Light
Part of the Series: How We Got to Now

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Clean
Part of the Series: How We Got to Now
Dirty water has killed more humans than all the wars of history combined, but in the last 150 years, a series of radical ideas, extraordinary innovations and unsung heroes have changed our world. Johnson plunges into a sewer to understand what made a maverick engineer decide to lift the city…
Cold
Part of the Series: How We Got to Now
Only in the last 200 years have humans learned how to make things cold. Johnson explains how ice entrepreneur Frederic Tudor made ice delivery the second biggest export business in the U.S. and visits the place where Clarence Birdseye, the father of the frozen food industry, experienced his eureka moment.…
Glass
Part of the Series: How We Got to Now
Johnson considers how the invention of the mirror gave rise to the Renaissance, how glass lenses allow us to reveal worlds within worlds and how, deep beneath the ocean, glass is essential to communication. He learns about the daring exploits of glassmakers who were forced to work under threat of…
Sound
Part of the Series: How We Got to Now
Imagine a world without the power to capture or transmit sound. Journey with Johnson to the Arcy sur Cure caves in northern France, where he finds the first traces of the desire to record sound -- 10,000 years ago. He also learns about the difference that radio made in the…
Time
Part of the Series: How We Got to Now
The world today is obsessed by time. Johnson boards a submarine to discover what a lack of natural light means for a sailor's working day and visits Heathrow, the world's busiest airport, to try to get timings right at air traffic control. The story of getting a grip on time…
Newton - The Mind That Found the Future
This program is a dramatized presentation of the life of Sir Isaac Newton, as told by his friend and colleague Edmund Halley. Using both 17th- and 20th-century perspectives, this account takes viewers from Newton's study to the moon launching pad. We meet the man and the genius who contributed the…
Galileo - The Challenge of Reason
This dramatic production presents Galileo (Douglas Watson), challenger of traditional views of astronomy and physics, whose conflicts with established beliefs led to his trial as a heretic in 1632, but whose theories came to dominate Western thought in succeeding centuries. An LCA release. Columbus Film Festival
Out of Thin Air
Part of the Series: The Mystery of Matter
One of science's great odd couples--British minister Joseph Priestley and French tax administrator Antoine Lavoisier--together discover a fantastic new gas called oxygen, overturning the reigning theory of chemistry and triggering a worldwide search for new elements. Soon caught up in the hunt is science's first great showman, a precocious British…
Unruly Elements
Part of the Series: The Mystery of Matter
Over a single weekend in 1869, a young Russian chemistry professor named Dmitri Mendeleev invents the Periodic Table, bringing order to the growing gaggle of elements. But this sense of order is shattered when a Polish graduate student named Marie Sklodowska Curie discovers radioactivity, revealing that elements can change identities--…
Into the Atom
Part of the Series: The Mystery of Matter
Caught up in the race to discover the atom's internal parts--and learn how they fit together--is a young British physicist named Harry Moseley, who uses newly discovered X-rays to put the Periodic Table in a whole new light. And a young American chemist named Glenn Seaborg creates a new element--plutonium--that…
Earth, Ether, Light
Review the famous Michelson-Morley experiment, which was designed to detect the motion of Earth relative to a conjectured ether wind that supposedly pervaded all of space. The failure to detect any such motion revealed a deep-seated contradiction at the heart of physics.
The Nature of Light and Matter
Episode 2 of The Nature of Matter
Trace a scientific revolution that started with a curious observation about light and a seemingly nonsensical explanation. Learn how Max Planck's proposal that energy is related to frequency, and Albert Einstein's application of this principle to light, gave birth to modern physics.