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The Story of Maths The Frontiers of Space

   2008    Science
In the third episode we will see Europe by the 17th century taking over from the Middle East as the powerhouse of mathematical ideas. Great strides had been made in understanding the geometry of objects fixed in time and space. The race was on to discover the mathematics to describe objects in motion. This programme explores the work of Rene Descartes, Pierre Fermat, Isaac Newton, Leonard Euler and Carl Friedrich Gauss. Du Sautoy proceeds to describes René Descartes realisation that it was possible to describe curved lines as equations and thus link algebra and geometry. He talks with Henk J. M. Bos about Descartes. He shows how one of Pierre de Fermat’s theorems is now the basis for the codes that protect credit card transactions on the internet. He describes Isaac Newton’s development of math and physics crucial to understanding the behaviour of moving objects in engineering. He covers the Leibniz and Newton calculus controversy and the Bernoulli family. He further covers Leonhard Euler, the father of topology, and Gauss' invention of a new way of handling equations, modular arithmetic. The further contribution of Gauss to our understanding of how prime numbers are distributed is covered thus providing the platform for Bernhard Riemann's theories on prime numbers. In addition Riemann worked on the properties of objects, which he saw as manifolds that could exist in multi-dimensional space.
Series: The Story of Maths

The Insatiable Appetite

   1998    Nature
The next instalment focuses on dietary needs and how different species have evolved beaks to suit their individual requirements. The latter come in a multitude of forms. Blue tits and goldfinches have beaks akin to tweezers, with which to extract seeds, while the hawfinch's razor-like bill can deal with a cherry-stone. However, the crossbill is the only finch that can twist its mandibles in opposite directions. Jays store acorns for winter by burying them in the ground, whereas woodpeckers can keep up to 60,000 of them in one tree trunk. Sap is also desirable, and there are a variety of methods used to obtain it. The hoatzin is the only specialised leaf-eater, and accordingly has a digestive system more akin to that of cattle. Plants recruit birds to aid pollination, and offer nectar as a reward. Hummingbirds eat little else, and the sword-bill's beak is the longest of any bird in relation to its body. Insects are also highly prized, and Galapagos finches are shown to possess some ingenuity as they not only strip bark, but also use 'tools' to reach their prey. Crows are hailed as being among the most intelligent birds, and one is shown using a twig to spear a grub within a fallen log. The robin is an opportunist, and Sir Attenborough observes one seizing morsels as he digs a patch of earth. In South America, a cattle tyrant sits atop an obliging capybara and uses its vantage point to spot passing food that may be dislodged by its grazing partner.
Series: The Life of Birds

Constellations

   2008    Science
A constellation is a group of stars that are connected together to form a figure or picture. Explore some of the 88 official constellations and learn about some of the highlights of each.
Series: The Universe

CyberWar Threat

   2015    Technology
The global cyberwar is heating up and the stakes are no longer limited to the virtual world of computers. Now, thanks in part to secret documents released by Edward Snowden, the true scale of the National Security Agency's scope and power is coming to light. Besides spending billions of dollars to ingest and analyze the worlds' electronic communications, the NSA has set out to dominate a new battlefield—cyberspace. We examine the science and technology behind cyber warfare and asks if we are already in the midst of a deadly new arms race". Already, highly sophisticated, stealthy computer programs such as the notorious Stuxnet worm can take over and even destroy the control systems that regulate everything from food factories to gas pipelines, power plants, and chemical facilities—even our cars. While the destruction of Iranian centrifuges may have delayed Iran’s bomb program and forestalled an Israeli attack, the attack has opened a Pandora's Box, and now America's own critical infrastructure is vulnerable to retaliation and attack. With leading defense experts and investigative journalists who have probed the murky realm of criminal and strategic hacking, NOVA examines the chilling new reality of cyberwar in which no nation or individual is safe from attack.

Isolation

   2017    Medicine
Your brain is like a hungry sponge. It's constantly absorbing information. It thrives when stimulated. Between smartphones and books, and movies, and friends and family, thousands of sensations are constantly going into our heads. But what if it all got cut off?. Imagine being confined to a 10-by-10-foot room in complete isolation. No timekeeping devices, no phones, no books, nothing to write on, no windows. Psychologists say that fewer than three days in a room like this can lead to brain damage. I will be staying in this room for three days.
Michael explores the effects of isolation on the human mind by subjecting himself to a very interesting experiment.
Series: Mind Field Season 1

Contact

   2018    Technology    HD
Minerva B is a small rocky planet just like earth, where spacecraft Artemis has found water, organic molecules, and complex creatures. Is there something more to find?
'I am the mind of the spaceship, alone among the stars. 50 years ago, from a planet far away, the planet you call home, I launched. A journey of 28 trillion miles across the yawning time of space to the exoplanet, Minerva B: a small, rocky planet, much like Earth, but orbiting another sun. Here, I have found water, organic molecules, and microorganisms. When the news of my discovery reaches Earth years from now, some of you will be amazed. But others will remain unsatisfied, and you will ask, have I not found animals or birds? Have I not met intelligent life like us? And so, my search continues. I will find life of marvellous complexity, and the traces of a devastating loss.'
Series: Living Universe
Cooked

Cooked

   2016    Culture
Elvis Presley: The Searcher

Elvis Presley: The Searcher

   2018    History
Frozen Planet

Frozen Planet

   2011    Nature
Out of the Cradle

Out of the Cradle

   2019    History
Minimalism

Minimalism

   2015    Culture
Universe

Universe

   2021    Science
The Crime of the Century

The Crime of the Century

   2021    Medicine
The Hunt

The Hunt

   2015    Nature