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

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

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

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A close-up view of the periodic table focused on the chemical element Iridium. Science Picture Co/Getty Images hide caption

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Science Picture Co/Getty Images

A close-up view of the periodic table focused on the chemical element Iridium.

Science Picture Co/Getty Images

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 shortwave@npr.org.

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