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The Empire of Reason

   2017    History
Al-Khalili travels to northern Syria to discover how, a thousand years ago, the great astronomer and mathematician Al-Biruni estimated the size of the earth to within a few hundred miles of the correct figure. He discovers how medieval Islamic scholars helped turn the magical and occult practice of alchemy into modern chemistry. In Cairo, he tells the story of the extraordinary physicist Ibn al-Haytham, who helped establish the modern science of optics and proved one of the most fundamental principles in physics - that light travels in straight lines. Prof Al-Khalili argues that these scholars are among the first people to insist that all scientific theories are backed up by careful experimental observation, bringing a rigour to science that didn't really exist before.
Series: Science and Islam

The Language of Science

   2017    History
Physicist Jim Al-Khalili travels through Syria, Iran, Tunisia and Spain to tell the story of the great leap in scientific knowledge that took place in the Islamic world between the 8th and 14th centuries. Its legacy is tangible, with terms like algebra, algorithm and alkali all being Arabic in origin and at the very heart of modern science - there would be no modern mathematics or physics without algebra, no computers without algorithms and no chemistry without alkalis. For Baghdad-born Al-Khalili, this is also a personal journey, and on his travels he uncovers a diverse and outward-looking culture, fascinated by learning and obsessed with science. From the great mathematician Al-Khwarizmi, who did much to establish the mathematical tradition we now know as algebra, to Ibn Sina, a pioneer of early medicine whose Canon of Medicine was still in use as recently as the 19th century, Al-Khalili pieces together a remarkable story of the often-overlooked achievements of the early medieval Islamic scientists.
Series: Science and Islam

The Invisible Universe

   2018    Science
It is one of the most unnerving discoveries in space science - that most of the universe is missing. We live in a material world, so instinctively we know what normal matter is - the world around us, the planets, stars and interstellar dust. But scientists currently estimate that 95 per cent of everything in the universe is actually - one way or another - invisible. Some of this is ordinary matter that we just can't easily see. But there's also stuff that's much more weird. For instance, there's a new kind of matter we think is out there, but whose very existence is still largely hypothetical - dark matter. And most mysteriously of all, scientists think there is an unknown form of energy pervading the universe that we know so little about, all it has so far is a name - dark energy. Embark on a tour of this invisible universe, and shows how its existence - or lack of it - will define the fate of the entire universe.
Series: The Sky at Night

Precision the Measure of All Things

   2013    Science
Professor Marcus du Sautoy explores why we are driven to measure and quantify the world around us and why we have reduced the universe to just a handful of fundamental units of measurement. He tells the story of the metre and the second - how an astonishing journey across revolutionary France gave birth to the metre, and how scientists today are continuing to redefine the measurement of time and length, with extraordinary results.

Revelations and Revolutions

   2014    Science
Electricity is not just something that creates heat and light, it connects the world through networks and broadcasting. After centuries of man's experiments with electricity, the final episode tells the story of how a new age of real understanding dawned - how we discovered electric fields and electromagnetic waves. Today we can hardly imagine life without electricity - it defines our era. As our understanding of it has increased so has our reliance upon it, and today we are on the brink of a new breakthrough, because if we can understand the secret of electrical superconductivity, we could once again transform the world.
Series: Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity
Through the Wormhole Season 5
Through the Wormhole Season 5

   2014    Nature
Seven Ages of Rock
Seven Ages of Rock

   2007    Art
P.U.L.S.E
P.U.L.S.E

   2006    Art
Planet Earth II
Planet Earth II

   2016    Nature
The Brain with David Eagleman
The Brain with David Eagleman

   2015    Medicine
Conquest of the Skies
Conquest of the Skies

   2015    Nature
What is the Right Diet for You
What is the Right Diet for You

   2015    Medicine
Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places
Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places

   2016    Science