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There are more than 100 elements in our universe, 81 of which are metals.
In this programme, we use the periodic table to explore some of these elements and discover why some are more reactive than others.
Science teacher Subathra Subramaniam visits Portobello Road market in London and learns why gold, silver and copper are ideal for making jewellery.
She also examines the highly reactive alkali metals, which are found in group one of the periodic table. She looks at their characteristic, reactions and uses.
Finally, Subathra explores halogens, a collection of non-metals found in group seven of the periodic table, that display their own qualities and trends.
Elsewhere, Professor Holloway of Leicester University, demonstrates how nasty and reactive the non-metal fluorine can be.
He shows how each of the halogens reacts with hydrogen and explains how there are a number of good uses for this type of element.
Part of the series: Teachers' Trade Secrets