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Tesla: Master of Lightning

   2007    History
The story of Nikola Tesla, the great scientist, visionary, and inventor who gave the world alternating current electricity, as well as being the father of radio. The film tells the story of this man's astonishing genius, his visions and inventions. Tesla's own scientific and autobiographical writings, as well as archival photographs and re-enactments are used to tell the story. A native of Austro-Hungary, Tesla came to America in 1884. Working first with Edison, the two inventors fell out over Edison's insistence on using direct current. Tesla took his alternating current vision to Westinghouse. Tesla worked to unlock the secrets of energy and electricity. The film follows Tesla's exploits and eccentricities, which made him a darling of the press. Largely forgotten today in spite of the great debt the modern world owes him, the film pays tribute to this overlooked genius

The World Set Free

   2014    Nature
This episode explores the nature of the greenhouse effect (discovered by Joseph Fourier and Svante Arrhenius), and the evidence demonstrating the existence of global warming from humanity's influence. Tyson begins by describing the long-term history of the planet Venus; based on readings from the Venera series of probes to the planet, the planet had once had an ocean and an atmosphere, but due to the release of carbon dioxide from volcanic eruptions, the runaway greenhouse effect on Venus caused the surface temperatures to increase and boiled away the oceans. Tyson then notes the delicate nature of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can influence Earth's climate due to the greenhouse effect, and that levels of carbon dioxide have been increasing since the start of the 20th century. Evidence has shown this to be from mankind's consumption of oil, coal, and gas instead of from volcanic eruptions due to the isotopic signature of the carbon dioxide. The increase in carbon dioxide has led to an increase in temperatures, in turn leading to positive feedback loops of the melting polar ice caps and dethawing of the permafrost to increase carbon dioxide levels. Tyson then notes that humans have discovered means of harvesting solar power, such as Augustin Mouchot's solar-driven motor in the 19th century, and Frank Shuman's solar-based steam generator in the 1910's. Tyson points out that in both cases, the economics and ease of using cheap coal and oil caused these inventions to be overlooked at the time. Today, solar and wind-power systems would be able to collect enough solar energy from the sun easily. Tyson then compares the motivation for switching to these cleaner forms of energy to the efforts of the Space race and emphasizes that it is not too late for humanity to correct its course.
Series: Cosmos 2014

Secrets of the Sun

   2007    Science    3D
A look at how the Sun was formed and how it could potentially die; its physical composition; how it makes energy; and the nature of solar eclipses, solar flares and sunspot activity. Behold the sun and all of its glory. Learn all things about the sun ranging from its beginning to its death. Also learn about how stars work in general and MUCH, MUCH more.
Series: The Universe

Dark Future of the Sun

   2010    Science
Our Sun has served Earth well for almost five billion years. It's bathed us with heat and energy. But like humans, our home star is mortal. In five billion years, it will stop nurturing its planetary offspring. The aging star will bloat out beyond the orbit of our planet incinerating all living things--including humans if we're still around.
Series: The Universe

Prehistoric America
Prehistoric America

   2003    Nature
Ice Age Giants
Ice Age Giants

   2013    Science
Planet Earth
Planet Earth

   2007    Nature
Seven Ages of Rock
Seven Ages of Rock

   2007    Art
Bible's Buried Secrets
Bible's Buried Secrets

   2011    Culture
The Cell
The Cell

   2009    Science
The Nazis, A Warning From History
The Nazis, A Warning From History

   1997    History
The Story of China
The Story of China

   2016    History