The Material World

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Broadcast (2006) Nature invented a whole range of hi-tec materials long before we invented ceramics and plastics. And not only are they often better, but nature has also invented ingenious ways of building with them. In this programme we travel inside a giant sequoia to find out how nature has built the largest living thing ever, and how that might help us make better bullet proof vests. In the forests of Central America, the breath taking, irridescence of a morpho butterfly in flight is all the more amazing when slowed down over a hundred times. It has inspired one cosmetics company to invent an entirely new kind of lipstick, more importantly understanding its beauty might pave the way for a new revolution in information photonic crystals. (www.youtube.com)