Could nuclear fusion hold the answers to the energy crisis? It is the process that has forged all matter in the universe. It lights the stars and it is what transformed the lighter atoms that formed in the Big Bang into heavier atoms. In Can We Make a Star on Earth?, Brian Cox peers beyond the glare of our Sun to reveal the hidden forces that provide its power. He discovers how this fusion energy has kept our closest star burning for five billion years. Brian believes humanity must build a star on Earth to ensure survival. Will scientists be able to harness fusion power and achieve abundant, cheap, clean energy?
Sagan reflects on the future of humanity and the question of 'who speaks for Earth?' when meeting extraterrestrials. He discusses the very different meetings of the Tlingit people and explorer Jean-François de La Perouse with the destruction of the Aztecs by Spanish conquistadors, the looming threat of nuclear warfare, and the threats shown by destruction of the Library of Alexandria and the murder of Hypatia. The episode ends with an overview of the beginning of the universe, the evolution of life, and the accomplishments of humanity and makes a plea to mankind to cherish life and continue its journey in the cosmos. The Cosmos Update notes the preliminary reconnaissance of planets with spacecraft, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of apartheid in South Africa, and measures towards the reduction of nuclear weapons.
Category:Culture Duration:01:00:00 Series: Cosmos
Professor Jim Al-Khalili sets out to discover whether nuclear power is safe. He begins in Japan, at the former Fukushima nuclear plant, where he meets some of the tens of thousands of people who have been evacuated from the exclusion zone. He travels to an abandoned village just outside the zone to witness a nuclear clean-up operation. Jim draws on the latest scientific findings from Japan and from the previous explosion at Chernobyl to understand how dangerous the release of radiation is likely to be and what that means for our trust in nuclear power.
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