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NOVA - Fireworks

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"NOVA investigates the science and psychology of fireworks.

The program:
- chronicles the first use of fireworks more than 1,000 years ago by the Chinese, who made firecrackers from gunpowder, and shows the historical relationship between gunpowder and fireworks over time.
- traces the allure of fireworks over time, from their beginnings as a magical marvel used during medieval times—when much of life was lived in the dark—to their use in Renaissance royalty gatherings and at public celebrations for masses of people.
- notes that the three basic ingredients of a firework—potassium nitrate, charcoal, and sulfur—have not changed much from when they were first used.
- profiles Zambelli's Internationale, a pyrotechnic company run by an Italian-American family with generations of fireworks experience.
- details how colors, sounds, and shapes are created, and how experts continually seek to improve their displays.
- describes how a firework is conceived, made, launched, and exploded.
- portrays the intricate organization of Boston's annual July 4th display and shows how a computer network controls the launch of 5,700 fireworks at that event.
- introduces Pyro Boy, who straps fireworks to his body to create a 1-minute human fireworks display.
- reviews safety measures that govern the firework industry. "

Duration 53m42s
Resolution 1280x720
Video format H264
Audio format AAC
Language english
Subtitles english