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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 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 Farthest

   2017    Technology
Is it humankind's greatest achievement? 12 billion miles away a tiny spaceship is leaving our Solar System and entering the void of deep space. It is the first human-made object ever to do so. Slowly dying within its heart is a plutonium generator that will beat for perhaps another decade before the lights on Voyager finally go out. But this little craft will travel on for millions of years, carrying a Golden Record bearing recordings and images of life on Earth. In all likelihood Voyager will outlive humanity and all our creations. It could be the only thing to mark our existence. Perhaps some day an alien will find it and wonder. The story of Voyager is an epic of human achievement, personal drama and almost miraculous success. Launched 16 days apart in Autumn 1977, the twin Voyager space probes have defied all the odds, survived countless near misses and almost 40 years later continue to beam revolutionary information across unimaginable distances.

The Power of Doubt

   2017    History
In the last episode, Al-Khalili turns detective, hunting for clues that show how the scientific revolution that took place in the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe had its roots in the earlier world of medieval Islam. He travels across Iran, Syria and Egypt to discover the huge astronomical advances made by Islamic scholars through their obsession with accurate measurement and coherent and rigorous mathematics.He then visits Italy to see how those Islamic ideas permeated into the west and ultimately helped shape the works of the great European astronomer Copernicus, and investigates why science in the Islamic world appeared to go into decline after the 16th and 17th centuries, only for it to re-emerge in the present day. Al-Khalili ends his journey in the Royan Institute in the Iranian capital Tehran, looking at how science is now regarded in the Islamic world
Series: Science and Islam

Blue Planet II Coasts

   2017    Nature
On the coast, two worlds collide. Coasts are the most dynamic and challenging habitats in the ocean - that brings great rewards but also great danger. The extraordinary animals that live here must find ingenious ways to cope with two very different worlds. This episode is a rollercoaster ride of heart-stopping action and epic drama, peopled with characters from the beautiful to the bizarre. We meet fish that live on dry land and puffins that must travel 60 miles or more for a single meal, and witness a life-and-death struggle in a technicolour rock pool. In a secluded cove in the Galapagos, sea lions feast on 60kg tuna. It should be impossible - tuna are usually far too fast for sea lions to catch. But here the sea lions club together to herd their prey inshore. Once trapped in the shallows, these huge fish are easy pickings. As the tide recedes in Brazil, lightfoot crabs leap from rock to rock, desperately avoiding the water - their lives depend on it. Moray eels launch themselves from rock pools, jaw gaping. Then octopuses, too. Both crawl across dry rock to set their ambush. Elsewhere, the ever-changing tides create rock pools. But these temporary worlds are a battleground. Predatory starfish turn a magical garden into the stuff of nightmares.
Series: Blue Planet II
Everything and Nothing
Everything and Nothing

   2011    Science
Nature Great Events
Nature Great Events

   2009    Nature
Wings
Wings

      Nature
Ancient Aliens
Ancient Aliens

   2014    Culture
How the Universe Works Season 4
How the Universe Works Season 4

   2015    Science
A History of Christianity
A History of Christianity

   2011    History
Living Universe
Living Universe

   2018    Technology
U2 Live at the Rose Bowl
U2 Live at the Rose Bowl

   2010    Art