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First Second of the Big Bang

   2014    Science
The first second of the Universe, the creation of everything when space, time, matter and energy burst into existence. It is the most important second in history, which seals the Universe's fate and defines everything that comes after - including us.
Series: How the Universe Works

Inside Bills Brain: Decoding Bill Gates 3of3

   2019    History
The search for climate change solutions requires passion, resources and a sense of urgency -- three qualities Bill Gates clearly possesses. Bill has founded a start-up called TerraPower. After extensive computer modelling, the idea showed promise. Its new reactor greatly reduced the chance of human error. Fuelled by depleted uranium, the travelling wave reactor functions like a slow-burning candle and requires refuelling only once every decade. Bill and his team believed they had finally developed the ideal energy source, a reactor that was clean, efficient, and most importantly, safe.
Series: Inside Bills Brain: Decoding Bill Gates

The Mastery of Flight

   1998    Nature
The second programme deals with the mechanics of flight. Getting into the air is by far the most exhausting of a bird's activities, and Sir Attenborough observes shearwaters in Japan that have taken to climbing trees to give them a good jumping-off point. The albatross is so large that it can only launch itself after a run-up to create a flow of air over its wings. A combination of aerodynamics and upward air currents (or thermals), together with the act of flapping or gliding is what keeps a bird aloft. Landing requires less energy but a greater degree of skill, particularly for a big bird, such as a swan. Weight is kept to a minimum by having a beak made of keratin instead of bone, a light frame, and a coat of feathers, which is maintained fastidiously. The peregrine falcon holds the record for being fastest in the air, diving at speeds of over 300 km/h. Conversely, the barn owl owes its predatory success to flying slowly, while the kestrel spots its quarry by hovering. However, the true specialists in this regard are the hummingbirds, whose wings beat at the rate of 25 times a second. The habits of migratory birds are explored. After stocking up with food during the brief summer of the north, such species will set off on huge journeys southwards. Some, such as snow geese, travel continuously, using both the stars and the sun for navigation. They are contrasted with hawks and vultures, which glide overland on warm air, and therefore have to stop overnight.
Series: The Life of Birds

A Tale of Two Atoms

   2020    Science
Inside the heart of the atom, its nucleus houses energy. This hidden treasure was forged billions of years ago in distant stellar furnaces. The secret of starlight is nothing to fool with. It can bring a civilization to life and it can burn it to the ground.
Two atoms from different parts of the universe meet on a small planet. A deadly embrace between science and state altered the fate of the world and a gripping cautionary tale of others who grew used to living in the shadow of grave danger until it killed them all except one.
Series: Cosmos: Possible Worlds

Frozen Planet: On Thin Ice

   2011    Science
Sir David Attenborough journeys to both Polar Regions to investigate what rising temperatures will mean for the people and wildlife that live there and for the rest of the planet. David starts out at the North Pole, standing on sea ice several metres thick, but which scientists predict could be Open Ocean within the next few decades. The Arctic has been warming at twice the global average, so David heads out with a Norwegian team to see what this means for polar bears. He comes face-to-face with a tranquilised female, and discovers that mothers and cubs are going hungry as the sea ice on which they hunt disappears. In Canada, Inuit hunters have seen with their own eyes what scientists have seen from space; the Arctic Ocean has lost 30% of its summer ice cover over the last 30 years. For some, the melting sea ice will allow access to trillions of dollars worth of oil, gas and minerals. For the rest of us, it means the planet will get warmer, as sea ice is important to reflect back the sun's energy. Next David travels to see what's happening to the ice on land: in Greenland, we follow intrepid ice scientists as they study giant waterfalls of meltwater, which are accelerating iceberg calving events, and ultimately leading to a rise in global sea level. Temperatures have also risen in the Antarctic - David returns to glaciers photographed by the Shackleton expedition and reveals a dramatic retreat over the past century. It's not just the ice that is changing - ice-loving adelie penguins are disappearing, and more temperate gentoo penguins are moving in. Finally, we see the first ever images of the largest recent natural event on our planet - the break up of the Wilkins Ice Shelf, an ice sheet the size of Jamaica, which shattered into hundreds of icebergs in 2009.
Series: Frozen Planet
The Hunt
The Hunt

   2015    Nature
Woody Allen A Documentary
Woody Allen A Documentary

   2011    History
The Cell
The Cell

      Science
Reel Rock
Reel Rock

   2014    Culture
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

   2014    Science
The Last Dance
The Last Dance

   2020    Culture
In Search of
In Search of

   2018    Technology