Simply the Best Documentaries

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Professor Jim Al-Khalili investigates the amazing science of gravity. A fundamental force of nature, gravity shapes our entire universe. It sculpts galaxies and warps space and time. But gravity’s strange powers also affect our daily lives in the most unexpected ways. This is a story with surprises in store for Jim himself. In telling the story of gravity, his own understanding of the nature of reality comes to be challenged. Finally, Jim discovers that, despite incredible progress, gravity still has many secrets to unveil.

On November 25th, 1915, Einstein published his greatest work: General Relativity. The theory transformed our understanding of nature’s laws and the entire history of the cosmos, reaching back to the origin of time itself. Now, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s achievement, discover the inside story of Einstein’s masterpiece". The story begins with the intuitive thought experiments that set Einstein off on his quest and traces the revolution in cosmology that is still playing out in today’s labs and observatories. Discover the simple but powerful ideas at the heart of relativity, illuminating the theory—and Einstein’s brilliance—as never before. From the first spark of an idea to the discovery of the expanding universe, the Big Bang, black holes, and dark energy, NOVA uncovers the inspired insights and brilliant breakthroughs of “the perfect theory.”

Dark energy - the mysterious force that is unexpectedly causing the universe's expansion to speed up. The effects of dark energy were discovered in 1998 but physicists still don't know what it is. Worse, its very existence calls into question Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity - the cornerstone of modern physics. The hunt for the identity of dark energy is on". Experiments on earth and in space generate data that might provide a clue, but there are also hopes that another Einstein might emerge - someone who can write a new theory explaining the mystery of the dark energy.

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

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