WHAT could be more elemental than thin air? Unfortunately, as we
learned in Every Breath We Take: Understanding our
atmosphere (BBC4, Monday of last week), air is neither thin
nor an element. Gabrielle Walker took us through the history of the
realisation that the invisible stuff around us is in fact made up
of more than one thing.
First, carbon dioxide was discovered, accidentally, in 1764;
then, nitrogen was identified; then finally the most interesting of
them all, ...
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