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Understanding the World's Greatest Structures

Everyday Engineering: Understanding the Marvels of Daily Life

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Deepwater Disaster - The Untold Story
Part of the Series: Horizon
BBC
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is one of the world's biggest environmental disasters. Horizon reveals the untold story of the 87-day battle to kill the oil blowout a mile beneath the waves. The Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster sent millions…
Hagia Sophia - Istanbul's Mystery
Part of the Series: NOVA
PBS
Whether serving as Christian church, Islamic mosque, or secular museum, Hagia Sophia and its soaring dome have inspired reverence and awe. For 800 years, it was the largest enclosed building in the world--the Statue of Liberty can fit beneath its…
Secrets of The Parthenon
Part of the Series: NOVA
PBS
For 25 centuries the Parthenon has been shot at, set on fire, rocked by earthquakes, looted for its sculptures, almost destroyed by explosion, and disfigured by well-meaning renovations. It has gone from temple, to church, to mosque, to munitions dump.…
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…
Ken Burns: Empire of the Air - The Men Who Made Radio
Part of the Series: Ken Burns America
PBS
For 50 years radio dominated the airwaves and the American consciousness as the first "mass medium." In Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio, Ken Burns examines the lives of three extraordinary men who shared the primary responsibility…
The Sewer King
Part of the Series: Seven Wonders of the Industrial World
BBC
Seven Wonders of the Industrial World - The Sewer King - Episode 4 In the hot summer of 1858, a window was opened in the Houses of Parliament and Britain's great government suddenly ground to a halt. Disraeli and other…
10 Buildings That Changed America
PBS
10 Buildings That Changed America tells the stories of ten influential works of architecture, the people who imagined them, and the way these landmarks ushered in innovative cultural shifts throughout our society. From American architectural stalwarts like Louis Sullivan and…
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…
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…
User-Centered Design
Episode 25 of Everyday Engineering: Understanding the Marvels of Daily Life
Using the faucet as an example, study the bewildering number of ways that hot and cold water can be delivered into a sink, reflecting the challenges of designing everyday things. Along the way, consider the principles that go into a…
MEMS: Making Micro Machines
MEMS: Making Micro Machines is an overview of the manufacture and design of microelectromechanical systems. This video shows the fabrication, testing and packaging, and design of some of our most common MEMS devices. It features the fabrication of Hewlett-Packard's thermal…
The Hoover Dam
Part of the Series: Seven Wonders of the Industrial World
BBC
Seven Wonders of the Industrial World - The Hoover Dam - Episode 7 With its impassable canyons, dangerous rapids and severe seasonal variations that could reduce the western states of the USA to a desert, the Colorado River was one…
Pandora's Promise
A feature-length documentary about the history and future of nuclear power. The film explores how and why mankind's most feared and controversial technological discovery is now passionately embraced by many of those who once led the charge against it. Operating…
Computation and Logic Gates
Episode 2 of The Science of Information
Accompany the young Claude Shannon to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where in 1937 he submitted a master's thesis proving that Boolean algebra could be used to simplify the unwieldy analog computing devices of the day. Drawing on Shannon's ideas,…
Tesla - Master of Lightning
PBS
This program recounts the life of scientist, inventor, and visionary Nikola Tesla, often remembered as more of an eccentric cult figure than an electrical engineering genius. Many of his achievements are still attributed to contemporaries Thomas Edison and Guglielmo Marconi.…
Nuclear Nation
March 11, 2011: A huge tsunami triggered by an 8.9 magnitude earthquake hits Japan, crippling the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, releasing radiation, and turning the residents of Futaba into "nuclear refugees." The devastation experienced by the town - dead…
Learning to See and Understand Structure
Episode 1 of Understanding the World's Greatest Structures
How are ideas for buildings, bridges, and towers transformed from sketches to concrete reality? What are the three essential qualities that make a structure great? What's the difference between seeing a structure and actually understanding it?
Ken Burns: The Brooklyn Bridge
Part of the Series: Ken Burns America
PBS
The "Great East River Bridge" was the largest bridge of its era, a technical achievement of unparalleled scope, marked by enormous construction problems, equally ingenious solutions and heroic human achievement. In unexpected and wonderful ways, the Brooklyn Bridge captured the…
Ken Burns: Mark Twain
Part of the Series: Ken Burns America
PBS
Mark Twain was a lifelong creator and keeper of scrapbooks. He took them with him everywhere and filled them with souvenirs, pictures, and articles about his books and performances. But in time, he grew tired of the lost glue, rock-hard…
Big Dream - Young Women Entering STEM Fields
This film follows the intimate stories of seven young women who are breaking barriers and overcoming personal challenges to follow their passion in science, math, computing & engineering (STEM) fields. Through video diaries and verite moments, each of these girls…