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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.
Numbers as God
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
Sea Rex Journey to a Prehistoric World
2010 Science 3D
Experience a wondrous adventure from the dinosaur age with 'Sea Rex Journey to a Prehistoric World'. Join Julie, an imaginative young woman, as she travels from a modern-day aquarium to the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Explore an amazing underwater universe inhabited by larger-than-life creatures including the powerful Liopleurodon, long-necked Elasmosaurus and gigantic Shonisaurus which were ruling the seas before dinosaurs conquered the earth.
Thanks to state-of-the-art ultra-photorealistic imagery in 3D or 2D, see science come alive in a unique and entertaining manner. Immerse yourself in a lost age, 200 million years back in time, and get ready for a face-to-face encounter with the T-Rex of the seas. Directed by Ronan Chapalain and Pascal Vuong.
A look at two missions attempting one of the most difficult feats of space exploration - to collect a rock from another world. The film checks in on the US and Japanese attempts to bring a piece of an asteroid back to Earth. The missions have taken decades of planning, but the results will be worth it. We find out how studying these space rocks can teach us about the origins of our solar system and may one day help save Earth from a catastrophic collision.
The Sky at Night
Natural History Museum Alive
2013 Science 3D
In this ground-breaking film, Sir David Attenborough takes us on a journey through the world-famous Natural History Museum in London in a captivating tale of discovery, adventure, and magic, where state-of-the-art CGI, science, and research combine to bring the museum's now long-extinct inhabitants to life to discover how these animals once roamed the planet. As the doors are locked and night falls, Attenborough stays behind and meets some of the most fascinating extinct creatures which come alive in front of his eyes; dinosaurs, ice age beasts, and giant reptiles.
The film fulfils a lifelong dream of him, who said: 'I have been coming to the Natural History Museum since I was a boy. It's one of the great places to come to learn about natural history. In this film we have the technology to bring back to life some of the most romantic and extraordinary extinct creatures that can be conceived; some are relatively recent animals like the dodo, others older like the dinosaurs, and some we only know through fossil evidence. Using our current scientific knowledge, this film brings these creatures alive, allowing me to look at some of the biggest questions surrounding them.'
Triumph of Life
Seven Ages of Rock
The Nazis, A Warning From History
Blood of the Vikings
Space Deepest Secrets
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