Modern Marvels

Copper

Season 13, Ep 37, Aired 9/13/06
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  • Episode Description
  • It transports electricity, water, and heat. It brings music to our ears and beauty to our eyes. Copper--its impressive traits, long history, and how it's mined. This versatile metal’s most famous attribute is its ability to conduct electricity.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Max Raphael

    Narrator

  • Corrie E. Goldman

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (1)

    • Narrator: It transports electricity, water and heat. Our bodies can’t survive without it, yet it can kill microbes within minutes. It brings music to our ears and beauty to our eyes. It ended the Stone Age and ushered in the Information Age. This versatile red metal has been indispensable to our technological success. Now, Copper, on Modern Marvels.

    Notes (1)

    • Commentators: Captain Randall Rockwood USNS Lewis And Clark Robert McManus Chief Engineer, USNS Lewis And Clark James King Program Manager, Pacific Propellers Timothy Patrick 3rd Class Petty Officer, U.S. Navy Paul Revere, Jr Revere Copper, Ret. Andrew Kireta President, Copper Development Association Tim Swendseid Mine Manager, Phelps Dodge Sierrita Inc. Mark Aindow, PhD Professor of Metallurgy, University of Connecticut Jimmy Kirker Lead Blasters, Phelps Dodge Sierrita Inc Thomas Comi, PhD Conc. Manager, Phelps Dodge Sierrita Inc Chris Viecelli Hydromet Manager, Phelps Dodge Sierrita Inc Jim Verdin President, Verdin Bells Tim Verdin Foundryman, Verdin Bells Dave Verdin Vice President, Verdin Bells Larry Stearns Coppersmith, Vulcan Supply Corp. Dr. Lisa Su VP Semiconductor Research, IBM Dr. Dan Edelstein Researcher, IBM Andy Paine Plant Manager, Cerro Wire Ray McGee President, Ansonia Copper & Brass Richard Renkavinsky Chemist, Ansonia Copper & Brass Lou Solomon Technical Director, Ansonia Copper & Brass

    Trivia (5)

    • About 200,000 pounds of copper are used for each Triton-Class nuclear submarine. It is used primarily in the electrical generation and storage system.

    • We’re in no danger of running out of copper. Known resources are estimated at nearly 8.1 trillion pounds, of which only about .75 trillion pounds, or less than 10%, have been mined.

    • Some asphalt roofing shingles contain copper oxide granules. The biostatic properties of the copper inhibit the growth of unsightly algae.

    • In 1982, the U.S. Mint changed the composition of a penny from 95% copper to just 2.6% copper and 97.4% zinc, to keep production costs under one cent per coin.

    • Earliest piece of copper jewelry found dated back to 8700 BC.

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