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The Man Who Killed Millions and Saved Billions

  • Published on Jul 21, 2022

Comments • 21 204

  • Veritasium
    Veritasium  4 months ago +7176

    Let's use chemistry for good! If you want to offset your carbon emissions I will personally cover the first month of your subscription at (for the first 100 people to sign up)

    • Kristjan Tiits
      Kristjan Tiits Month ago

      there are many people who are willing to pay for "Farts in a Jar". I see no reason to give it to you for free.

    • Philip Sheppard
      Philip Sheppard 2 months ago

      i have started to research carbon emissions and it seems that we are too focused on this "niche" greenhouse gas, whereas we should really be focusing on looking at alternative reasons for global warming. It would appear that temperature is a result of things like sun spot activity and CO2 levels reflect the higher temperatures. What I seem to be reading is that CO2 levels lag the temperature (correlation) and are not causal in nature. I would really like a scientific debate on this issue. Any comments to make on this? For instance for the 4 decades before 1970 temperatures were plummeting and scientists of the day were actually WORRIED about these lower temperatures. How does one explain those 4 decades of lowering temperatures, given that we were outputing vast amounts of man-made CO2?

    • David Greus
      David Greus 2 months ago

      @W yes you do.

    • Sid lepoisson
      Sid lepoisson 2 months ago

      If you are a real chemist you know this "carbon agenda" is nonsense.

    • Daemon Silver
      Daemon Silver 2 months ago

      Wanting to reduce your carbon is dendrophobic.

  • History Dose
    History Dose 4 months ago +6779

    It feels like so many discoveries simultaneously make the world better and scarier

    • VK
      VK 2 months ago

      Every action has an equal and opposite reaction seems to apply to everything in the world, really

    • I N
      I N 3 months ago

      There was a reason THE HEBREW GOD said to let the land rest on the 7th year.
      Exodus 23: 10 - 11 and Levitacus 25: 18 - 22.

    • Zeeshan Sheikh
      Zeeshan Sheikh 3 months ago

      @Jesus Saves! Before Jesus did everyone go to hell?

    • Jesus Saves!
      Jesus Saves! 3 months ago

      @Tiara Roxeanne You deceive yourself, you are not a Christian. You quite literally said you're reporting the message of God's works and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You're against God's children and not filled with the Holy Spirit. You know not God or his word.
      Matthew 24:14 KJV
      14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
      Jesus tasked all his children to spread his Gospel. Spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ is what we do, for you to be against such a thing and claim to be a Christian... I need not say more.

    • Tiara Roxeanne
      Tiara Roxeanne 3 months ago

      @Jesus Saves! You are spamming. I'm a Christian and you give Christians a bad name. I'm reporting you.

  • KAT
    KAT 2 months ago +5607

    “During peace time a scientist belongs to the World, but during war time he belongs to his country.”
    - Fritz Haber

    • polkunus
      polkunus 8 days ago

      @Benni a hero to fascism.

    • yes yes
      yes yes 8 days ago

      @Bettersucksaul It is still not seen the same way as chemical weapons. Though bombs today are antiquated and missiles are all the rage today.

    • Bettersucksaul
      Bettersucksaul 8 days ago

      @KAT He didn’t get to live long enough to watch his products be used to kill millions of his own people. Maybe then he’d regret it a little more

    • Bettersucksaul
      Bettersucksaul 8 days ago

      @yes yes What makes you think people don’t hate bombs??

    • Bettersucksaul
      Bettersucksaul 8 days ago

      @Hxdtrws Uytfgbfr Not even true lol the only thing miserable about being a scientist is being in academia and getting paid $15/hr

  • Lukas Karl
    Lukas Karl 2 months ago +1510

    “He was so caught up with the fact that he could, he never stopped to think whether he should” - Dr Ian Malcolm

    • Ian Janson
      Ian Janson 12 days ago

      @John L Shilling what is a pretty dumb application for a movie linefrom a made up doctor?

    • John L Shilling
      John L Shilling 12 days ago +1

      Pretty dumb application of a movie line, made by a make believe "Dr"...

    • Lukas Karl
      Lukas Karl 20 days ago +1

      @Ian Janson my mum had the hots for him too ;)

    • Ian Janson
      Ian Janson 21 day ago +1

      My mom named me Ian because of that character.

    • Lyrics Assam
      Lyrics Assam 21 day ago

      @Ian McGuire how is this cringe...your existence is cringe

  • Yaqub Ahmed
    Yaqub Ahmed Month ago +514

    In the high school year many of us were taught this Haber- Bosch process. But to know the historical tale of it is very satisfying and chilling at the same time. Thanks veritasium for enlightening us.💕

    • Rathina Sabapathy
      Rathina Sabapathy 21 day ago

      @ant the last dinosaur taught it to me . His name is Rex ( my chemistry teacher )

    • ant
      ant  26 days ago

      @Hank J. Wimbleton king khufu of ancient egypt taught that to me when we were building the pyramids

    • Hank J. Wimbleton
      Hank J. Wimbleton Month ago +2

      @M I taught that to myself on a stone tablet in 4500 BC

    • M
      M Month ago +1

      @Eric Williams I taught that to myself as an infantil

    • Sheesh
      Sheesh Month ago +1

      @Eric Williams that's right I remember teaching you in class. You were such a such smart kid.

  • ima_bread
    ima_bread 18 days ago +68

    Is he a villain, no
    Is he a Hero, no
    He is history

    • Stephen Denis
      Stephen Denis 8 days ago

      and you are bread

    • CrookedAligator
      CrookedAligator 10 days ago

      @Jeff Davis gru gets to the best of us

    • Jeff Davis
      Jeff Davis 17 days ago +3

      No, he was just a guy who liked to watch despicable me every once in a while so what???!!!!!?

  • daanish dan
    daanish dan 4 months ago +67206

    As Isaac Asimov once said, “The saddest aspect of society right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom."

    • 🌘KIKUSUI🌠
      🌘KIKUSUI🌠 Month ago

      its because of international Jewry.

    • J_sr
      J_sr Month ago

      knowledge without values is a weapon of mass destruction.

    • joosniz
      joosniz Month ago

      20:38 The quadrillion dollar question. Technology has ever increasing potential of improving life for all, as well as dooming us.
      But it's not the ingenious inventors that are to blame entirely; problem solving is fundamental to our existence. As long as people exist, so too will the drive to solve the issues we are faced with, even if they cause untold catastrophies.
      Steadfast we head towards singularity, all the way hoping we'll live past this precipice. Perhaps we will see a magnetic storm, of proportions so epic that we'll never reach it. Time will tell which way it goes, assuming we're still around when it does.

    • Ray Beez
      Ray Beez Month ago

      Autism and cancer rates have gone up exponentially since petroleum based fertilizer

    • Ray Beez
      Ray Beez Month ago

      Offset fortune 500 companies like Tyson foods first, then like the begging priest you are, ask me.

  • Ivaylo Ivanov
    Ivaylo Ivanov Month ago +539

    As a kid of 90s, born and raised in Bulgaria, I remember my father plant tomatoes, cucumbers and other veggies, so I clearly remember that he mixed soil with farm chicken poo, add water and that was more than enough to grow those vegetables. And honestly that was the tastier veggies I ever eat.

    • Tej Singh
      Tej Singh 2 days ago

      I have eaten real organic meals in East Africa every day for 2 weeks. There is no comparison with the crap we have in the west. Once you've tasted real meat and veg you'll know how we're being screwed.

    • someguy147
      someguy147 2 days ago

      Иво я прати няколко домата

    • Ozymandias
      Ozymandias 6 days ago +1

      @Jin Raigami they cant feed a large population though

    • CEKO
      CEKO 8 days ago +2

      Да сме живи и здрави

    • Anna-Flora
      Anna-Flora 25 days ago +2

      @Jin Raigami and they're fewer. Way fewer.

  • Lucky Stranger
    Lucky Stranger 2 months ago +158

    He is the example of a person who wants to help everyone the best it can, without much control of the rest

    • gladitsnotme
      gladitsnotme 18 days ago

      More like an example of a naive FOOL

  • Tyler Stookie
    Tyler Stookie Month ago +92

    They say knowledge is a curse. I learned so many things from this, and it left me in indescribable mixtures of joy and sadness. Thanks, Veritasium, unironically, for shaking up my perception on life in this world, once again.
    I write this, by the way, as your final segment of your video, touches on this exact theme. ...You're a cool guy; I like you. At least, it's nice to know I'm not alone.

  • Gany Baba
    Gany Baba 2 months ago +89

    This is what RU-clip should be all about. One of the best documentaries I have seen till date. You earned a subscriber

  • Prime number Buster
    Prime number Buster 4 months ago +17690

    Derek you should also do one for Max planck. His life is also very tragic but very few knows about it.

    • DiekeDrake
      DiekeDrake 2 months ago

      Yes please. I don't know about this person.

    • BrionDaLion
      BrionDaLion 3 months ago

      OP comment should be a pinned comment, and there needs to be a video. Planck's life was yes....very tragic, depressing...sad. Yet almost no one knows about him, and the only things most people know about him, is the Planck constant & Planck length

    • I N
      I N 3 months ago

      There was a reason THE HEBREW GOD said to let the land rest on the 7th year.
      Exodus 23: 10 - 11 and Levitacus 25: 18 - 22.

    • Tamburi Mitidava
      Tamburi Mitidava 3 months ago

      @zumabbar I was, too... no worries there

    • Sumit Dwivedi
      Sumit Dwivedi 3 months ago

      @watchdogbypass your comment is overrated

  • Bubble
    Bubble 28 days ago +8

    "Father of toxic gas and chemical warfare" who gets that reference?

  • Junaid Ahmad
    Junaid Ahmad 9 days ago +3

    I am a huge fan of the channel but we can't just "regard him as irrelevant...because someone else would have figured out a way to process Nitrogen out of the air". Someone else would have figured out the Earth goes around the sun (Copernicus). Someone else could have found Laws of Motion (Newton) and someone else would have figured out how electricity and magnetism works (Maxwell) and so on and so on. These people give their whole lives up for science and it would be disrespectful of us to simply regard them as irrelevant.

  • FJ
    FJ 20 hours ago +1

    I was taught about Fritz Haber in Chemistry when our class covered equilibrium reactions and favorable product formations.
    This man is the reason everyone on this planet is alive today. Ammonia is the most important and widely recognized industrial compound in the world.

  • Cenimosity
    Cenimosity Month ago +13

    What happened to him was truly devastating, he was fired by the government he helped, and the government he helped massacred millions of people from the religion he believed.

  • Bruno Credidio
    Bruno Credidio 4 months ago +1866

    I've done part of my PhD in the Fritz-Haber-Institut. It's weird to imagine that the experimental hall where I've spent so many nights doing a bit of science was once crowded with people focused on how to kill more efficiently....

    • Dao_Tui
      Dao_Tui 3 days ago

      @Saumya Vig Then we need to condemn EVERYONE from the history books right now...
      Let's start with you for calling me a dumbass instead of trying to have a civilized conversation. But I guess that is too much for your brain to handle. Bye

    • Saumya Vig
      Saumya Vig 4 days ago

      @Dao_Tui aint nobody canciling dead ooga booga man, you need to calm down. If he can be celebrated then he can also be condemned, thats not what cancel culture is dumbass

    • Saumya Vig
      Saumya Vig 4 days ago

      @howtorawk he shouldnt be glorified just reported.

    • yes yes
      yes yes 22 days ago

      @Raingram I don't see the fuss with gas weapons, from what it sounds like, Fritz chose a pretty "painless" way to kill using chemicals, I know for a fact there are some gasses he could have used that would have been literal torture, and if you would survive you'd be permanently disfigured. To me it is no different than bombs or artillery shells, perhaps not as bad as those since a Bomb will blow you to bits, and an artillery shell will likely rearrange your insides. I've heard conflicting information about drowning, some say it is calming and peaceful, others say their lungs burnt and it was painful. Either way I think if I had the choice between the two, It'd probably be hard for me to find the difference in suffering between bleeding to death with a bullet in my chest, or drowning in mucus.

    • To Jog or Not to jog
      To Jog or Not to jog 24 days ago

      @Tiara Roxeanne the wrong cause cause you say so? You feel like it?

  • howard baxter
    howard baxter 2 months ago +246

    Congrats Derek, you are about to see a spike in views from Sabaton’s newest single. You will experience something that only history RU-cliprs have experienced before.

    • howard baxter
      howard baxter Month ago +5

      @Growskull and what’s wrong with “dumb history stuff”. They found a niche and decided to stick with it because it set themselves apart. And a lot of people appreciate it, especially countries like Poland and Finland.

    • howard baxter
      howard baxter Month ago +8

      @Growskull no emotion? Ballad of Bull? Flanders Fields? Treaty of Versailles? Lifetime of War/En Livstid I Krig? Christmas Truce?
      Those songs and several others, are riddled with emotion and are very interesting.

    • it’s.called.a.hustle.sweetheart
      it’s.called.a.hustle.sweetheart Month ago +12

      @Growskull history can be an emotional topic. nothing dumb about that.

    • Growskull
      Growskull Month ago

      @The_ Coveted_One yeah but theres more ways to learn about it than man children larping with boring instrumentals behind it that all sound the same

    • The_ Coveted_One
      The_ Coveted_One Month ago +25

      @Growskull "it's about dumb history stuff" history repeats itself, if we don't see the past, it will hit us in the future

  • Martina
    Martina 10 days ago +8

    As soon as I read the title of this video my mind immediately went to Sabaton's latest single called "Father", which tells the story of Fritz amazing track about a very interesting yet conflicting historical figure.

  • Moschetti Flavio
    Moschetti Flavio 28 days ago +1

    I had already read this story avidly long ago, and I must say that I was very impressed. at first glance, I could only think about the fact that we cannot categorize people based on their actions alone; in Haber's time nationalist patriotism was very marked, and it was not possible to withdraw from its influence. Moreover, any kind of scientific invention or application can be used both for peaceful purposes and for monstrous crimes, such as atomic energy for bombs and power plants, such as Alfred Nobel's explosives intended as an aid in mining work who improved worker's safety but that became a disruptive war weapon (Nobel himself engaged in the production of war material, which earned him a lot of criticism that led him to institute the homonymous award that instead exalted the good that science and knowledge could create, a documentary for this character would be interesting ). Some report that Fritz Haber was not at all impressed by his wife's suicide, but some touching letters show the opposite; he was certainly not the cold and inhuman man as many have portrayed him.

  • kokroucz
    kokroucz Month ago +25

    it ends with some of the most beautiful words about science I have ever heard. That's why apprecieate and truly respect what Derek does. Thank you for all those years

  • dogboy0912
    dogboy0912 3 months ago +3168

    I learned about this guy during an ethics in science class I had to take in college. One man encapsulating our highest highs and lowest lows as a species.

    • Stranger
      Stranger 19 days ago

      Meanwhile Thomas Midgley : Am I a joke to you?

    • yes yes
      yes yes 22 days ago +1

      @King Manny I suppose you should condemn those who developed nuclear weapons, even though they invariably saved several hundred thousand, if not millions of deaths to starvation from eventual blockading of Japan, or the fierce defense of the home islands and a disastrous amphibious invasion.
      He was not a sadist that wanted to torture people, if he was, he could have definitely chosen some different gasses... His goal was ultimately provide an edge for his own nation to come out victorious in a war. Considering what the Allies did to Germany after they lost WW1, It shows you how badly some nations can screw over another.

    • To Jog or Not to jog
      To Jog or Not to jog 24 days ago

      @Renan Felipe dos Santos depends on the one wielding the gun

    • To Jog or Not to jog
      To Jog or Not to jog 24 days ago +1

      @Don T. Ripfüller oi vey

    • Zam014
      Zam014 Month ago

      @taserrr that’s Nikola Tesla

  • Bread Pitt
    Bread Pitt Month ago +17

    I studied Haeber's process in so much detail in school, but I was completely unaware of the story behind it. It feels weird to know it now

  • Isa Abdullahi
    Isa Abdullahi 2 months ago +12

    Hello Derek, amazing video as always. Can you do a video on the history of Fermat's last theorem and the solution by Andrew Wiles? Your unique method of making videos and deep scientific knowledge would make it outstanding. Give it a thought. Thanks alot for all you do for science

  • Timothy Kahil
    Timothy Kahil 2 months ago +25

    Veritasium is easily one of my favourite youtube channels, thnk you for your creative, entertaining and informative videos Derek you are a treasure

  • Jobo
    Jobo Month ago +23

    i usually don't like these kinds of videos, but something about it pulled me in. I loved every second of it, thank you so much for making it

  • wcf312
    wcf312 3 months ago +6156

    No one fits the saying, "you either die the hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.", better than this man, Fritz Haber.

    • Abhijit Pathak
      Abhijit Pathak 9 days ago

      Are all Germans like this?

    • I Smellmandude
      I Smellmandude 12 days ago

      Leibniz and Newton inventing calculus is another. I would say that back then random important discoveries by individual scientists was much more common (rubber, microwaves, etc.). Nowadays the low-hanging fruit is much less common.

    • I Smellmandude
      I Smellmandude 12 days ago

      It's not naive, it's an ideal. I think it's OK to have that ideal while realizing nobody is perfect in reality.

    • E Nsk
      E Nsk 14 days ago

      A patriot is worse than a killer.

    • Shishir Tanwar
      Shishir Tanwar Month ago

      He's always a hero for his own country, no matter how bad you paint him. Just that Britain & friends were not that good. (They were doing it too BTW)
      Whenever something in the world goes bad for this group of countries, the other side is called a villain. Which is quite pitiful if you ask me.
      Also, you can never blame scientists, they just discover/research things. Things can be used in good or bad way. So I think your quote is not applicable at all.

  • Martin Wright
    Martin Wright 2 months ago

    He actually may have helped end the war. By routing nitrogen to arms, that increased the shortage of food in Germany. This led to riots and eventually German soldiers mutinying. When an offense would break through allied lines, it immediately halted because the German when crazy looting all the food (and booze) they found.

  • Lightning
    Lightning 21 day ago +4

    what i find really interesting is the amount of discoveries made by war, like imagine the discoveries made in metalwork during medieval wars when blacksmiths were constantly trying to mare better weapons and armour and how discoveries don't catch on when they solve a problem or benefit us in some way

    • TheOne Bman
      TheOne Bman 2 days ago

      War is the driving force of science and technology throughout human history
      From arrows to the internet, most of what we treasure today and has built our civilizations was originally made for the purpose of war and harming

  • Paul Staker
    Paul Staker 29 days ago +1

    I'm sure in Huber's mind, he solidly believed what he did was the right and moral thing.
    Feed the people, end the war.
    Can't hate him for that. Everyone in his shoes would've done the exact same thing.
    Everything happens as they are set to happen. The stone rolls downhill.

  • BadWebDiver
    BadWebDiver Month ago +21

    The animation segments in this story are top notch!

  • CaptainLuckyLuke
    CaptainLuckyLuke 4 months ago +1209

    “During peace time a scientist belongs to the World, but during war time he belongs to his country."- Fritz Haber

    • Bill Williams
      Bill Williams 15 days ago

      During peace time and war a scientist belongs to the highest bidder and the media.

    • Tony_ δυτικός αμυντικός
      Tony_ δυτικός αμυντικός Month ago

      @TheGreat Donkey I will not get in the tube and eat the bugs

    • Loiso Pondohva
      Loiso Pondohva 3 months ago

      @LC 17 well, most of the time that doesn't work.
      You can't understand yourself out of a situation where someone already decided they are going to kill or invade you.
      All you can do is kill them first.
      Einstein realized that later.

    • sapinta
      sapinta 3 months ago

      @jsquared1013 see, there's always a good excuse to build inhumane mass murder weapons and use them preemptively. Such hypocrisy... Military are more honest than self-righteous people, they know what weapons are researched for and they are not shy to use them as long as they get them results.

    • jsquared1013
      jsquared1013 3 months ago

      @sapinta the alternative at the time was thought to be the Nazis having nuclear weapons before the Allies. If you think that is a good alternative, then your thought process is broken.

  • Football Scouter
    Football Scouter Month ago +3

    He wasnt right, he wasnt wrong. The world he lived in was different from the one we live in today, and if he was american / english / french, and did this against the nazis, he would be regarded as a hero.

  • Adelia P
    Adelia P 5 days ago

    This might be the best youtube videos ever exist. For me who knows absolutely nothing about it, this video is mind blowing. And the way they deliver the information is very easy to understand. Good job Veritasium 👍

  • Mohamed Swaray
    Mohamed Swaray Month ago +6

    I love ❤️ the chemistry side of your video, it really amazed me how he was able to come up with that brilliant idea that benefits the world today.Chemistry is my favourite in science.

  • Jeremiah Kivi
    Jeremiah Kivi 2 days ago

    Tragic story of a great man, blinded by his great loyalty to his nation, who tried his best to change the world for the better.

  • Pen and Paper Science
    Pen and Paper Science 4 months ago +3232

    "He is probably one of the most impactful and tragic scientists of all time."
    Those two often go hand in hand, curiously.

    • Bill Williams
      Bill Williams 15 days ago

      @8koi Spot on ... the choice is ours

    • Bill Williams
      Bill Williams 15 days ago

      @Stan Leery Knowledge will pass

    • I N
      I N 2 months ago

      @odibex you must work for YT. Are you that sensitive? You know people will see your comment and laugh at you. You only bring this upon yourself. That is why people need to think before they speak. GOD BLESS....

    • odibex
      odibex 2 months ago

      @I N "you cared enough to pay attention"
      I didn't claim otherwise. I also "care enough to pay attention" if someone shoves me in front of a train, or shortchanges me.
      "It's not spam when truth is spoken"
      no, sorry. truthfulness is not a determiner of whether something's spam or not. you need to review YT's polices.
      "there is a reason TV ( to tell a vision ) is called programming."
      I'm just going to go back and report your spam posts. they violate YT's policy.

    • I N
      I N 2 months ago

      @odibex you cared enough to pay attention. It's not spam when truth is spoken. I'm just trying to get you out of the sleep the world is in. There is a reason TV ( to tell a vision ) is called programming. Wake up before it is too late. JOHN 3:16.

  • The First Curse
    The First Curse Month ago +2

    Learning things about base elements and chemicals bore the everloving hell out of me, but this was interesting.
    As soon as you said Zyklon-B, my heart sank.

  • Dylan Crichton
    Dylan Crichton 26 days ago +1

    The chemical inventions he created made him heroic in a way for how useful they were, the people that utilised his chemicals however turned him into a villain.

  • Sicao is dead
    Sicao is dead 2 months ago +3

    Honestly this video, and the one about Thomas Midgley Jr, are absolutely brilliant. I like most of his videos, but those two especially, bringing light to people I had no idea about. Just great.

  • Dylan Katz
    Dylan Katz 8 days ago +2

    this is the most touching, interesting, and all around most well done video you’ve ever made.

  • M Sachin
    M Sachin 4 months ago +11586

    The truly poetic irony in this story for me is the fact that Haber, who created the deadly yet indispensable nitrogen compounds, was awarded the Nobel Prize, created by Alfred Nobel to try and do good after inventing dynamite, which killed his own brother.
    Edit: People have pointed out that the invention of dynamite was after his brother died, so I stand corrected there, but I feel like my original point still stands since dynamite was also a compound that came with great progress and simultaneous evil

    • J K
      J K Month ago

      Your point was "poetic irony" which was based on a false fiction. Just delete the erroneous comment.

    • CreeperTNT
      CreeperTNT Month ago

      @Daryl Cheshire you're welcome

    • Helghast7
      Helghast7 Month ago

      Haber was Jewish? Zyklon B was a delouser how was it used to kill?

    • I N
      I N 3 months ago

      There was a reason THE HEBREW GOD said to let the land rest on the 7th year.
      Exodus 23: 10 - 11 and Levitacus 25: 18 - 22.

    • Miles
      Miles 3 months ago

      Zyklon B was never used for the latter it was used to kill off lice.

  • Gen Rodriguez-Garcia
    Gen Rodriguez-Garcia 2 months ago

    Love your video!
    And yes, I was happy on the discovery that saves humankind, but sad and angry on the use of it on war.
    Just a thought, can ammonia or ammonium nitrate be fuel for electricity? :)

  • David Contreras
    David Contreras 27 days ago

    Loves the conclusion question at the end... really smart stuff, how do you keep the process of creating value from facts... Here morality turns into something truly transcendent here

  • chikkenbonz
    chikkenbonz 2 months ago +9

    7:53 A lesser-known invention by Haber was the "Opti-Grab"...a spectacle accessory that Steve Martin tried to take credit for nearly 75 years later with a similar design.

  • Erwin Fernando
    Erwin Fernando 2 months ago +7

    "You either die a Hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the Villain" i think this line fits him so much.

  • SkyVolt
    SkyVolt 4 months ago +2352

    When i studied chemistry, we were taught this story. The professor went into explicit detail of the horrors of chemistry. He did this to explain that our knowledge is what we do with it. And hopes we use it for good.

    • The Yoten
      The Yoten Month ago

      @Ali Science, and especially chemistry is power. With great power...

    • Crafty Cooperative
      Crafty Cooperative Month ago

      Nitrogen fertilizer is killing our oceans

    • I N
      I N 3 months ago

      There was a reason THE HEBREW GOD said to let the land rest on the 7th year.
      Exodus 23: 10 - 11 and Levitacus 25: 18 - 22.

    • Ernie Frijole
      Ernie Frijole 3 months ago +1

      @Max Lübeck Everybody always thinks God oughta be on their side. Gott mit uns!

    • Max Lübeck
      Max Lübeck 3 months ago

      @Ernie Frijole Doesn't matter who wrote it. It portrays him targeting groups of people.

  • Andy Johnson
    Andy Johnson Month ago +17

    There is an amazing book called The Alchemy of Air that tells the story of him and struggles during the war and after her his death. I recommend it.
    Edit: The book also explains how he was able to extract gold from sea water in a secret lab on a cruise ship, but it was not profitable 'at the time'. Who knows how today's technology could be successful with getting gold out of seawater.b

  • Will Hovell
    Will Hovell 2 months ago +1

    Generally interesting, though the troops facing the German Empire in 1915 were those of the Entente not the 'Allies'. The first unfortunate victims were French colonial troops. My Great-grandfather Morgan Miles died after WW1 as a result of Imperial German army gas attacks. The British whilst responsible for concentration camps ,and the French the first to launch chemical attacks. It took the Germans to initiate ariel bombing of civilians ( Zeppelin and Gotha bombers) coastal bombardment of civilians, industrial scale gas attacks, and later flying bombs and rockets to attack civilians. So say nothing of the industrial slaughter in the extermination and concentration camps of WW2. The rationale of improved slaughter wasn't valid when used by Maxim ( machine gun) or Alfred Nobel ( high explosives) as a way of' saving lives ' . Einstein was just as much of a patriot ( pacifist) , and later Germany was fortunate not to be the victim of the Nuclear bomb developed by Einstein in the US with British, Canadian, Danish and exiled German Jewish scientists. Nuclear weapons did prevent war for many decades , as British traitor Malita Norwood claimed ( the spy that came in from the Co-Op) . What a nasty species is Humankind 😔

  • Will M
    Will M Month ago +2

    Well done! Love Wren! I either contribute to Wren or do projects like I did this spring, insulated my daughter’s house 😊 feels good ❤️

  • bunnyfrew
    bunnyfrew 2 months ago

    So well done. Thanks for this. I was totally immersed!

  • Karin Swenson
    Karin Swenson 4 months ago +3513

    This video is incredibly well made. I found myself fully immersed into Haber’s story and I didn’t even notice 20 minutes had gone by.

    • Unlock my videos with 1k subs
      Unlock my videos with 1k subs Month ago

      Same here, really well made

    • I N
      I N 3 months ago

      There was a reason THE HEBREW GOD said to let the land rest on the 7th year.
      Exodus 23: 10 - 11 and Levitacus 25: 18 - 22.

    • Mauler
      Mauler 3 months ago +1

      @1CE not sure how leaving a skipable ad at the end of a video is a bad thing. He wants to at least get some money for his efforts

    • kyle butler
      kyle butler 4 months ago

      I read this comment, watched the video, then was shocked to re-read the comment and find it was 20 mins.

    • jubayer alam
      jubayer alam 4 months ago

      Yeah for sure

  • Wilhelm Nurso
    Wilhelm Nurso Month ago

    This video is very well done. As much as I find you personally unsympathetic I have to say, you are creating good content.

  • Internet User 73
    Internet User 73 Month ago +2

    It may be a bit of a reach but I feel Haber's wife Clara had more of a hand in his works than let on. In her letter she stated "the more Haber gained the more she lost" might not be only be limited to his attention to her but the work that they may have possibly done as Chemists. As a chemist herself she may been deeply involved in Haber's work than was shown hence her guilt and suicide by shooting herself in the lungs when chlorine gas was used. But hey this is just a theory

  • Jacks Bob
    Jacks Bob Month ago

    Thank you Sir Haber. The rest of the modern world owes everything to you.

  • Freakin Nightmare
    Freakin Nightmare 2 months ago +3

    Learned both history and chemistry. Thank you for this video :D

  • Asish Reddy
    Asish Reddy 4 months ago +2462

    Who knew a paragraph in our chemistry textbooks mentioning Haber’s process had left out so much rich history, euphoria and sadness. Thank you veritasium for telling us such amazing stories.

    • Arin Mehta
      Arin Mehta 2 months ago

      @Marii Nito u gave a bad example neet jee etc uh they want u to grind ur chemistry books until uk every word so yeah it's not that good

    • I N
      I N 3 months ago

      There was a reason THE HEBREW GOD said to let the land rest on the 7th year.
      Exodus 23: 10 - 11 and Levitacus 25: 18 - 22

    • Rintu
      Rintu 3 months ago +1

      @Marii Nito well in india teachers make students wrote learn stuff.

    • Lohith Reddy
      Lohith Reddy 3 months ago

      Exactly lol remember studying about habers process in 9th grade

    • Абдулла аль-Ашмави
      Абдулла аль-Ашмави 3 months ago

      "The Jews say: "Allah's hand is tied up." Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for the (blasphemy) they utter. Nay, both His hands are widely outstretched: He giveth and spendeth (of His bounty) as He pleaseth. But the revelation that cometh to thee from Allah increaseth in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. Amongst them we have placed enmity and hatred till the Day of Judgment. Every time they kindle the fire of war, Allah doth extinguish it; but they (ever) strive to do mischief on earth. And Allah loveth not those who do mischief." Quran translation verse 64 sura'idah ,

  • Desolazione Italica
    Desolazione Italica 2 months ago +1

    16 ATP molecules (some of them broken even to AMP) to break a single N2 molecule reducting it into 2 NH3... That is an insane amount of energy for sure!! Enzymes and enzymatic complexes never stop facinating me.. Perfectly tuned, most of them specific for 1 reaction with precise compounds, sometimes kinda modular with the ability to switch the acceptor site to apply the reaction to another compound.. nanomechs written in our DNA able to catalyze reactions which would normally require a high temperature and low pH enviroment in macroscopic conditions. They make possible highly exotermic reactions inside our biological enviroment splitting them into multiple steps catalyzed by multiple enzymes.
    And even when they can do mistakes, there always is an error correction system (example: DNA Polymerase). Sorry guys, i went too far with this

  • Gneisenau
    Gneisenau Month ago +4

    A long ago in eastern Prussia
    Young men with great ambitions rise
    So who can tell me who can say for sure
    Which one will win the Nobel Prize?
    It was a golden age for science
    The kaiserreich would hold the key
    And as the conflict came and tensions rose
    The manifest of the 93
    Haber-Bosch, the great alliance
    Where's the contradiction?
    Fed the world by ways of science
    Sinner or a saint?

    • Gran Capitán
      Gran Capitán Month ago +2

      Father of toxic gas and chemical warfare
      His dark creation has been revealed
      Flow over no mans land, a poisonous nightmare
      A deadly mist on the battlelfield

  • Chuck Oneill
    Chuck Oneill Month ago

    My maternal grandfather fought in WWI. He survived being gassed, but was left with long term health problems.

  • greenscarab2
    greenscarab2 2 months ago +1

    What a good story that was so informative. We should be really worried about global warming.

  • Duujon
    Duujon 4 months ago +2886

    It always amazes me how Veritasium can tell you about fascinating topics that you didn't even know existed. After every video I feel like I can understand the world at least a tiny bit more.

    • Dr Sii Gabb
      Dr Sii Gabb 2 months ago

      @Jesus Saves! So Zeus, then.

      DIRECT IMPACT 2 months ago

      @Fred Werza food is important than anything else.

    • Laxmi Narayan Bhandari
      Laxmi Narayan Bhandari 3 months ago

      @I N shut up

    • I N
      I N 3 months ago

      There was a reason THE HEBREW GOD said to let the land rest on the 7th year.
      Exodus 23: 10 - 11 and Levitacus 25: 18 - 22

    • Laxmi Narayan Bhandari
      Laxmi Narayan Bhandari 4 months ago

      @Jesus Saves! Shut up. There is no God up there or down here.

  • SpaceManMat
    SpaceManMat 3 days ago

    What I found interesting about his idea that he could help win the war and save lives, this is exactly the rationale used when developing the atomic bomb.

  • Mahinda Sakalasooriya
    Mahinda Sakalasooriya 12 days ago

    Great. You generate knowledge to thousands of human beings. Im a Sri Lankan, who is suffering due to politicians that do not know the basic persistence of Nitrogen and its impact on human history. They banned Nitrogen fertilizer on the island. I heard that ahead of WW2 Hitler also did the same with mythological interpretation.

  • Aryan
    Aryan Month ago +1

    Ending remarks were amazing. Thank you for making this video!

  • Debasish Ray Chawdhuri
    Debasish Ray Chawdhuri 2 months ago +1

    It is easy to judge someone's character from today's moral standards. Many people would do exactly the same thing in his position. Yesterday one of my profs said that Newton was a bad person because he was the superintendent of the Mint of England and he used to hang people for counterfeiting currency. But it was 1750, the punishment for basically anything was death.

  • Humble Narrator
    Humble Narrator 3 months ago +1932

    This is a perfect illustration from human history showing how "gray", or nuanced, the world really is. Great video and message, thank you.

    • Connor Senier
      Connor Senier 3 months ago +12

      Pretty ironic that an extreme example (black and white) is what it takes to show how grey the world really is!

    • I N
      I N 3 months ago +2

      There was a reason THE HEBREW GOD said to let the land rest on the 7th year.
      Exodus 23: 10 - 11 and Levitacus 25: 18 - 22.

    • ChefGiovanni
      ChefGiovanni 3 months ago +6

      Lucky this was suggested by RU-clip, we did not know you existed. Time to cook.

  • dsalas0
    dsalas0 Month ago

    One thing is when one does not know how one's discovery could be used, still one is curious and excited to gather knowledge. Another thing is when you know and purposedly weaponize it, particularly when chemical mass destruction weapons were already restricted. That's the line: one's intention.

  • Nicolas Girard
    Nicolas Girard Month ago

    Thanks a lot ! Very good content as usual. Keep it on!

  • Calvary Assembly of God Southington CT

    Very well done. Excellent narration and illustration my friend!

  • Tommy k.
    Tommy k. Month ago +14

    Great storytelling, with a lot of care handling the complexity of that matter.
    Sometimes chemistry and history fused with elegance. 👌

  • Isidro Williams
    Isidro Williams 4 months ago +1450

    Who knew a paragraph in our chemistry textbooks mentioning Haber’s process had left out so much rich history, euphoria and sadness. Thank you veritasium for telling us such amazing stories.

    • I N
      I N 3 months ago

      There was a reason THE HEBREW GOD said to let the land rest on the 7th year.
      Exodus 23: 10 - 11 and Levitacus 25: 18 - 22.

    • Tiara Roxeanne
      Tiara Roxeanne 3 months ago +1

      @Isidro Williams Science teacher should assign their students to watch videos like this. It gives life to otherwise traditionally boring subjects.

    • jshowa o
      jshowa o 4 months ago

      A chemistry book isn't designed to teach you history

    • Hafnium Half-life
      Hafnium Half-life 4 months ago

      Yes, I wouldn't know about the rest until I was well out of university, studying Chemistry.

    • 062_Vivek Pandey
      062_Vivek Pandey 4 months ago

      @Raja Parameswaranwhere i can find more such stories if anyone know, any show,sereis,or yt chnnel
      .....already watched cosomos

  • Tommy Truong
    Tommy Truong 2 months ago +7

    I love the message at the end. It doesn't matter what is produced or invented. The importance is HOW we handle it.

  • ThatMedical Girl
    ThatMedical Girl Month ago

    This was simply beautiful. Thank u, we are in sad times with all this war around the world.

  • me2 345
    me2 345 28 days ago +1

    My Italian grandfather survived one of those gas attacks when the wind turned & blew it back to the Germans.

  • crea
    crea 17 days ago

    This video is one of the best educative information from your channel. Thank you so much for the insights. God Bless.

  • ElementalMaker
    ElementalMaker 3 months ago +2514

    Another worthwhile little note, it's quite possible that it was his research that killed him. In the process of making nitrates from ammonium, nitrogen dioxide is formed. One long term effect from exposure to nitrogen dioxide is cardiac arrest. It can happen years or decades after exposure, and I imagine he was exposed to quite a bit developing his process.

    • I N
      I N 3 months ago

      There was a reason THE HEBREW GOD said to let the land rest on the 7th year.
      Exodus 23: 10 - 11 and Levitacus 25: 18 - 22.

    • Cralix
      Cralix 3 months ago

      Many scientists died by there work

    • Satevo
      Satevo 3 months ago +1


    • J M
      J M 3 months ago

      @wavematrix Chemistry is so troublesome, that I wouldn’t be surprised to find out it is the great filter.
      And that somewhere down the road someone will discover how to make the thing that kills us all with no warning.

    • Suzanne Knight
      Suzanne Knight 3 months ago

      Same with Marie Curie and Uranium.

  • Nicolas Dujarrier
    Nicolas Dujarrier 20 days ago +1

    So far, I really, really love those Veritasium science videos and how well made they are !!! Thanks very much to all the Veritasium team for all the good work 👍

  • S D O
    S D O 2 months ago +1

    Absolutely brilliant watch, seriously quality content

  • AutMinRich
    AutMinRich 2 months ago +3

    Yeah, that's a very good question and one of the main issues of philosophy of science.
    When I was lecturing first year's I was introducing students to the concept of technological determinism and its implications. I was using two examples of technologies, one very simple the other a bit more complex (a hoe and the internet). I used these two technologies (very far apart from each other) to show students how any technology is just a tool and it's up to the humans handling it if it's used for good or bad purposes. A hoe can till the soil to grow food or can crack a skull open, the internet...well, we see that every day the goods and bads of it.
    So I was actually proving determinism wrong: you simply can't decide the uses and purposes of a technology, it's the users that will make sense of a technology that will decide if it's good or bad. Check also Fermi, Oppenheimer & co.
    Thanks for the excellent videos you keep making

    • Rob
      Rob 11 days ago +2

      That's the point, thanks. You can use a knife to cut bread or to stab someone. I hate people that therefore demand a full stop of science and progress. What is way more important: education, secular altruism and sceptical reasoning.

  • bruzote
    bruzote Month ago

    This reminds me of Thomas Midgeley Jr. Veritasium has a video on him, too. He didn't make enough change to blow up our population numbers though, he seems to have done more one-sided work to eliminate humans as a side-effect of his work.

  • Palin3
    Palin3 3 months ago +1907

    14:50 Ironically, Otto Hahn discovered nuclear fission, which eventually made it possible to develop nuclear weapons. In fact, he was also involved in the German nuclear weapons program. It seems he took Fritz's words about "innumerable lives" to heart.

    • waffled
      waffled Month ago

      @3rdman You can say the same to Haber. Can you blame the man for trying to minimise the amount of dead German soldiers? Of course, the difference is that America won the war.

    • sumayyah adetunmbi
      sumayyah adetunmbi Month ago


    • TexasBlueBoy
      TexasBlueBoy Month ago +2

      @Andrea My father joined the United States Marines the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed. He went on to serve in the Pacific Campaign. He would have been among the Marines that hit the beaches in Japan if not for the nuclear bombs on Japan. In stead he moved prizoners around Japan. The Japanese were ready to fight to the last person alive. They had taught children on how to kill soldiers. I know it saved at least one person.

    • Al As 57
      Al As 57 Month ago

      @madening It saved innumerable Japanese lives, cuz all the bombings before meant there wasn't many left to save anyway lol.
      Technically correct.

    • Al As 57
      Al As 57 Month ago

      @3rdman They would've all been tried for war crimes, had they have not won.

  • John Brown
    John Brown 23 days ago

    Very enlightening. Very thought provoking. Very disturbing.
    Great video.

  • Dennis Rowlay
    Dennis Rowlay 2 months ago

    The best narrator in the RU-clip universe! And, what a mind blowing docu!

  • JuicyBingBoy
    JuicyBingBoy Month ago +1

    In my opinion after watching the video, Haber was himself. He wanted the best for his country and the world. He was a creator of life and death simultaneously.

  • Jeff Benton
    Jeff Benton 6 days ago +2

    That animation of Haber smiling over that one drop of fertilizer precursor was so wholesome.
    (admittably, the knowledge gleaned from the title of the video - that he'd later kill some people, put a damper on the gleefulness of that scene, but it was still a great scene, and the whole story is important).

    • someguy147
      someguy147 2 days ago

      It kinda looked like a South Park character's mouth

  • CryptoMedic
    CryptoMedic 9 days ago

    I hadn’t watch a Veritasium video since months (don’t ask me why, YT forgot to suggest me !). Still remains the best YT channel ever.
    Also, welcome in the white beard team. You worry too much, you’re a dad aren’t you ? 😂

  • Mattia Vescovo
    Mattia Vescovo Month ago

    clear, easy to understand, this is a perfect educational video amazing work

  • T Blood
    T Blood 2 months ago +10

    i feel like his wife made these breakthroughs for humanity and he did this w it. WELL DONE video as always but this story was special. - the look in her eyes is undeniable

  • Robert Conlee
    Robert Conlee 2 months ago +1

    SERIOUS QUESTION!! Does anybody have any sources that discuss the “30 Meter high mounds of bird poop on the cliffs?” I’ve been desperately searching in vain but would love to know more about this. Thank you!

  • Big Man
    Big Man 4 months ago +1374

    Honestly let's give a big props to the editing and animation on these recent videos. Feels like I'm watching a TedEd video, with Derek's narration. It's only getting better!!!

    • I N
      I N 3 months ago

      There was a reason THE HEBREW GOD said to let the land rest on the 7th year.
      Exodus 23: 10 - 11 and Levitacus 25: 18 - 22

    • Sam Wellick
      Sam Wellick 3 months ago

      It's their own animations?!? I thought it must be from some animated autobiographical film about Haber at first!

    • Shannan Mortimer
      Shannan Mortimer 3 months ago

      It is better than TED

    • Chaos Blow
      Chaos Blow 4 months ago


    • _tikn03_
      _tikn03_ 4 months ago +3

      @Lakehuntist Go outside and touch grasses.

  • Virgo v
    Virgo v 2 months ago

    This reminds me of norman borlaug. The agronomist who pioneered genetic engineering. I remember reading in a book about him(im not sure how true this claim is) that stated he didnt believe he had won the nobel prize after years of green peace protesting him. Which is sad.

  • trish
    trish 2 months ago

    That was so depressing….but really informative, thanks.

  • Mark Suslenkov
    Mark Suslenkov Month ago

    Well, Georg Hilderbandt, how did you seal the flask? I suppose the pressure in a sealed flask doesn’t change in adiabatic process and it’ll drop if submerged in cold water. The pressure could rise only if the flask was pressurised or pressed somehow. So was the flask evenly pressed by submerging into the water? What was it made of?
    There is a glass flask in the video and my chemist girlfriend doesn’t believe it was possible with the glass one, so do I.

  • COMPLEX Mystery (हिन्दी)

    Very well-researched and fine-made video this is.

  • z3phyr z3p
    z3phyr z3p 4 months ago +918

    Wow! This should be shown in every school. The combination of so many subjects explained in a relatable and understandable way is extremely eyeopening. Imagine a day where you watch this video and discuss it in different classes: chemistry, history, biology, ethics, physics. You could even relate it to art with painters like Otto Dix.
    I think that's what's missing a lot at ordinary schools: A tangible well connected story, making one understand why this knowledge is important and useful.
    Great work, Veritasium-Team!

    • Limemill
      Limemill 11 days ago

      At the same there’s this point I recently heard that made me think: with education getting ever so entertaining, students stop developing a habit of actively seeking knowledge by going through multiple, often very boring sources. So, later in life people are not capable of truly investigating things methodically, which creates all sorts of issues, including the ever increasing polarization we see today that is partially due to people not having that experience of almost inadvertently finding a lot of nuance in any topic they would want to examine

    • Bill Williams
      Bill Williams 16 days ago

      here we go again.. wasnt Fritz Haber a student too at one time?

    • I N
      I N 3 months ago

      There was a reason THE HEBREW GOD said to let the land rest on the 7th year.
      Exodus 23: 10 - 11 and Levitacus 25: 18 - 22

    • Muhammad Keshavarz
      Muhammad Keshavarz 4 months ago

      I studied this in chemistry in school

    • john pijano
      john pijano 4 months ago

      It's taught in schools. High Schools and Universities

  • Entity_Bilboy
    Entity_Bilboy 16 days ago

    At the end of his life, he was desperate but he also allowed for around 4 billion of us to live or exist. This is the type of legacy he left behind for us. Not a bad one but also not a good one. It is in what I believe to be called a gray area.

  • Ksenia
    Ksenia Month ago +2

    Incredible storytelling skills

  • can-o-juice
    can-o-juice Month ago +7

    the animator for this video needs more recognition

  • The Martyred
    The Martyred 14 days ago

    Fantastic documentary. A wonderfully tragic story.