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Weirder and Weirder

   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.
Series: Magic Numbers

The Last Reef

   2012    Nature    3D
Fly across iridescent tropical reefs, brush through a cloud of a million jellyfish, visit an alien world where the closer you look, the more you see, where the tiniest creatures support the greatest predators... We think of reefs as exotic, distant places with little or no connection to our everyday world. Yet every reef is a living city beneath the sea with a parallel existence to ours, distant yet undeniably connected. Reefs are hotspots of biodiversity as vital to life on earth as the rain-forests. They have been shaping our shorelines, literally forming islands and mountains, for millions of years. The fossil record shows that given time they have recovered from all of earth's major extinction events. Even reefs pulverised by atomic blasts at Bikini Atoll have regenerated. Yet within our lifetime reefs have come to face their greatest threat...

The Fantastic Mr Feynman

   2013    History
Richard Feynman is one of the most iconic, influential and inspiring scientists of the 20th century. He helped design the atomic bomb, solved the mystery of the Challenger Shuttle catastrophe and won a Nobel Prize. 25 years after his death - in his own words and those of his friends and family - this is the story of the most captivating communicator in the history of science.

Dancing in the Dark

   2015    Science
Scientists genuinely don't know what most of our universe is made of. The atoms we're made from only make up four per cent. The rest is dark matter and dark energy (for 'dark', read 'don't know'). The Large Hadron Collider at CERN has been upgraded. When it's switched on in March 2015, its collisions will have twice the energy they did before. The hope is that scientists will discover the identity of dark matter in the debris. The stakes are high - because if dark matter fails to show itself, it might mean that physics itself needs a rethink.

The Day they Dropped the Bomb

   2015    History
August 6th 1945 marked the start of a terrifying new episode in human history. This documentary marks the 70th anniversary of the day when the world's first atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima by a Boeing B-29 USAF Superfortress bomber, nicknamed Enola Gay after the pilot's mother". Up to 80,000 people - 30 per cent of the population - were killed by the blast and resulting firestorm and over 70,000 were injured. This documentary gives a minute-by-minute account of what happened on that fateful day, through the testimony of people who were there and rarely-seen archive footage from the time. Made on location in Hiroshima and the USA, it features unique interviews with eyewitnesses who have seldom, if ever, spoken about the experience. Several of them are no longer alive, they include the last surviving member of the crew of the Enola Gay - navigator Dutch Van Kirk who died in July 2014.
Lost Kingdoms of South America
Lost Kingdoms of South America

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The Men Who Built America
The Men Who Built America

   2012    History
Putin: A Russian Spy Story
Putin: A Russian Spy Story

   2020    History
How the Universe Works Series 9
How the Universe Works Series 9

   2021    Science
Shine a Light
Shine a Light

   2008    Art
Making a Murderer
Making a Murderer

   2015    History