Last Watched

Series: Human Universe

 

Apeman - Spaceman

   2014    History
Professor Brian Cox examines how it was that in a universe made of stars, rocks and endless space, a conscious civilisation was born. His latest adventure takes him from a submerged space station in Star City on the outskirts of Moscow, to Ethiopia, high above in the Great Rift Valley, where he encounters the geladas, mankind's distant ancestors. Despite once being Africa's most successful primate, a species who at one time roamed across the entire continent, these days they are found in one just place in the remote Ethiopian Highlands. Cox investigates why these ancestors retreated, yet modern mankind has expanded across the planet.

Why are We Here

   2014    Science
In episode two, Professor Brian Cox is off to India, where he assesses arguably the first evidence of rational thought in literature, the poetry of the Vedic monks. They pondered mankind's origins, realising there must have been a day with no yesterday - a day of creation - prompting the age-old question of where did the universe come from? Brian marvels that the universe seems to follow a set of rules, the laws of physics, allowing space to be considered on the grandest scale, travelling to the most distant, farthest reaches of the cosmos just by using our minds. Brian also visits Japan, and offers viewers the idea that man lives in just one of an infinite number of universes that are being made all the time.

Are...We Alone

   2014    Science
Is mankind alone, or are there aliens out there, either waiting to be discovered, or on their way to find Earth? Professor Brian Cox spends this episode asking such questions, and what he discovers may raise a few eyebrows. He begins by exploring the human race's efforts to find neighbours in outer space, including the launch of two golden discs containing a greeting from Earth in the 1970s; they are still travelling and are now the most distant man-made objects from the planet. Brian also meets members of the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, who have been monitoring radio signals for 50 years without success, before discussing the ingredients needed to make an intelligent civilisation with astrophysicist Dr Frank Drake.

Place in Space and Time

   2014    Science
On a trip to the fortified Moroccan village of Ait-Ben-Haddou in the Atlas Mountains, Professor Brian Cox reveals how by watching the stars' motion across the night sky, it is quite natural for man to think he is at the centre of everything. That view was held for many ages, but innate human curiosity has eventually led to an understanding of mankind's true place in space and time, and an appreciation that Earth is not a focal point but a mere particle of rock in a possibly infinite expanse of space, 13.8 billion years from the beginning of the universe.

What is our future

   2014    Technology
Professor Brian Cox concludes his exploration of our place in the universe by asking what next for the ape that went to space. Our future is far from certain. In Florida, Brian joins the latest efforts to protect Earth from potential catastrophic events. He joins a team of Nasa astronauts who are training for a future mission to an asteroid - should we ever discover one coming our way - under 30 feet of water in a submerged laboratory that simulates space. It is just one example of how, for our long-term survival, space exploration may well be vital. It is a view shared by Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke, who tells Brian what it was like to escape the confines of the planet. It is a dream that both Nasa and now commercial companies share as they race to get humans back into deep space.
But space travel, like every leap our civilisation has ever made, requires energy. Here too, scientists are hard at work attempting to safeguard our future. At the National Ignition Facility in California, Brian witnesses the world's most successful fusion experiment in action. He believes that if their mission succeeds, our civilisation will have unlocked a way to the stars that will not destroy the planet in the process. Brian concludes by returning to the top of the world in Svalbard, where he gains access to our civilisation's greatest treasure, locked away in a vault buried deep in the permafrost.
Through the Wormhole Season 6
Through the Wormhole Season 6

   2015    Science
Zeitgeist
Zeitgeist

   2007    Culture
The Story of Maths
The Story of Maths

   2008    Science
Hidden Kingdoms
Hidden Kingdoms

   2014    Nature
Seven Ages of Rock
Seven Ages of Rock

   2007    Art
Neanderthal
Neanderthal

      History
How to Grow a Planet
How to Grow a Planet

   2012    Science
Motivation
Motivation

   2017    Culture