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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

Spark

   2014    Science
Professor Jim Al-Khalili tells the electrifying story of our quest to master nature's most mysterious force - electricity. Until fairly recently, electricity was seen as a magical power, but it is now the lifeblood of the modern world and underpins every aspect of our technological advancements.Without electricity, we would be lost. This series tells of dazzling leaps of imagination and extraordinary experiments - a story of maverick geniuses who used electricity to light our cities, to communicate across the seas and through the air, to create modern industry and to give us the digital revolution. Episode one tells the story of the very first 'natural philosophers' who started to unlock the mysteries of electricity. They studied its curious link to life, built strange and powerful instruments to create it and even tamed lightning itself. It was these men who truly laid the foundations of the modern world. Electricity was without doubt a fantastical wonder. This is the story about what happened when the first real concerted effort was made to understand electricity; how we learned to create and store it, before finally creating something that enabled us to make it at will - the battery.
Series: Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity

The Lost Tribes of Humanity

   2017    History
Alice Roberts explores the latest discoveries in the study of human origins, revealing the transformation that has been brought about in this field by genetics. Traditional Palaeoanthropology, based on fossils, is being transformed by advanced genome sequencing techniques. We now know that there were at least four other distinct species of human on the planet at the same time as us - some of them identified from astonishingly well-preserved DNA extracted from 50,000-year-old bones, others hinted at by archaic sections of DNA hidden in our modern genome. What's more, we now know that our ancestors met and interacted with these other humans, in ways that still have ramifications today. Alice uses these revelations to update our picture of the human family tree.

Samurai Sword

   2014    History
The film is the inside track on the World's most influential weapon. For over a thousand years this weapon dominated the battlefields of Japan, instilled fear and terror into every enemy it faced, and created a new spiritual way of life that lasts through to the present day. The Samurai sword – a weapon so technologically perfect in structure, so formidable in strength and so beautiful in creation. For the first time unique access has been granted and we travel into the core of the ancient foundries, sword-smiths and fighting schools to reveal what makes the so-called perfect sword. This is a no holds barred look at one of the most iconic man-made objects ever forged.

The Sound and the Fury: A Century of Modern Music. Wrecking Ball

   2013    Art
It begins by examining the shift in the language and sound of music from the melodies and harmonies of giants such as Mozart, Haydn and Brahms into the fragmented, abstract, discordant sound of the most radical composers of the new century - Schoenberg, Webern, Stravinsky and beyond. It examines how this new music was a response to the huge upheaval in the world at the start of the 20th century, with its developments in technology, science, modern art and the tumult of the First World War. Featuring performances of some of the key works of the period, performed by the London Sinfonietta, members of the Aurora Orchestra and composer and pianist Timothy Andres, the story of this episode in music history is brought to life through the contributions of the biggest names in modern classical music, among them Steve Reich, John Adams, Michael Tilson Thomas, Pierre Boulez, George Benjamin and Alex Ross, music critic of the New Yorker.
Series: The Sound and the Fury
Breakthrough
Breakthrough

   2015    Medicine
The Sound and the Fury
The Sound and the Fury

   2013    Art
The Nazis, A Warning From History
The Nazis, A Warning From History

   1997    History
How to Grow a Planet
How to Grow a Planet

   2012    Science
Africa with David Attenborough
Africa with David Attenborough

   2013    Nature
Prehistoric America
Prehistoric America

   2003    Nature
Dangerous knowledge
Dangerous knowledge

   2007    Science
Atom
Atom

   2007    Science