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NOVA: Making Stuff: Smaller

Airs Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 4 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Dr. Frances Ross (right) explains how she grows nano-wires to David Pogue (left) in NOVA "Making Stuff: Smaller."

Invisibility cloaks. Spider silk that is stronger than steel. Plastics made of sugar that dissolve in landfills. Self-healing military vehicles. Smart pills and micro-robots that zap diseases. Clothes that monitor your mood. What will the future bring, and what will it be made of?

Dr. Frances Ross (left) places a slice of silicon in a specimen holder while David Pogue watches.
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Above: Dr. Frances Ross (left) places a slice of silicon in a specimen holder while David Pogue watches.

In NOVA's four-hour series, "Making Stuff," popular New York Times technology reporter David Pogue takes viewers on a fun-filled tour of the material world we live in, and the one that may lie ahead.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at scientific innovations ushering in a new generation of materials that are stronger, smaller, cleaner, and smarter than anything we've ever seen.

"Making Stuff Smaller" - Here in the information age, smaller is better: transistors, microchips and the laptops and cell phone that they power are triumphs of tiny.

In this episode, host David Pogue takes us to an even smaller world, as he profiles the latest in high-powered nano-circuits and micro-robots that may one day hold the key to saving lives and building materials from the ground up.

The other three episodes include "Making Stuff Smarter," "Making Stuff Cleaner" and "Making Stuff Stronger."

This program originally aired in 2011.

NOVA is on Facebook, and you can follow @novapbs on Twitter.

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NOVA: Making Stuff Smaller

Above: In "Making Stuff Smaller," future technologies will depend on tiny stuff—from silicon chips to micro-robots that probe the human body.

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NOVA: Making Stuff Stronger

Above: In "Making Stuff Stronger," David Pogue tests his mettle against the world’s strongest stuff, from steel and Kevlar to bioengineered silk.

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NOVA: Making Stuff Cleaner

Above: Can innovative materials help solve the energy crisis and lead to a sustainable future? David Pogue investigates in NOVA "Making Stuff: Cleaner."

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NOVA: Making Stuff Smarter

Above: In "Making Stuff Smarter," explore a new generation of ingenious materials, from clothes that monitor your mood to real-life invisibility cloaks.

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NOVA: Making Stuff: Interview with host David Pogue

Above: Invisibility cloaks. Spider silk that is stronger than steel. Plastics made of sugar that dissolve in landfills. Self-healing military vehicles. Smart pills and micro-robots that zap diseases. Clothes that monitor your mood. What will the future bring, and what will it be made of? In NOVA's fascinating new four-hour series, MAKING STUFF, popular New York Times technology reporter David Pogue takes viewers on a thrilling tour of the material world we live in, and the one that may lie ahead—offering viewers a behind-the-scenes look at scientific innovations that are ushering in a new generation of materials that are stronger, smaller, smarter, and cleaner than anything we've ever seen.