Stephen Hawking is the most famous scientist on the planet. But behind the public face lies an argument that has been raging for almost 30 years. Has he been wrong for the last 30 years? Hawking shot to fame in the world of physics when he provided a mathematical proof for the Big Bang theory. This theory showed that the entire universe exploded from a singularity, an infinitely small point with infinite density and infinite gravity. Hawking was able to come to his proof using mathematical techniques that had been developed by Roger Penrose. These techniques were however developed to deal not with the beginning of the Universe but with black holes". Science had long predicted that if a sufficiently large star collapsed at the end of its life, all the matter left in the star would be crushed into an infinitely small point with infinite gravity and infinite density – a singularity. Hawking realised that the Universe was, in effect, a black hole in reverse. Instead of matter being crushed into a singularity, the Universe began when a singularity expanded to form everything we see around us today, from stars to planets to people. Hawking realised that to come to a complete understanding of the Universe he would have to unravel the mysteries of the black hole and its paradoxes
Comedian Ben Miller returns to his roots as a physicist to try to answer a deceptively simple question: what is one degree of temperature? His quest takes him to the frontiers of current science as he meets researchers working on the hottest and coldest temperatures in the universe, and to a lab where he experiences some of the strangest effects of quantum physics - a place where super-cooled liquids simply pass through solid glass. Plus, Ben installs his very own Met office weather station at home. Ben's investigations in this personal and passionate film highlight the importance of measurement and accuracy in the 21st century.
The black hole at the centre of the Milky Way is getting ready to feast. A gas cloud three times the size of our planet has strayed within the gravitational reach of our nearest supermassive black hole. And across the globe, telescopes are being trained on the heart of our Milky Way galaxy, some 27,000 light years from Earth, in the expectation of observing this unique cosmic spectacle. For cosmic detectives across the Earth, it is a unique opportunity. For the first time in the history of science, they hope to observe in action the awesome spectacle of a feeding supermassive black hole.
This new feature-length biographical film tells the extraordinary and dramatic story of the planet's most famous living scientist, told for the first time in his own words and by those closest to him. Made with unique access to his private life, this is an intimate and moving journey into Stephen Hawking's past and present. Interviewees include Stephen Hawking's sister Mary, his ex-wife Jane, carers and students, as well as colleagues such as Roger Penrose, plus Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin, actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Jim Carrey, and Sir Richard Branson This inspirational portrait of an iconic figure relates Hawking's incredible personal journey from boyhood underachiever to scientific genius and multi-million-selling author. And it charts how he overcame being diagnosed with motor neurone disease - and being given just two years to live - to make amazing scientific discoveries and become a symbol of triumph over adversity. Born exactly 300 years after the death of Galileo, Hawking grew up in a family some regarded as eccentric. Always asking questions, he was nicknamed 'Einstein' at school. Hawking blossomed at Oxford, although he only spent an hour a day studying. He noticed that he was becoming clumsy and fell over for no apparent reason. He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, but nevertheless started a family and embarked on his academic career, finding himself at the heart of a searing scientific debate about the origins of the universe. And as he lost the use of his body, Hawking had to find new ways to think. He went on to write the huge bestseller A Brief History of Time, and the film reveals the high and lows of his resulting fame and fortune.
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