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"The Universe"  Sort by

Weapons of Mass Extinction

   2014    Nature
Asteroids strike, planets collide, black holes blast out death rays, volcanoes erupt and ice engulfs the planet. These are the universe's weapons of extinction. They've happened before - wiping out entire species, and they will happen again. Are we next?
Series: How the Universe Works

Weirder and Weirder

   2018    Science
Dr Hannah Fry explores a paradox at the heart of modern maths, discovered by Bertrand Russell, which undermines the very foundations of logic that all of maths is built on. These flaws suggest that maths isn't a true part of the universe but might just be a human language - fallible and imprecise. However, Hannah argues that Einstein's theoretical equations, such as E=mc2 and his theory of general relativity, are so good at predicting the universe that they must be reflecting some basic structure in it. This idea is supported by Kurt Godel, who proved that there are parts of maths that we have to take on faith.
Hannah then explores what maths can reveal about the fundamental building blocks of the universe - the subatomic, quantum world. The maths tells us that particles can exist in two states at once, and yet quantum physics is at the core of photosynthesis and therefore fundamental to most of life on earth - more evidence of discovering mathematical rules in nature. But if we accept that maths is part of the structure of the universe, there are two main problems: firstly, the two main theories that predict and describe the universe - quantum physics and general relativity - are actually incompatible; and secondly, most of the maths behind them suggests the likelihood of something even stranger - multiple universes.
We may just have to accept that the world really is weirder than we thought, and Hannah concludes that while we have invented the language of maths, the structure behind it all is something we discover. And beyond that, it is the debate about the origins of maths that has had the most profound consequences: it has truly transformed the human experience, giving us powerful new number systems and an understanding that now underpins the modern world.
Series: Magic Numbers

What are We Really Made of

   2011    Science
What is the universe made of? If you answered stars, planets, gas and dust, you'd be dead wrong. Thirty years ago, scientists first realized that some unknown dark substance was affecting the way galaxies moved. Today, they think there must be five times our understanding of the universe and the nature of reality itself has drastically changed over the last 100 years - and it's on the verge of another seismic shift. In a 17-mile-long tunnel buried 570 feet beneath the Franco-Swiss border, the world's largest and most powerful atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider, is powering up. Its goal is nothing less than recreating the first instants of creation, when the universe was unimaginably hot and long-extinct forms of matter sizzled and cooled into stars, planets, and ultimately, us. These incredibly small and exotic particles hold the keys to the greatest mysteries of the universe. What we find could validate our long-held theories about how the world works and what we are made of -- or, all of our notions about the essence of what is real will fall apart.
Series: Through the Wormhole

What Happened Before the Beginning

   2011    Science
Every cosmologist and astronomer agrees: our Universe is 13.7 billion years old. Using cutting-edge technology, scientists are now able to take a snapshot of the Universe a mere heartbeat after its birth. Armed with hypersensitive satellites, astronomers look back in time to the very moment of creation, when all the matter in the Universe exploded into existence. It is here that we uncover an unsolved mystery as old as time itself -- if the Universe was born, where did it come from? Meet the leading scientists who have now discovered what they believe to be the origin of our Universe, and a window into the time before time.
Series: Through the Wormhole

What Happened Before The Big Bang

   2010    Science
Where did everything in our universe come from? How did it all begin? For nearly a hundred years, we thought we had the answer: a big bang some 14 billion years ago. But now some scientists believe that was not really the beginning; our universe may have had a life before this violent moment of creation. Take the ultimate trip into the unknown, to explore a dizzying world of cosmic bounces, rips and multiple universes, and finds out what happened before the big bang. Horizon takes the ultimate trip into the unknown, to explore a dizzying world of cosmic bounces, rips and multiple universes, and finds out what happened before the big bang.
Natural World
Natural World

   2015    Nature
Planet Earth II
Planet Earth II

   2016    Nature
Reel Rock
Reel Rock

   2014    Culture
Generation Iron
Generation Iron

   2017    Culture
Senna
Senna

   2010    Culture
How to Stay Young
How to Stay Young

   2016    Medicine
History of the Eagles
History of the Eagles

   2013    History
Inner Worlds Outer Worlds
Inner Worlds Outer Worlds

   2012    Culture