The section was reportedly from a cable laid in the 1860s. Their research 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 show the instrumentation used, and the students performing the analysis.
The segment will be aired on PBS stations Monday, July 5. Check your local listings or visit online to see our budding scientific gumshoes.