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What are We Really Made of

   2011    Science
What is the universe made of? If you answered stars, planets, gas and dust, you'd be dead wrong. Thirty years ago, scientists first realized that some unknown dark substance was affecting the way galaxies moved. Today, they think there must be five times our understanding of the universe and the nature of reality itself has drastically changed over the last 100 years - and it's on the verge of another seismic shift. In a 17-mile-long tunnel buried 570 feet beneath the Franco-Swiss border, the world's largest and most powerful atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider, is powering up. Its goal is nothing less than recreating the first instants of creation, when the universe was unimaginably hot and long-extinct forms of matter sizzled and cooled into stars, planets, and ultimately, us. These incredibly small and exotic particles hold the keys to the greatest mysteries of the universe. What we find could validate our long-held theories about how the world works and what we are made of -- or, all of our notions about the essence of what is real will fall apart.
Series: Through the Wormhole

Numbers as God

   2018    Science
Mathematician Dr Hannah Fry explores the mystery of maths. It underpins so much of our modern world that it's hard to imagine life without its technological advances, but where exactly does maths come from? Is it invented like a language or is it something discovered and part of the fabric of the universe? It's a question that some of the most eminent mathematical minds have been wrestling with. To investigate this question, Hannah goes head first down the fastest zip wire in the world to learn more about Newton's law of gravity, she paraglides to understand where the theory of maths and its practice application collide, and she travels to infinity and beyond to discover that some infinities are bigger than others.
In this episode, Hannah goes back to the time of the ancient Greeks to find out why they were so fascinated by the connection between beautiful music and maths. The patterns our ancestors found in music are all around us, from the way a sunflower stores its seeds to the number of petals in a flower. Even the shapes of some of the smallest structures in nature, such as viruses, seem to follow the rules of maths. All strong evidence for maths being discovered. But there are those who claim maths is all in our heads and something we invented. To find out if this is true, Hannah has her brain scanned. It turns out there is a place in all our brains where we do maths, but that doesn't prove its invented.
Experiments with infants, who have never had a maths lesson in their lives, suggests we all come hardwired to do maths. Far from being a creation of the human mind, this is evidence for maths being something we discover. Then along comes the invention of zero to help make counting more convenient and the creation of imaginary numbers, and the balance is tilted in the direction of maths being something we invented. The question of whether maths is invented or discovered just got a whole lot more difficult to answer
Series: Magic Numbers

Revelations and Revolutions

   2014    Science
Electricity is not just something that creates heat and light, it connects the world through networks and broadcasting. After centuries of man's experiments with electricity, the final episode tells the story of how a new age of real understanding dawned - how we discovered electric fields and electromagnetic waves. Today we can hardly imagine life without electricity - it defines our era. As our understanding of it has increased so has our reliance upon it, and today we are on the brink of a new breakthrough, because if we can understand the secret of electrical superconductivity, we could once again transform the world.
Series: Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity

Is Time Travel Possible

   2011    Science
Einstein's world-shaking Theory of Relativity says that time travel is perfectly possible -- if you're going forward in time. Finding a way to travel backwards requires breaking the speed of light, which so far seems impossible. But now, strange-but-true phenomena such as quantum nonlocality (where particles instantly teleport across vast distances) may give us a way to make the dream of traveling back and forth through time a reality. Step into a time machine and rewrite history, bring loved ones back to life, control our destinies. But if succeed, what are the consequences of such freedom? Will we get trapped in a plethora of paradoxes and multiple universes that will destroy the fabric of the universe?
Series: Through the Wormhole

Unexplained Mysteries

   2008    Science
Explore the myths, misconceptions, truths & amazing mysteries of our unique universe. Could life exist on Mars? Is time travel possible & does Einstein's theory of relativity support it?
Series: The Universe
Blue Planet II
Blue Planet II

   2017    Nature
Dinosaur Planet
Dinosaur Planet

   2003    Science
The Human Body
The Human Body

   1998    Medicine
Chef's Table
Chef's Table

   2017    Art
Through the Wormhole
Through the Wormhole

   2011    Science
Planet Dinosaur
Planet Dinosaur

   2011    Science
The Making of the Mob
The Making of the Mob

   2016    History
Seven Ages of Rock
Seven Ages of Rock

   2007    Art