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Can Time Go Backwards

   2015    Science
We move around in space, but we are stuck in a prison of time moving ever forwards. Einstein said, 'The distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.' Is our experience of the ticking clock merely a trick of the mind? Could science ever make the clock move backwards? Experiments in quantum physics are showing that the future influences the present: what happens later limits the choices we think we have now. The laws of physics say visiting or talking to ourselves in the past is possible – but changing history once we get there is not.
Series: Through the Wormhole Season 6

The Great Math Mystery

   2015    Science
Go with us on a mathematical mystery tour, a provocative exploration of math's astonishing power across the centuries. We discover math's signature in the swirl of a nautilus shell, the whirlpool of a galaxy, and the spiral in the center of a sunflower. Math was essential to everything from the first wireless radio transmissions to the successful landing of rovers on Mars. But where does math get its power?" Astrophysicist and writer Mario Livio, along with a colorful cast of mathematicians, physicists, and engineers, follow math from Pythagoras to Einstein and beyond, all leading to the ultimate riddle: Is math an invention or a discovery? Humankind's clever trick, or the language of the universe? Whether we think we're good with numbers or not, we all use math in our daily lives. The Great Math Mystery sheds fascinating light on how math works in our brains and ponders the ultimate mystery of why it works so well when decoding the universe.

Inside Einstein Mind

   2015    Science
On November 25th, 1915, Einstein published his greatest work: General Relativity. The theory transformed our understanding of nature’s laws and the entire history of the cosmos, reaching back to the origin of time itself. Now, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s achievement, discover the inside story of Einstein’s masterpiece". The story begins with the intuitive thought experiments that set Einstein off on his quest and traces the revolution in cosmology that is still playing out in today’s labs and observatories. Discover the simple but powerful ideas at the heart of relativity, illuminating the theory—and Einstein’s brilliance—as never before. From the first spark of an idea to the discovery of the expanding universe, the Big Bang, black holes, and dark energy, NOVA uncovers the inspired insights and brilliant breakthroughs of “the perfect theory.”

A Sky Full of Ghosts

   2014    Science
Tyson begins the episode by explaining the nature of the speed of light and how much of what is seen of the observable universe is from light emanated from billions of years in the past. Tyson further explains how modern astronomy has used such analyzes via deep time to identify the Big Bang event and the age of the universe. Tyson proceeds to describe how the work of Isaac Newton, William Herschel, and James Clerk Maxwell contributed to understanding the nature of electromagnetic waves and gravitational force, and how this work led towards Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity, that the speed of light is a fundamental constant of the universe and gravity can be seen as distortion of the fabric of space-time. Tyson describes the concept of dark stars as postulated by John Michell which are not visible but detectable by tracking other stars trapped within their gravity wells, an idea Herschel used to discover binary stars. Tyson then describes the nature of black holes, their enormous gravitational forces that can even capture light, and their discovery via X-ray sources such as Cygnus X-1. Tyson uses the Ship of Imagination to provide a postulate of the warping of spacetime and time dilation as one enters the event horizon of the black hole, and the possibility that these may lead to other points within our universe or others, or even time travel. Tyson ends on noting that Herschel's son, John would be inspired by his father to continue to document the known stars as well as contributions towards photography that play on the same nature of deep time used by astronomers.
Series: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Einsteins Nightmare

   2014    Science
Professor Jim Al-Khalili investigates the most accurate and yet perplexing scientific theory ever - quantum physics. At the beginning of the 20th century scientists were led into the hidden workings of matter, into the sub-atomic building blocks of the world around us. They discovered phenomena unlike any encountered before - a realm where things can be in many places at once, where chance and probability call the shots and where reality appears to only truly exist when we observe it. Albert Einstein hated the idea that nature, at its most fundamental level, is governed by chance. Jim reveals how, in the 1930s, Einstein thought he'd found a fatal flaw in quantum physics because it implies that sub-atomic particles can communicate faster than light in defiance of the theory of relativity. In the 1960s the scientist John Bell showed there was a way to test if Einstein was right and quantum mechanics was actually mistaken. Jim repeats this critical experiment - with shocking results.
Series: The Secrets of Quantum Physics
History of the Eagles
History of the Eagles

   2013    History
How the Universe Works
How the Universe Works

   2014    Science
Reel Rock
Reel Rock

   2014    Culture
Racism: A History
Racism: A History

   2007    Culture
Space Race
Space Race

   2005    Technology
Planet Earth
Planet Earth

   2007    Nature
Natural World
Natural World

   2017    Nature