Chemistry Students Become History Detectives

Undergraduate researchers Vanessa I. Kowalczyk, Megan J. Raduazzo, and Mitchell B. Myers became actual history detectives this winter. Under the auspices of Chemistry Professor Chris Brown, the chemistry majors analyzed a piece of trans-Atlantic cable found off Cape Cod.

The section was reportedly from a cable laid in the 1860s. The work was performed for a PBS affiliate in New York, which produces the show History Detectives for an international audience. The two seniors were able to show that insulation from the cable was the same type of natural rubber used in the mid-1800s.  

A film crew visited URI in February to film the instrumentation, and the students performing the analysis. Watch your local PBS stations to see our budding scientific gumshoes. The program will air this summer.