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The Electric Boy

   2014    Science
This episode provides an overview of the nature of electromagnetism, as discovered through the work of Michael Faraday. Tyson explains how the idea of another force of nature, similar to gravitational forces, had been postulated by Isaac Newton before. Tyson continues on Faraday, coming from poor beginnings, would end up becoming interested in studying electricity after reading books and seeing lectures by Humphry Davy at the Royal Institution. Davy would hire Faraday after seeing extensive notes he had taken to act as his secretary and lab assistant. After Davy and chemist William Hyde Wollaston unsuccessfully tried to build on Hans Christian ├śrsted's discovery of the electromagnetic phenomena to harness the ability to create motion from electricity, Faraday was able to create his own device to create the first electric motor by applying electricity aligned along a magnet. Davy, bitter over Faraday's breakthrough, put Faraday on the task of improving the quality of high-quality optical glass, preventing Faraday from continuing his research. Faraday, undeterred, continued to work in the Royal Institution, and created the Christmas Lectures designed to teach science to children. Following Davy's death, Faraday returned to full time efforts studying electromagnetism, creating the first electrical generator by inserting a magnet in a coil of wires. Tyson continues to note that despite losing some of his mental capacity, Faraday concluded that electricity and magnetism were connected by unseen fields, and postulated that light may also be tied to these forces. Using a sample of the optical glass that Davy had him make, Faraday discovered that an applied magnetic field could affect the polarization of light passing through the glass sample (a dielectric material), leading to what is called the Faraday effect and connecting these three forces. Faraday postulated that these fields existed across the planet, which would later by called Earth's magnetic field generated by the rotating molten iron inner core, as well as the phenomena that caused the planets to rotate around the sun. Faraday's work was initially rejected by the scientific community due to his lack of mathematical support, but James Clerk Maxwell would later come to rework Faraday's theories into the Maxwell's equations that validated Faraday's theories. Their combined efforts created the basis of science that drives the principles of modern communications today.
Series: Cosmos 2014

The World Set Free

   2014    Nature
This episode explores the nature of the greenhouse effect (discovered by Joseph Fourier and Svante Arrhenius), and the evidence demonstrating the existence of global warming from humanity's influence. Tyson begins by describing the long-term history of the planet Venus; based on readings from the Venera series of probes to the planet, the planet had once had an ocean and an atmosphere, but due to the release of carbon dioxide from volcanic eruptions, the runaway greenhouse effect on Venus caused the surface temperatures to increase and boiled away the oceans. Tyson then notes the delicate nature of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can influence Earth's climate due to the greenhouse effect, and that levels of carbon dioxide have been increasing since the start of the 20th century. Evidence has shown this to be from mankind's consumption of oil, coal, and gas instead of from volcanic eruptions due to the isotopic signature of the carbon dioxide. The increase in carbon dioxide has led to an increase in temperatures, in turn leading to positive feedback loops of the melting polar ice caps and dethawing of the permafrost to increase carbon dioxide levels. Tyson then notes that humans have discovered means of harvesting solar power, such as Augustin Mouchot's solar-driven motor in the 19th century, and Frank Shuman's solar-based steam generator in the 1910's. Tyson points out that in both cases, the economics and ease of using cheap coal and oil caused these inventions to be overlooked at the time. Today, solar and wind-power systems would be able to collect enough solar energy from the sun easily. Tyson then compares the motivation for switching to these cleaner forms of energy to the efforts of the Space race and emphasizes that it is not too late for humanity to correct its course.
Series: Cosmos 2014

New Worlds

   2001    Nature
Sam Neill explores humanity's long-term future - a future where we make new homes for ourselves on other worlds as we flee from the slow but inevitable death of our sun.
Series: Space

Journey from the Center of the Sun

   2014    Science
How does light escape from the sun? We take a journey from the center of the sun, following the path of light. We witness its fiery birth from in the core, its 430,000 mile battle against gravity and magnetism, and its escape from the solar surface.
Series: How the Universe Works

Playing with Nuclear Fire

   2014    Technology
Playing with Nuclear Fire' - In March 2011, the Tohoku earthquake in Japan created a tsunami that killed some 16,000 people and crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In the aftermath, the government and TEPCO, the plant's operator, withheld information about the extent of the damage. Three years later, citizens and the international community are left wondering if Japan really does have the situation under control, as the government is insisting, or if the danger is far greater than anyone is willing to admit. 'No Man Left Behind' - It's estimated that over a quarter million vets from recent wars have sought treatment for PTSD. Despite these statistics, veterans often face an uphill battle to get treatment, receiving inadequate attention and, most dangerously, overprescribed narcotics and other pharmaceuticals. Ryan Duffy meets veterans struggling with mental illness and addiction.
Series: Vice
Vice
Vice

   2013    Culture
Power of Art
Power of Art

   2006    Art
The Life of Birds
The Life of Birds

   1998    Nature
Through the Wormhole
Through the Wormhole

   2011    Science
The Universe
The Universe

   2010    Science
Tales by Light Season 2
Tales by Light Season 2

   2017    Nature
The Story of the Jews
The Story of the Jews

   2013    History
The Story of Maths
The Story of Maths

   2008    Science