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The Story of Maths The Language of the Universe

   2008    Science
This four-part British television series outlines aspects of the history of mathematics. Written and presented by University of Oxford professor Marcus du Sautoy, it is a co-production between the Open University and the BBC. In the first episode, Marcus du Sautoy in Egypt uncovers use of a decimal system based on ten fingers of the hand and discovers that the way we tell the time is based on the Babylonian Base 60 number system. In Greece, he looks at the contributions of some of the giants of mathematics including Plato, Archimedes and Pythagoras, who is credited with beginning the transformation of mathematics from a counting tool into the analytical subject of today. A controversial figure, Pythagoras’ teachings were considered suspect and his followers seen as social outcasts and a little be strange and not in the norm. There is a legend going around that one of his followers, Hippasus, was drowned when he announced his discovery of irrational numbers. As well as his work on the properties of right angled triangles, Pythagoras developed another important theory after observing musical instruments. He discovered that the intervals between harmonious musical notes are always in whole number intervals.
Series: The Story of Maths

Finding Atlantis

   2011    History
Could the fabled lost city of Atlantis have been located? Professor Freund explained how he led a pursuit to find the lost civilisation, believed by many to be an ancient Greek myth, by using deep-ground radar, digital mapping and satellite imagery. He contends that Atlantis, described by Plato in 360BC, in Spain's Donaña National Park, north of Cadiz, and was wiped out by a giant tsunami. Plato wrote it had been destroyed by a natural disaster in 9,000BC. Experts are now surveying marshlands in Spain to look for proof of the ancient city.

Atlantis Found

   2015    History
This documentary attempts to make history by finding the lost city of Atlantis once and for all. Adventurer-geologist Dr. Martin Pepper sets out to prove his theory – that the true Atlantis existed on the Greek island of Santorini, and was destroyed in the biggest volcanic eruption in human history". In order to achieve his goal, Pepper will use new scientific evidence gathered using state-of-the-art sonar scans of the sea bed and microscopic analysis of the ancient landscape. One of the challenges he faces is that he must also match Santorini to a series of key clues embedded in the first ever description of Atlantis by the Greek philosopher Plato – from the lost city’s strange ring-shaped design, to the role Egyptian priests played in recording the legend in the first place. His journey will take him across the Mediterranean and out into the Atlantic Ocean. By the end of the program, he reveals the stunning findings which may pinpoint the city and show exactly what it looked like.

Restrepo

   2010    History
It is fairly extraordinary that this film exists. The level of access attained by Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger over their 15-month period embedded with the Second Platoon, Battle Company, 173rd Airborne Brigade allows for an incredibly unvarnished account -- including footage of deaths both civilian and military. It's perhaps the most intimate and unflinching examination yet of the processes of modern warfare -- and an exhilarating, heartrending, profoundly moving film in its own right.

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
Magic Numbers
Magic Numbers

   2018    Science
How the Universe Works Season 6
How the Universe Works Season 6

   2018    Science
Chased by Sea Monsters
Chased by Sea Monsters

   2003    Science
Planet Earth II
Planet Earth II

   2016    Nature
Space Race
Space Race

   2005    Technology
The Big Think
The Big Think

   2017    Technology
Conquest of the Skies
Conquest of the Skies

   2015    Nature
Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial
Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial

      History