Media playback is unsupported on your device

Tin: A surprisingly modern metal

7 March 2014 Last updated at 16:07 GMT

We look at this cheap and malleable metal with the help of two very venerable chemists.

Our charismatic expert in all things chemical, Andrea Sella of University College London, explains the unique chemical properties of tin, at possibly the most glamorous tin location in London.

We discover tin's many weird properties - including its cry, a very rare disease and occasional whiskers. We learn about the metal's role in plastics and electronics, and ask whether our gadgets are at risk of malfunctioning in cold weather.

And we visit a huge glass factory as we find out how tin revolutionised window manufacturing.

Most watched

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.