Aluminium (or Aluminum) - Periodic Table of Videos

  • Published on May 11, 2014
  • All about Element 13, whatever you want to call it!
    Slow motion:
    A bit extra from this interview:
    Copper Chloride:
    Featuring Professor Martyn Poliakoff.
    More chemistry at
    Follow us on Facebook at periodicvideos
    And on Twitter at periodicvideos
    From the School of Chemistry at The University of Nottingham:
    Periodic Videos films are by video journalist Brady Haran:
    A run-down of Brady's channels:
  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 239

  • Phyde4ux
    Phyde4ux Year ago

    I'm curious, is that clear aluminium tube electrically conductive, or is it an insulator like glass?

  • Skibbedy Pap Pow
    Skibbedy Pap Pow Year ago

    His voice makes me sleepy

  • Lau Bjerno
    Lau Bjerno 2 years ago +1

    Why not just call it »Alu«, and everyone can be happy?

  • Jewie Snew
    Jewie Snew 2 years ago

    my favorite metal

  • Bryan Gill
    Bryan Gill 2 years ago +1

    Thanks Professor this is great for all ages!

  • albertusj
    albertusj 3 years ago +10

    nature has time... lovely saying

  • GroovingPict
    GroovingPict 3 years ago +71

    if it's so damn important to have a standard nomenclature all over the world, why do English speaking chemists say sodium instead of natrium?

  • Fatherbrain
    Fatherbrain 3 years ago +35

    It's hilarious how worked up over the pronunciation of "aluminum" Brits get, yet none of the Americans care at all.

  • John borg
    John borg 3 years ago +30

    I agree with you professor aluminium sounds better the way to stupid Yankees pronounce it

  • DrG0nz071
    DrG0nz071 3 years ago +5

    My degree is in biology (which requires significant study in chemistry), and all my professors referred to it as aluminUM. The first time I heard someone say aluminIUM I must have been in my 30's, and I felt I had to hold my tongue out of politeness because the poor idiot didn't even know how to pronounce such a common word correctly.

  • TheVidWatcher223
    TheVidWatcher223 4 years ago +1

    aluminum dose not glow red/Orange when hot/molten. Just saying

  • Logan Noonan
    Logan Noonan 4 years ago +51

    stop hatin on americans

  • Petr Peller
    Petr Peller 4 years ago +4


  • thebestofall007
    thebestofall007 4 years ago +1

    @8:00: you would do better if you used sunlight for your reaction to make it more efficient, unless you needed a constant 24/7 source of light.

  • Johannes A
    Johannes A 4 years ago +2

    In most languages it's called something like "aluminium", so it makes more sense to use that term. (German, Danish, French: "Aluminium"; Spanish, Portuguese, Italian: Al(l)uminio; Russian, Ukrainian: Aljuminij)
    So.. British people shouldn't think it's just another stupid American thing, it's actually a stupid British thing. ;)
    (Not meaning to call anyone stupid here, you know what i mean)

  • BingtheLizard
    BingtheLizard 4 years ago +149

    ... Sodum


  • terminator6267
    terminator6267 4 years ago +62

    Potato, Potahto.....
    Big deal. Same thing.

  • Daymein Vines
    Daymein Vines 4 years ago +210


  • j7ndominica0
    j7ndominica0 4 years ago +6

    When I was a child I stole several containers of aluminium powder that was intended for metallic paint. I burned it all because I was puzzled how is it that the same material that saucepans are made out of can burn, and the cooking ware doesn't, when placed upon a hot gas flame. I didn't get any answers until years later. lol

  • Nishant Shenoy
    Nishant Shenoy 4 years ago +19

    I love his ties

  • Jonathan Stiles
    Jonathan Stiles 4 years ago +4

    @Periodic Videos The person who discovered aluminium/aluminum was Danish, which is a European ethnicity. If I'm not mistaken, European English tends to spell such words in the British style, so I think Aluminium is more correct.

  • Ausaini17
    Ausaini17 4 years ago +9

    So I'm not sure if a lot of people know this, but Americans kept the original spelling, pronunciation and usage of a lot of the words we commonly use. It would only be later that there would be differences between Standard(-ish) English and American English. I've heard ( though it's impossible to confirm 100%) that the American Southern accent is similar to the older British accent. Basically, what I mean to say is it doesn't matter. The fact you're comparing the two means you know they're a relationship between the two, enough so that they're talked about in the same exact context. So stop it.

  • Alec Brady
    Alec Brady 4 years ago +9

    His periodic table is titled in Catalan! I guess he must have been to a conference in Barcelona.

  • yoppindia
    yoppindia 4 years ago

    How toxic is Aluminium? particularly wrt to aluminum foils and vessels used for cooking?

  • Ben Ng
    Ben Ng 4 years ago

    Nice hairstyle!

  • Dan Gurebitch
    Dan Gurebitch 4 years ago +190

    the correct way to say it is "levi-O-sa"

  • Exploding Crow
    Exploding Crow 5 years ago

    the differences in pronunciation between america and england (or europe) has caught me off guard before. a british youtuber pronounced controversy ( CONtroversy in america) as conTROVersy, and for a while i had no idea what he was saying.
    aside from the barely related discussion on pronunciation, i really wish you guys (periodic tables) would go more indepth on 'exotic' metals. there was a video on osmium and not much was said other than "it exists and is used in stuff". what's interesting about the metal? how does it compare to other metals? does it create any weird reactions? what i'm starting to get is that chemists tend to focus on elements they know they can do stuff with, which makes no sense to me but i'm not a chemist so what do i know. i just think it would be terribly tragic if some life saving and easily made compound was made out of one of these elements that could have been developed years ago but wasn't because no one had any interest in the elements used. there are a lot of different combination i know and it would be impossible to map out every single possible reaction and mixture possible but i always thought to point of experimentation was to discover the unknown. or maybe people HAVE experimented on these metals a ton and they really are that boring. i don't know

  • Fletcher DeMaine
    Fletcher DeMaine 5 years ago +2

    Here's another: Do you say "capacitator" and sound like you have education; or say "capacitor" and sound like an imbecile.

  • 911gp
    911gp 5 years ago +70

    From my European point of view, this debate (or troll) between Aluminum and Aluminium is as stupid as the one between Imperial and Metric units.
    Metric units are the correct one tu use.

    (oh no I have accidentally started another troll on units. lol)

  • Tangobaldy
    Tangobaldy 5 years ago +5

    TheXvid is famtastic. Your videos are great. I so wish i had this media when i was at school. Im learning so easily how. I dont even do chemistry.

  • Tadas Bružikas
    Tadas Bružikas 5 years ago

    Dear Prof. Martyn,
    I would like to ask you why don't the "serious chemists" call Potassium its true name, i.e. Kalium (for K)?
    Many thanks in advance!
    Kind regards,

  • Keith Larsen
    Keith Larsen 5 years ago +48

    SO MANY PEOPLE COMPLAINING ABOUT Aluminum vs Aluminium and how this some how "breaks the globe" or is globally keeping us down. Well pardon me for doing the MENTAL gymnastics of remembering two words that sound VERY much alike can mean the same thing! I guess not everybody is smart enough. Better get rid of the word "Waste Basket" and "Trash Can" because that is screwing over the WHOLE earth! Better just say "paper waste basket" because thats the English english. Can't be using my todler yankee talk to tell the british where to throw their paper cups or else they'll be littering in the street.

  • joshua um
    joshua um 5 years ago

    ok, so on abundance periodic chart, i see francium has quite large area. isn't francium not even suppose to be on the chart since it is the most scarce element in the world?

  • Mike Gigs
    Mike Gigs 5 years ago +2

    Aluminum comes from the term alumina, the oxide.

  • Marc
    Marc 5 years ago +4

    the weird periodic table is in catalan! "Els Elements Químics d'Acord amb la seva abundància a la Terra!"

  • VoxNeruda
    VoxNeruda 5 years ago

    "Aluminium [sic] 'Fallen Astronaut'
    statuette was the first art on the Moon."
    4a : the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects; also : works so produced
    You err.
    The first man-made object to reach the surface of the Moon was the Soviet Union's Luna 2 mission, on 13 September 1959.

  • alex smith
    alex smith 5 years ago

    Aluminium was actually predicted by Mendyelye"yev or Mendeleev before it was actually discovered. He predicted that the empty spot in the periodic table is not a flaw, but an undiscovered element

  • Anonymity Ix
    Anonymity Ix 5 years ago +10

    the way he said Nomenclature sounds far too difficult

  • Lucas Lucas
    Lucas Lucas 5 years ago

    that's one buff chemist

  • Maanuve
    Maanuve 5 years ago

    i like your tie

  • Warwick Robertson
    Warwick Robertson 5 years ago

    aluminium powder reacts nicely with iron oxide :)

  • Maddix
    Maddix 5 years ago

    Salad fingers

    NSXTypeRGTRLM 5 years ago

    Can you talk about the reaction between aluminium and mercury in a future video?

  • Frank
    Frank 5 years ago

    I luv the small details this guy tells you

  • Inciatus Pa
    Inciatus Pa 5 years ago

    We use aluminum powder for solid rocket motors. It is wonderful at increasing the ISP of the engine and decreasing the reaction time giving the engine far more thrust per unit time. Unfortunately, we've been having issue that the aluminum likes to clump up during the mixing. This causes a lot of slag, which in addition to greatly reducing the amount of thrust also destroys our nozzle (graphite). Reducing the amount of aluminum in the fuel does lead to lower levels of slag; however, it is far below what the chemistry would seem to dictate. Why does the aluminum powder like to gather in little packets rather than staying more uniformly distributed across the APCP? Also how do you think this could be avoided other than to reduce the aluminum concentration?

  • JgHaverty
    JgHaverty 5 years ago +11

    Things you can thank America for...
    Light Bulbs
    Successful Manned Flight
    Microwave Ovens
    Personal Computers
    Facebook (eh...)
    Stop Lights
    Peanut Butter
    Nuclear Energy
    Blood Banks
    Gas Masks
    Video Games


  • Andrew White
    Andrew White 5 years ago

    I have learned more through these video about chemistry, astronomy and physics than my entire college career (though I was a Psychology major). I hope that one day Psychology and Neuroscience will be as respected as your profoundly important fields. Thanks to all the professors taking time to share their knowledge and the filming/editing gentleman for making this information public. Keep it up!

  • Michael T
    Michael T 5 years ago +74

    In response to what was said at 9:18.
    There is no debate as to whether it is Aluminum or Aluminium. Davy decided to call it Aluminum in 1812 and then 178 years later some jerk decided that "Aluminium" sounds better so this crap was started. Why?
    "it is very important to use standardized" - it was standardized for 178 YEARS! This is a garbage reason because it was standardized and then that standardization was broken for "sounding nicer". I admit it totally does sound better as "Aluminium" but why stop there? Why not change "Platinum" to "Platinium" or "Iron" to "Irion"?
    Why was this one element changed for an arbitrary reason of "sounding nicer" but nothing else was changed for that reasoning? How is this an acceptable thing to do?
    I will now refer to Gold as Goa'uld because it sounds better...and you can't say I'm wrong because I'm using the same arbitrary reasoning.

  • Michael Minehart
    Michael Minehart 5 years ago


  • ImMADasAMeatAxe
    ImMADasAMeatAxe 5 years ago

    einstien is alive and well

    TAOFLEDERMAUS 5 years ago +283

    The problem with saying "aluminium" as an American, is you just come off sounding pompous.

  • Vrej Egon Spengler
    Vrej Egon Spengler 5 years ago

    It makes more sense to say aluminium but I don't get it for sulfur. Why do you use ph when you already have a letter for that sound === f?
    Why write phenol when you can write fenol?
    Did the letter f not exist back then?

  • Anonymous71475
    Anonymous71475 5 years ago +98

    Film by Brady Haran? The same Brady Haran from Numberphile?

  • Connor C
    Connor C 5 years ago

    Can you alloy aluminium with copper? Or tin? That would be cool.

  • Spencer Simbulan
    Spencer Simbulan 5 years ago

    My wife used to work with a woman from England, and they would scoff at her use of words like "Fire Brigade" and "Aluminium" and she would say, "Whose bloody language is it, anyways?" Here, here, Sue.

  • J S
    J S 5 years ago

    You have smaller hair than you had back then, Professor.

  • LFTRnow
    LFTRnow 5 years ago

    Great new video on Aluminium! Nice work guys!

  • LFTRnow
    LFTRnow 5 years ago +1

    Time for a new thorium video (discussing new nuclear reactor tech, and the fact it is found with rare earths, and that the US considers it a nuclear fuel - but doesn't use it). Fascinating element.

  • Dane Endly
    Dane Endly 5 years ago +1

    Well if you type Alumin.....into Google you get all Aluminum results. Looks like 99.9 percent of the world calls it Aluminum.... SO... a couple of Brits and scientists want to Add an extra syllable to....according to this professor "sound better" but then also say its important to have consistency across the board. Then why do you choose a form that 99.9 people don't use??? and It has an extra syllable , making it longer and harder to say or write down.The reason they added the ium ad the end was to " sound like the other elements" But this has nothing to do with the Latin "alumen" or the original Danish and German words used in the discovery of Aluminum. 1925 the american chemical society decided Aluminum was official spelling and pronunciation, So why would you choose to go against the Biggest wealthiest , most science intense country in the world? Go figure?
    Aluminum is very shiny and bright, some of the highest quality mirrors in space observatories use aluminum. Alumina....Aluminate....lumen...brightness, when you say Al-uminium you lose that easy to say Lumen part of the word , which also probably takes out some of its original meaning in Latin

  • Alex M
    Alex M 5 years ago

    where can I get that periodic table of the elements? I love it and want it on my wall.