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Numbers as God

   2018    Science
Mathematician Dr Hannah Fry explores the mystery of maths. It underpins so much of our modern world that it's hard to imagine life without its technological advances, but where exactly does maths come from? Is it invented like a language or is it something discovered and part of the fabric of the universe? It's a question that some of the most eminent mathematical minds have been wrestling with. To investigate this question, Hannah goes head first down the fastest zip wire in the world to learn more about Newton's law of gravity, she paraglides to understand where the theory of maths and its practice application collide, and she travels to infinity and beyond to discover that some infinities are bigger than others.
In this episode, Hannah goes back to the time of the ancient Greeks to find out why they were so fascinated by the connection between beautiful music and maths. The patterns our ancestors found in music are all around us, from the way a sunflower stores its seeds to the number of petals in a flower. Even the shapes of some of the smallest structures in nature, such as viruses, seem to follow the rules of maths. All strong evidence for maths being discovered. But there are those who claim maths is all in our heads and something we invented. To find out if this is true, Hannah has her brain scanned. It turns out there is a place in all our brains where we do maths, but that doesn't prove its invented.
Experiments with infants, who have never had a maths lesson in their lives, suggests we all come hardwired to do maths. Far from being a creation of the human mind, this is evidence for maths being something we discover. Then along comes the invention of zero to help make counting more convenient and the creation of imaginary numbers, and the balance is tilted in the direction of maths being something we invented. The question of whether maths is invented or discovered just got a whole lot more difficult to answer
Series: Magic Numbers

The Most Unknown

   2018    Science
An epic documentary film in which nine scientists will meet in a chain of encounters to uncover unexpected answers to some of humanity's biggest questions. How did life begin? What is time? What is consciousness? How much do we really know? By introducing researchers from diverse backgrounds for the first time, then dropping them into new, immersive field work they previously hadn't tackled, the film reveals the true potential of interdisciplinary collaboration, pushing the boundaries of how science storytelling is approached.
What emerges is a deeply human trip to the foundations of discovery and a powerful reminder that the unanswered questions are the most crucial ones to pose. The Most Unknown is an ambitious look at a side of science.

Expanded Horizons

   2018    Science
Dr Hannah Fry travels down the fastest zip wire in the world to learn more about Newton's ideas on gravity. His discoveries revealed the movement of the planets was regular and predictable. James Clerk Maxwell unified the ideas of electricity and magnetism, and explained what light was. As if that wasn't enough, he also predicted the existence of radio waves. His tools of the trade were nothing more than pure mathematics. All strong evidence for maths being discovered.
But in the 19th century, maths is turned on its head when new types of geometry are invented. No longer is the kind of geometry we learned in school the final say on the subject. If maths is more like a game, albeit a complicated one, where we can change the rules, surely this points to maths being something we invent - a product of the human mind. To try and answer this question, Hannah travels to Halle in Germany on the trail of perhaps one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century, Georg Cantor. He showed that infinity, far from being infinitely big, actually comes in different sizes, some bigger than others. This increasingly weird world is feeling more and more like something we've invented. But if that's the case, why is maths so uncannily good at predicting the world around us? Invented or discovered, this question just got a lot harder to answer.
Series: Magic Numbers

Einstein Quantum Riddle

   2019    Science
Join scientists as they grab light from across the universe to prove quantum entanglement is real. Einstein called it 'spooky action at a distance,' but today quantum entanglement is poised to revolutionize technology from computers to cryptography. Physicists have gradually become convinced that the phenomenon—two subatomic particles that mirror changes in each other instantaneously over any distance is real. But a few doubts remain.
The film follows a ground-breaking experiment in the Canary Islands to use quasars at opposite ends of the universe to once and for all settle remaining questions.

Black Hole Apocalypse 2of2

   2018    Science    HD
Of all the objects in the cosmos, planets, stars, galaxies, none are as strange, mysterious, or powerful as black holes. Black holes are the most mind-blowing things in the universe. They can swallow a star completely intact. Black holes have these powerful jets that just spew matter out.
First discovered on paper, on the back of an envelope, some squiggles of the pen. The bizarre solution to a seemingly unsolvable equation, a mathematical enigma. Einstein himself could not accept black holes as real. People didn't even believe for many years that they existed. Nature doesn't work that way. Yet slowly, as scientists investigate black holes by observing the effect they have on their surroundings, evidence begins to mount.
Series: Black Hole Apocalypse
Atom
Atom

   2007    Science
Nova Wonders
Nova Wonders

   2018    Technology
The Sky at Night
The Sky at Night

   2018    Science
The Climate Wars
The Climate Wars

      Nature
Space Race
Space Race

   2005    Technology
Seven Ages of Rock
Seven Ages of Rock

   2007    Art
Natural World
Natural World

   2015    Nature
How the Universe Works
How the Universe Works

   2014    Science