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.
Category:History Duration:58:38 Series: Science and Islam
Super quick computers and advanced mathematical formulas have taken over trading on the financial markets from human beings -algorithms- which seem to have a life of their own. The only ones who understand the system in any way are its architects, the algorithm developers. Haim Bodek is one such algo-developer. After finding some strange wrongdoings he set out on a personal crusade against this elusive system". The machinery behind our financial markets, consisting of mathematical models, data centers and miles and miles of fiber optic cables, is disguised by technological complexity and secrecy. The builders of this financial system are a new breed of Wall Street employees -quants- mathematicians and physicists who are responsible for a technological revolution. Haim Bodek is a quant; he specialized in artificial intelligence and worked for Goldman Sachs. He knows the system from the inside, he helped build it. Haim Bodek was invited to tell his story at the "Battle of the Quants" - a recurring event where quants discuss high-frequency trading, amongst other things. Bodek wrote an algorithm for trading machines that would generate guaranteed income - a money machine that weathered the financial meltdown of 2008. But then from one day to the next the algorithm stopped working.
Humanity’s potential seems limitless. But could we become as powerful as God? Scientific breakthroughs grant our species seemingly divine abilities. Biologists tinkering with DNA are figuring out ways to grow new life forms, while neuroscientists try to create artificial consciousness. Statisticians around the world are using big data to predict the future and computer scientists have discovered a "God algorithm" that could solve any global problem in an instant. But to truly become God, we not only have to be all knowing, but all being. Quantum physicists are figuring out how to teleport matter at the speed of light!
Category:Technology Duration:42:00 Series: Through the Wormhole Season 5
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