This episodes the nature of the cosmos on the micro and atomic scales, using the Ship of the Imagination to explore these realms. Tyson describes some of the micro-organism that live within a dew drop, demonstrating parameciums and tardigrades. He proceeds to discuss how plants use photosynthesis via their chloroplasts to convert sunlight into chemical reactions that convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and energy-rich sugars. Tyson then discusses the nature of molecules and atoms and how they relate to the evolution of species. He uses the example set forth by Charles Darwin postulating the existence of the long-tongued Morgan's sphinx moth based on the nature of the comet orchid with pollen far within the flower. He further demonstrates that scents from flowers are used to trigger olfactory centers in the brain, stimulating the mind to threats as to aid in the survival of the species. Tyson narrates how Greek philosophers Thales and Democritus postulated that all matter was made up of combinations of atoms in a large number of configurations, and describes how carbon forms the basic building block for life on earth due to its unique chemical nature. Tyson explains on the basic atomic structure of protons, neutrons, and electrons, and the nature of nuclear fusion that occurs in most stars. He then discusses the existence of neutrinos that are created by these nuclear processes in stars, and that detecting such sub-atomic particles which normally pass through matter require subterranean facilities like the Super-Kamiokande that were used to detect neutrinos from the supernova SN 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud before light from the explosion were observed due to their ability to pass through matter of the dying sun. Tyson compares how neutrinos were postulated by Wolfgang Pauli to account for the conservation of energy from nuclear reactions in the same manner as Darwin's postulate on the long-tongued moth. Tyson concludes by noting that there are neutrinos from the Big Bang still existing in the universe but due to the nature of light, there is a "wall of infinity" that cannot be observed beyond.
Category:Science Duration:43:13 Series: Cosmos 2014
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.
Category:Science Duration:59:00 Series: Human Universe
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.
Category:Science Duration:45:00 Series: Through the Wormhole Season 6
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