Short Wave: Iridium's Pivotal Role In Our Past And ... Maybe Our Future?

The story of how a father and son team – one a physicist, one a geologist – helped solve a big scientific mystery. What brought the reign of dinosaurs to an end?

NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris tells us how they turned to an element, iridium, for answers. Plus, how iridium could help prevent another potential future global catastrophe. It’s our celebration of 150 years of the periodic table of elements.

Follow Maddie on Twitter @maddie_sofia. Email the team at

This episode was produced by Rebecca Ramirez and edited by Viet Le.


Short Wave Podcast

It’s science for everyone, using a lot of creativity and a little humor. Join host Maddie Sofia for science on a different wavelength.

Science Topics
Paleontology, Periodic Table of Elements, Physics
Middle School, High School
7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade, Adults

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