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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

Ruling by the Book

   2012    Art
Dr Janina Ramirez unlocks the secrets of illuminated manuscripts that were custom-made for kings and explores the medieval world they reveal. 'Ruling by the Book.' Janina begins her journey with the first Anglo-Saxon rulers to create a united England, encountering books in the British Library's Royal manuscripts collection which are over a thousand years old and a royal family tree which is five metres long.
Janina finds out about a king who had a reputation for chasing nuns and reads a book created as a wedding gift for a ten-year-old prince. She roams from Westminster Abbey to other ancient English spiritual sites such as Winchester, St Albans and Malmesbury, and sees for herself how animal skins can be transformed into the finest vellum.
Series: Illuminations: the private lives of medieval kings

Last Stand Of The 300

   2007    History
In the year 480 B.C., the Greeks and the Persians fight one of the most famous battles in history at a place called Thermopylae. Here, the mighty Persian war machine, which has conquered most of the known world, will attempt an expansion into Europe. The only thing standing in their way will be an army led by 300 Spartans, the greatest soldiers the world has ever known. They will fight to the very last man, and in doing so will protect the cradle of democracy during its infancy, and the battle will go down in history as the greatest military stand of all time.

Angkor Land of the Gods

   2011    Art    3D
Buddhists, Hindus, and hundreds of thousands of travellers from around the globe flock to Cambodia every year to experience the grandeur of Angkor. Its famous temples were built over the span of five centuries by the rulers of the Khmer Empire, and endure today as one of Earth's greatest archaeological wonders. Join us as we shed light on one of the most enigmatic, mesmerizing civilizations in the history of mankind. We peel away the myth and legend to uncover the hidden story behind the creation of this ancient city.
Angkor Wat is the largest temple on the face of the Earth and is a symbol of one of the greatest empires in the history of Southeast Asia. And yet, for centuries, the sacred structure remained lost within the tropical forests of Cambodia, along with the history of the young king who built the temple. Discover the story of Suryavarman II and how he ushered in the golden age of the Khmer Empire. See how Angkor Wat was constructed over four backbreaking decades, and witness the monument in its true glory and splendour, as it appeared 900 years ago.

Conquest and Collapse

   2016    History
The Bronze Age had the first large urban centers, powerful kingdoms and armies, writing, and trade routes across vast areas. What led to the collapse of the city-state entities and the end of the Bronze Age? Possibly a perfect storm of uncontrollable factors that are still being researched.
Series: Bronze Age
Bible's Buried Secrets
Bible's Buried Secrets

   2011    Culture
Galapagos with David Attenborough
Galapagos with David Attenborough

   2013    Nature
The Story of Science
The Story of Science

   2010    History
Zeitgeist
Zeitgeist

   2007    Culture
Magic Numbers
Magic Numbers

   2018    Science
Bronze Age
Bronze Age

   2016    History
Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial
Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial

      History
Walking with Cavemen
Walking with Cavemen

   2003    History