jetta of gas here. well that's pretty remarkable my own a little bit. of the job i'm high on and those like him performing experiments and perfecting apparatus the work they were doing was very much a mixture of chemistry and alchemy indeed the arabic word for chemistry is kenya from which the word alchemy is derived but where is modern chemistry is a rigorous exact science alchemy is associated with superstition a magic the alchemy main goal was to turn other metals into gold to his followers
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job in high yarn was known as. the mystic because they believed his work was no different from sorcery even today some chemistry can seem like magic. or chemistry student and she's going to help me with some demonstration that i guess could be used as part of a magic show i'm going to turn these callous liquids black simply with the power of my mind. right think it. and it to me. first of all we have to turn off the light. we go. all while.
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it's not hot so this is a chemical reaction this giving of light but no heat and for our final trick. of course for all these reactions we know that there's a chemical explanation for what's going on but what we call chemistry has its roots in the alchemy of the golden age. so. to what extent was there real finance being done in amongst all this myth mysticism and alchemy. jim i don't see a contradiction between science and alchemy. rather i see a synergy but the one feeds on the other quite often and and that you could say about every period great period of scientific breakthroughs you said of the greeks you could surgically parts of a lot of middle ages you could say. well even isaac newton was involved in alchemy
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the classic example of. the early alchemy school excess were turning common less valuable metals into precious gold job of an eye on a particular was obsessed with trying to dissolve metals and that led him to research all different kinds of acids but gold is notoriously difficult to dissolve so i'm going to buy a small amount of it and see if it's possible. i just didn't make. that. had a way that nothing. and then there's another little emily the dozen or so we have. the head for. more. of the next you know sentiment. and i'm loving this
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but you didn't whatever you had in there handcuff you what. i'm going to last when. you go in. and look at the help ok. so we discover. and i think you're right. and so i let. me through my experiment to dissolve this professor hell stuff about. what the hell i need your chemistry expertise here i've got this gold coin and i wonder is it possible to dissolve gold berry very difficult i don't like all noble metals is relatively unreactive but the act of towards acids that anyone. can really do the job which is this one. which means kingly water and it's called can be water because it's the only thing which
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is also called believe that job and first distilled it and it's a mixture actually of two s's nitric acid and hydrochloric acid yes and it's exceptionally corrosive and exceptionally react it sounds nasty it's very very nasty it's vicious so can you demonstrate it for me let's see if it works so we're going to pour into the big i'm going to save your beautiful gold coin since you've travelled so far with it and used this rather more expendable piece of zinc. so off it goes you can see it bubbling away probably wouldn't react as fast as a certain it would dissolve away. and why would people want to do this why would they want to dissolve metals like go because you can purify it or you can. find out by and dissolving and then we perceive. that the math class no there was still the fumes are still coming up i think that. has been dissolved entirely in the liquid. we did leave a small piece of gold in aqua region although this takes
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a lot longer to react but over an hour the gold gradually dissolves. neither of us on our own will dissolve gold but taken together they picked the right. but chemistry wasn't only about alchemy there was a practical side to it as well and many developments in chemistry was driven by islam. cleanliness was a religious requirement in islam for example the washing of the hands face and feet before prayer and this requirement for cleanliness quickly led to the development of whole industry for example the development the so the first solid falls or so
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were found and manufactured in the islamic world. wrote about the difference between. and the word alkali derives from the arabic. which means the ashes of. referring to the original source of substances and of course alkalis are used in so making. a hazmat runs a small business in jordan. age old chemical processes to manufacture so. that a nice thank you. ok. makes by mixing
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olive oil with an alkaline and then adding her. spices. this chemical process is called. after cooling. and then left to dry for two. months or herb. this is. good. for the here not for me too late. during the golden age making was commercialized and the process started to be developed on an industrial scale today
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a bar of soap that remakes in two weeks can be produced in an industrial soap factory in just a few hours. this factories in the united kingdom and jamie benton is in charge of the plant. principally been made in the same way for centuries a mixture of oil and alkaline we've been making so here for one hundred fifty years and one of our king great years is in this big tank that's one hundred tons of caustic soda to react with the oil. on this site they produce about thirty tonnes of soap per day around one hundred thousand tonnes of industrialize soap making on this grand scale needs chemistry on a grand scale. and the critical factor is controlling the chemical reaction mixing carefully measured quantities in temperature controlled reactors so in this reactor we've got. we're adding coconut oil which is the part of the so that actually
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creates the after that we're adding caustic soda. the mixture is constantly monitored as it reacts and about an hour later the reaction is complete as with remus process once it's reacted to the next stage is to draw out the soak. in here is a vacuum spray dryer so the so that's really here we can create a vacuum and suck the water out of the so. backs of dried so pellets are sent from the factory all over the world where they are perfect and shaped into bars of so. has been made in basically the same way for centuries but modern technology like vacuum spray dryers and precisely controlled reactors have sped up the process. chemistry relies on being able
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to weigh and measure accurately and that's something we can trace back to the golden age. one of the reasons we regard the scholars of the golden age as the first true sciences is their obsession with accuracy is the reason why we think of job. as the first true chemists and here's an example of why this beautiful set. scales it was built by a scholar by the name of a higher than in the twelfth century it's called me. and is said to be accurate to one part in sixty thousand if you look very carefully along the army can see very precise graduations giving us the distance from the center and as the cups are hanging from different lengths it's basically the principle of moments as they move out they will pull it down the balance is achieved when the diamond shape in the
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middle is exactly vertical it's very very precise but apart from that it's actually a beautiful work of art as well. in measurement allowed early chemists like java have been hired to be more rigorous in their experiments and their approach to all aspects of chemistry and this included the way he looked at materials grouping and categorizing them categorizing substances enables us to navigate our way around the scientific world just like in this bizarre over here i find. over here like this and after the lights text. and over here ceramics. one job i've been high on did that was different was categorized substances not according to arbitrate factors but according to the way they behaved in experiments
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this was a huge change in what had come before. back in the lab i wanted to find out what hell as a modern chemist thought of jobbers early attempts at categorising and i want to show you this extracts from a manuscript of his so this is translated from arabic into latin into english it says here among all bodies of whatsoever kind we find soul which is gold. to be burned by sulfur to the lease reacted with sulfur to the next to this least burned is jupiter which is there lou no which is silver and he goes on and he ends with and mars which is ion by reason of the only ad geneive sulphur is most easily burned it's all very obscure in fact the word jibberish actually comes from jobbers knowing that if you write something too obscurely it's jibberish it's like job but what he has here seems to me the beginnings of the reactivity series of metals
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listing them in order of how easily they react with sulfur yes how correct was this well there was a couple little inaccuracies in it but he was way ahead of his time because showing reactivity herself is often quite difficult so what i thought we'd do is we're going to compare and contrast of the activities of certain metals with water iron for example which he mentions we all know the i and russ so that's a slow reaction but we're going to compare and contrast a triumvirate of metals and see how fast they react and they are potassium sodium and copper. i thought we'd start with the most reactive this is potassium and it's very soft and malleable and you can easily cut it with a knife so three to one. and zero larry and press the lie look flame. and popping around because. we're going to move on to our next method sodium sodium chloride is common sauce
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that sodium has got very very different properties it's again a metal you can cut with a knife three to one in against this buzzing around. it's going to melt because of the heat of the reaction. of what's been a bottle lasting longer in the world not reacting so quickly. after paris and just eliminate all the variables this is copper and if we don't need that now we don't need this because couples do absolutely nothing it's very unreal active and that's why the coins in your pocket don't catch fire if you put in the washing machine working to get them wet and so this order of just how reactive metals are i mean by modern standards of chemistry jobber been hay on didn't get it quite right he had metals in the wrong order in that series but how impressive was that given that we're talking you know over
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a thousand years ago it's exception impressive because he didn't know what he was looking for he didn't know what to expect we know these things because we look at the periodic table so you would call that chemistry not alchemy i think it's definitely chemistry. job of a hay and was starting to apply the scientific method deriving his conclusions from experiments and later chemists like al-kindi and razi also basing their work on careful experiments and observations and the way we do chemistry today organizing and altering the elements and looking for trends. in their properties well just like the reactivity series that's what job or first started to do. next time we traveled to some of the most cutting edge medical facilities in the middle east today that i did you know him and you know west sequence in kenya now we can think was the human genome within six to ten day. we look back at how one scholar from the golden age challenge to accepted ideas to explain the human heart this is the
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primary circulation that is the scope of it's now obvious but it was back. and see how texts from the islamic world was so influential in medical science across the globe a century this science tend to be a good subject to bring different people from all over the world together. in the next episode of science in a golden age i'll be exploring the contributions made by scholars during the medieval islamic period in the field of medicine. science tend to be a good subject to bring different people from all over the world together. to such like a magical and the more i learn about the more i respect science in a golden age with professor jim miller at this time. if you turn
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your back on the far. this would be collateral damage. at the mark. this would be an overreaction. at the operational costs. as you know clarity by contrast. a clan the stein world of illegal trade what you have here is not just archaeological objects you're talking about a political dimension where the spoils of war are smuggled and sold to walk in houses and private collectors are selling an artifact is where finances the beheadings of muslims in the middle east don't settle down that's one quick solution trafficking at this time on al jazeera.
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how desperate the power are you know that you've effectively done a deal with the devil frank blunt and up front about iran you know very cleverly deflect away from with matthew hutson at this time on al jazeera do you see the double standard. facing a new round of un sanctions a defiant north korea threatens a strong response was of great pain for the u.s. . alone down in jordan this is al jazeera live from doha also coming up.

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