Detecting diseases, removing CO2 from chemicals and uncovering the composition of the earth’s core: diamonds have many more uses than just decorating our hands. This January, Horizon talks to the researchers who are unearthing new ways of using one of nature’s most treasured materials.
New experiments that crush material between two diamonds to simulate the extraordinarily high temperatures and pressures found in the earth's interior are providing answers to the age-old questions of what our planet is made of, and where its ingredients came from.
It's been 15 years since the euro came into circulation and to mark the occasion Horizon is looking at what the future could have in store for finance. We talk to one economist who says the way to avoid another crisis is to keep banks small and boring, and we explore the effect of alternative local currencies on supporting small businesses. We also delve into some of the technology that could enable us to move to a cashless society, and we look at the growth of the so-called sharing economy, in which people share access to resources.
This December marks one year on from the Paris agreement, where world governments agreed to keep global warming to within 2 degrees Celsius of the average pre-industrial temperature. To mark the occasion, Horizon takes stock of the situation and examines the challenges ahead. We speak to scientists who are mapping a pathway for governments to cut back on emissions, we host a debate on steel - one of Europe’s most polluting industries, and we look the progress of carbon capture and storage. We also interview Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder of the Potsdam Institute in Germany, who was the first to propose that 2 degrees should be set as a limit for global warming.
Eating well and going for walks in middle age can contribute to cutting your risk of dementia in half, say researchers who are working on ways to tackle the disease through lifestyle choices.
It is helping to bring nanomaterials to the masses.
There is unlimited kinetic energy all around us and harnessing it could change the way we interact with the world, says Dr Gonzalo Murillo.