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A Brief History of Time
Part of the Series: Janus Favorites Collection
Errol Morris turns his camera on one of the most fascinating men in the world: the pioneering astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, afflicted by a debilitating motor neuron disease that has left him without a voice or the use of his limbs.…
Silicon Run I
Part of the Series: Silicon Run Series
Silicon Run I uses live industrial footage to show the many processes necessary to manufacture microchips, including crystal growth, circuit design, and the wafer fabrication process for CMOS technology. Using close-ups of manufacturing processes and device animation, Silicon Run I…
I Dream of Wires
I Dream of Wires is a documentary about the rise, fall and rebirth of the machine that shaped electronic music: the modular synthesizer. The film explores the synthesizer's remarkable history, revealing how innovators like Robert Moog, working at Columbia University's…
The Science of Structure - Forces in Balance
Episode 2 of Understanding the World's Greatest Structures
Explore how two types of external forces: loads (forces applied to structures) and reactions (forces developed at supports, in response to applied loads): act on structures such as Kansas City's Chouteau Bridge. Also, learn how these forces are related to…
History's Mysteries
Episode 1 of The Inexplicable Universe
Begin this journey by taking a closer look at concepts that were once unexplainable but are now better understood. You'll focus on two such former mysteries: the existence of an invisible "aether" through which light and sound were believed to…
Out of Thin Air
Part of the Series: The Mystery of Matter
PBS
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…
Internal Forces, Stress, and Strength
Episode 3 of Understanding the World's Greatest Structures
Use the Simple Tension Test (pulling on a structural element until it reaches the breaking point) as a gateway to understanding the concepts of internal force, stress, and strength. Then, see these concepts at work in structures such as the…
Light
Part of the Series: How We Got to Now
PBS
Johnson relates the story of people who take us out of the dark and into the light. Hear about Edison's light bulb, which he didn't actually invent, and learn how an 18th-century ship's skipper discovered a source of illumination by…
Inexplicable Physics
Episode 4 of The Inexplicable Universe
Turn now to some inexplicable aspects of physics and our physical world. Among the many eye-opening topics you'll learn about in this episode are the discovery of more and more elements on the periodic table; muon neutrinos, tao particles, and…
The Chemistry of Food and Drink
Episode 15 of The Nature of Matter
Explore the chemistry of food and drink from the point of view of the cook and the consumer. What are the chemicals in an egg, a piece of toast, a slice of bacon, and other typical foods? How does cooking…
The Meaning of Information
Episode 24 of The Science of Information
Survey the phenomenon of information from pre-history to the projected far future, focusing on the special problem of anti-cryptography--designing an understandable message for future humans or alien civilizations. Close by revisiting Shannon's original definition of information and ask, "What does…
Light and Quantum Physics
Part of the Series: The Physics of Light
PBS
While the terms "quantum physics" and "Theory of Relativity" are used casually every day, not many people know what they really mean. Yet these theories have had a profound impact not only on science and technology, but also on our…
The Spooky Universe
Episode 2 of The Inexplicable Universe
Did you know that electrons have never actually been observed by scientists to this day? Or that quarks can only be studied in pairs? Or that as you travel faster or find yourself in a higher gravity, time ticks more…
The Transformability of Information
Episode 1 of The Science of Information
What is information? Explore the surprising answer of American mathematician Claude Shannon, who concluded that information is the ability to distinguish reliably among possible alternatives. Consider why this idea was so revolutionary, and see how it led to the concept…
The End of Time
Peter Mettler's enthralling, mind-bending new documentary is a tour de force that challenges our conception of time - and perhaps the very fabric of our existence. With stunning cinematography and a knack for capturing astonishing moments, The End of Time…
Building Across: Beams and Bending
Episode 6 of Understanding the World's Greatest Structures
Beams, combining tension and compression, are central to the second aspiration supported by engineering: building across long distances. As you survey beams from the primitive lintel over the Lion Gate at Mycenae to Norway's Raftsundet Bridge, you'll investigate scientific developments…
Why Time Is a Mystery
Episode 1 of Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time Series
Begin your study of the physics of time with these questions: What is a clock? What does it mean to say that "time passes"? What is the "arrow of time"? Then look at the concept of entropy and how it…
From Wood to Steel - Properties of Materials
Episode 4 of Understanding the World's Greatest Structures
Materials profoundly influence the form, function, and structure of great buildings, bridges, and towers. Using steel (which is superior in terms of strength, ductility, and stiffness) as a benchmark, compare the structural properties of wood, masonry, concrete, and iron: and…
The Arrival of Robot Autonomy
Episode 1 of Robotics Series
Plunge into the world of robots with this engaging introduction. When did we start thinking about robots? What three components are responsible for so many advances in robot design? Why is behavioral autonomy so essential to the development of modern…
Light and Time - The Special Theory of Relativity
Part of the Series: The Physics of Light
PBS
While the terms "quantum physics" and "Theory of Relativity" are used casually every day, not many people know what they really mean. Yet these theories have had a profound impact not only on science and technology, but also on our…