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Magic Numbers

   2018    Science
Dr Hannah Fry explores a paradox at the heart of modern maths, discovered by Bertrand Russell, which undermines the very foundations of logic that all of maths is built on. These flaws suggest that maths isn't a true part of the universe but might just be a human language - fallible and imprecise. However, Hannah argues that Einstein's theoretical equations, such as E=mc2 and his theory of general relativity, are so good at predicting the universe that they must be reflecting some basic structure in it. This idea is supported by Kurt Godel, who proved that there are parts of maths that we have to take on faith.
Hannah then explores what maths can reveal about the fundamental building blocks of the universe - the subatomic, quantum world. The maths tells us that particles can exist in two states at once, and yet quantum physics is at the core of photosynthesis and therefore fundamental to most of life on earth - more evidence of discovering mathematical rules in nature. But if we accept that maths is part of the structure of the universe, there are two main problems: firstly, the two main theories that predict and describe the universe - quantum physics and general relativity - are actually incompatible; and secondly, most of the maths behind them suggests the likelihood of something even stranger - multiple universes.
We may just have to accept that the world really is weirder than we thought, and Hannah concludes that while we have invented the language of maths, the structure behind it all is something we discover. And beyond that, it is the debate about the origins of maths that has had the most profound consequences: it has truly transformed the human experience, giving us powerful new number systems and an understanding that now underpins the modern world.

The Private Life of a Masterpiece

   2004    Art
Arguably the most powerful painting about war ever achieved. It portrays the slaughter of civilians after Napoleonic troops entered Madrid in 1808. The programme reveals the historical truths behind the painting and shows exactly how Goya achieved this masterpiece of protest. he painting's content, presentation, and emotional force secure its status as a groundbreaking, archetypal image of the horrors of war. Although it draws on many sources from both high and popular art, The Third of May 1808 marks a clear break from convention. Diverging from the traditions of Christian art and traditional depictions of war, it has no distinct precedent, and is acknowledged as one of the first paintings of the modern era.
According to the art historian Kenneth Clark, The Third of May 1808 is 'the first great picture which can be called revolutionary in every sense of the word, in style, in subject, and in intention'. Discover how Goya used drawings by authentic witnesses to depict a real firing squad.

Motivation

   2017    Culture
There is a contest each year that can change a young skater's life. There are no pros with million dollar endorsement deals here, just real kids with real lives and everything on the line. This is the story of a few of the best, from France, Brazil and the USA, as they risk everything for a chance of a lifetime. Motivation 3: The Next Generation is a proper follow-up to The Motivation but this time the stakes are so much higher. We're in deep with real kids escaping poverty and violence, crashing in skate-houses or still living with mom. For all of these kids a win at Tampa Am could mean a way out and an opportunity to do what they love for a living-skate.

Illuminations: the private lives of medieval kings

   2012    Art
Dr Janina Ramirez unlocks the secrets of illuminated manuscripts that were custom-made for kings and explores the medieval world they reveal. 'Ruling by the Book.' Janina begins her journey with the first Anglo-Saxon rulers to create a united England, encountering books in the British Library's Royal manuscripts collection which are over a thousand years old and a royal family tree which is five metres long.
Janina finds out about a king who had a reputation for chasing nuns and reads a book created as a wedding gift for a ten-year-old prince. She roams from Westminster Abbey to other ancient English spiritual sites such as Winchester, St Albans and Malmesbury, and sees for herself how animal skins can be transformed into the finest vellum.

The Climate Wars

       Nature
Global warming, and how to combat it, has provoked intense debate, changed the way we see the planet and created headlines around the world. But when and how did scientists first discover global warming, why has it led to such furious debate? In this three-part series geologist Dr Iain Stewart presents a definitive guide to the history of climate change.
Battle Begins uncovers some of the great unsung heroes of climate change science, and introduces us to a secret organisation of American government scientists, known as Jason, who wrote the first official report on global warming as far back as 1979. By the late 1980s global warming had already become a serious political issue. It looked as if the world was uniting to take action. But it turned out to be a false dawn.
Galapagos with David Attenborough
Galapagos with David Attenborough

   2013    Nature
Natural World
Natural World

   2017    Nature
Life of a Universe
Life of a Universe

   2017    Science
Generation Iron
Generation Iron

   2017    Culture
Blue Planet II
Blue Planet II

   2017    Nature
The Crusades
The Crusades

   2012    History
How to Grow a Planet
How to Grow a Planet

   2012    Science