Space technologies are continuing to be refined and access to space is becoming cheaper. This episode looks at the development of new human-rated spacecraft, reusable boosters, laser communications, the Ion Drive, and new techniques to refuel satellites in space.
The most important planet in the solar system is our home, the Earth. It is the only planet we know that harbors life. This episode looks at the growing understanding of the Earth’s complex climatic systems and the part on-orbit observation plays in the growth of knowledge about our planet.
As our expertise in space technology increases, there have been spin-offs in many areas: particularly in communications. This episode examines the profit-making satellite telecommunications industry and emerging techniques designed to increase the rates of data transmission from distant space probes
There are so many unanswered questions about the stars, the galaxies, and the universe and just mapping what lies in the night sky is immensely difficult. This episode looks at the effort involved in making the first photograph of a black hole and the search for planets orbiting distant stars.
The Sun is our star. Its energy enables life on the Earth to thrive yet we know so little about the solar weather and the 11-year solar cycle. Modern technology can be adversely affected by giant coronal mass ejections and there appears to be a link between sunspot activity and climatic conditions.
For most of human history, our neighboring planets were little more than dots of light in the sky with comets and asteroids being a complete mystery. Today the smaller rocky planets and asteroids are seen as the key to understanding the formation of our planetary system.
Before spaceflight aviators began wearing pressure suits to allow them to function at higher ceilings. These aviation suits were adapted for the early Cosmonauts and Astronauts but as requirements became more demanding spacesuit design became more elaborate.
Currently, the only destination for Astronauts and Cosmonauts is the orbiting research platform known as the International space station. This episode exposes the working life of people who spend months orbiting in microgravity.
The development of reliable, high-powered boosters has enabled researchers to send probes to distant planets. Without these workhorses, our science would remain tied to the Earth. This episode examines a range of launchers that are integral to space research.
For centuries, cities have been built near a fresh water supply. Without water, we'd be lucky to live three days. This most basic human need can be deadly too... the wrong supply can poison us, or get too close or careless and it can drown thousands in an instant. With every passing year, the challenge of providing water to billions of people becomes harder and harder.
If people are the lifeblood of cities, then transport links are its veins and arteries. If they're cut off, the city will die. Thousands of people work every day at making it possible for city dwellers to be where they need to be, when they need to be there. It's an endless demand of brain and brawn. Without the army of drivers, diggers, and planners, our great cities would come to a halt.
The world's cities are growing at a faster rate than ever before. An estimated 75 million people around the world move to an urban area every year. And as our metropolises become more and more crowded, architects, designers, and builders face a constant challenge.
Food- human life can't exist without it. It's a city's most important source of energy. In New York alone, 8 million people consume 10,000 tonnes of food every day. Without new supplies, cities will run out of fresh food in a matter of days.
Electricity powers the life support systems that keep our cities running. Lights, transport, communications, and even hospitals rely on this invisible force. Without it, our cities come to a standstill and lives are put at risk. Meet the people who spend tireless hours to make sure that city power grids remain safe, efficient, and uninterrupted
Imagine a future where we mimic the genius of nature—to re-calibrate the way humankind lives, breathes, builds—respecting the limits of our resources and transforming the modern world. Going Circular unlocks the secrets to circularity, an innovative concept that could save our collective future on Earth. Sometimes the best solutions come from surprising places.
2021 • Technology
Two air catastrophes within five months of each other, both involving the same plane: the Boeing 737 MAX. How could these brand-new passenger jets, built by one of aviation's most trusted companies, just fall out of the sky? Now, through newly uncovered records, plus interviews with experts who investigated the crashes, we reveal why this seemingly reliable aircraft was headed toward disaster from the very beginning, and list the series of miscalculations, mistakes, and fraudulent maneuvers that sent 346 people to their deaths in 2018 and 2019.
Concerns the exponential growth of technology and where it is taking us. The film focuses on how future technology could significantly change the two inevitable features of the human experience; punching the clock and fading away. It explores how advanced automation, AI and technological singularity could be achievable in the next 30 years. How job obsolescence and technological unemployment could consequently occur and how digital immortality may not be a thing of science fiction. But what are the socio-political repercussions of these innovations and are we ready for them? Does working less mean living more and is ending ageing incumbent on us? Worldwide experts in the fields of futurology, anthropology, neuroscience and philosophy share their thoughts on these future advancements.
2016 • Technology
Outer space has been transformed from a realm of scientific endeavor to the US military's newest battlefield. From anti-satellite missiles to laser technology, discover the cutting-edge race to build the ultimate space weapon.
Examines the decline of physical media in the video game industry and the rise of digital distribution. Changing technology has affected everything from secondhand mom and pop retail stores to independent game developers. As the way we fundamentally interact with media moves inevitably into the future, new opportunities arise.
2019 • Technology
Mars has beckoned humankind for centuries, but only in the last 50 years have we begun to scratch its surface. The latest Martian explorer is Perseverance, an uber-sophisticated rover, chock-full of scientific instruments, including 23 cameras, a robotic arm, lasers, and spectrometers, designed to analyze the terrain and reveal if there was ever life on the Red Planet. Join us as we examine the latest rocket, rover, and interplanetary helicopter.
2021 • Technology
By the end of the 21st century, humanity is becoming desperate. Decades of heatwaves and droughts have led to unusually poor harvests, while the warming oceans yield fewer fish each year. In the tropical zones, millions suffer from famine and resource wars have made millions more flee to the north. As things quickly get worse, in an act of desperation, the world's governments decide to enact an emergency plan...
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 dome with room to spare. How has it survived its location on one of the world's most active seismic faults, which has inflicted a dozen devastating earthquakes since it was built in 537? As Istanbul braces for the next big quake, a team of architects and engineers is urgently investigating Hagia Sophia's seismic secrets. Follow engineers as they build a massive 8-ton model of the building's core structure, place it on a motorized shake table, and hit it with a series of simulated quakes, pushing it collapse—a fate that the team is determined to avoid with the real building.
More than 2,000 years ago, the thriving city of Petra rose up in the bone-dry desert of what is now Jordan. An oasis of culture and abundance, the city was built by wealthy merchants whose camel caravans transported incense and spices from the Arabian Gulf. They carved spectacular temple-tombs into its soaring cliffs, raised a monumental Great Temple at its heart, and devised an ingenious system that channeled water to vineyards, bathhouses, fountains, and pools.
One of the ancient world's most iconic buildings, the Colosseum is a monument to Roman imperial power and cruelty. Its graceful lines and harmonious proportions concealed a highly efficient design and advanced construction methods that made hundreds of arches out of 100,000 tons of stone. In its elliptical arena, tens of thousands of gladiators, slaves, prisoners, and wild animals met their deaths. Ancient texts report lions and elephants emerging from beneath the floor, as if by magic, to ravage gladiators and people condemned to death. Then, just as quickly, the Colosseum could be flooded with so much water that ships could engage in sea battles to the delight of the crowd.
In 1998 a single video game forever changed the world. The game was StarCraft. It would go on to become the foundation of e-sports and the force behind the online streaming medium Twitch. This global phenomenon began in the modest South Korean internet cafes known as PC bangs. It was from these humble beginnings that our characters "MC" and "MMA" would begin their dreams. Dreams that eventually lifted them out of poverty and placed them on the world stage as champions. But life in esports comes at a cost and as we follow these players throughout a year of their lives we find out just what it takes to compete at the highest level and achieve ones' "Dreams of Blizzcon".
2017 • Technology
Forget outer space! The impact of NASA can be felt all around us, and, in fact in our very bodies. From the worldwide financial network to tracking endangered species, the food you eat. NASA's shaping of our modern lives is so extreme it's impossible to imagine life without this force.
The largest steel plant in the world is a hi-tech super factory that takes production to astonishing levels, turning out 21 million tons of steel every year on a sprawling campus comprised of 50 individually operating sub-factories.
Rolls-Royce is not only a legendary automotive brand, they're also one of the largest manufacturers of aircraft engines producing the revolutionary Trent XWB, one of the world's most powerful, efficient and eco-friendly jet engines.
Volkswagen’s Chattanooga facility, situated on 1,400 acres, is more than 3 million square feet. It employs about 3,500 people. In 2011, the Chattanooga plant became the first automobile manufacturing facility in the world to be certified LEED Platinum. More than 100,000 Atlas SUVs and 700,000 Passats have been manufactured at the plant.
Victronix Swiss Army Knives, NASA Michoud Rocket Facility hi-tech rocket assembly facility pushes the limits of space exploration to new frontiers; here, engineers build an advanced rocket propulsion system that can send astronauts and cargo to the moon and back, Nestle Kit Kat Bars, Heinz Baked Beans
McLaren's high-tech production center is as remarkably distinctive as the handcrafted automobiles they design and produce, overtaking its Supercar rivals through the application of Formula One science and sophisticated production standards.
Special access to Tesla's record-breaking Gigafactory reveals its bold ambition to build one of the most advanced cars in the world; this cutting-edge facility is one of the world's largest, representing the frontier of engineering innovation.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing our lives. It touches on all aspects of society - private life, business, security -- including in the spread of fake news and the challenges posed by the advent of autonomous weapons.
2020 • Technology
Indie Game: The Movie is the first feature documentary film about making video games. It looks specifically at the underdogs of the video game industry, indie game developers, who sacrifice money, health and sanity to realize their lifelong dreams of sharing their visions with the world. After two years of painstaking work, designer Edmund McMillen and programmer Tommy Refenes await the release of their first major game for Xbox, Super Meat Boy—the adventures of a skinless boy in search of his girlfriend, who is made of bandages. At PAX, a major video-game expo, developer Phil Fish unveils his highly anticipated, four-years-in-the-making FEZ. Jonathan Blow considers beginning a new game after creating Braid, one of the highest-rated games of all time. Four developers, three games, and one ultimate goal— to express oneself through a video game. Indie Game: The Movie is about the creative process and putting yourself out there through your work. It’s a journey many filmmakers, creators, artists, entrepreneurs - many people, can relate to in the digital era.
2012 • Technology
To celebrate the webs big 50th birthday, Nat Geo takes a fun, nostalgic throwback romp down the cyber highway, from the early days through today. I LOVE THE INTERNET is one part glorious memory lane, one part "how the web changed everything" - our friendships, our habits, even our brains. It's nostalgia entertainment with enough gravitas to make it must-have content on Nat Geo.
2019 • Technology
Like human arteries, motorways, roads and train-lines are the lifeblood of any healthy megacity. Whether smoothly flowing or clogged, a city's transport routes affect its inhabitants' quality of life. Andrew Marr finds out how the monstrous megacities stay fed. He also finds out just how hard it is to ride a rickshaw taxi in Dhaka, and discovers how the London tube, once the most ground-breaking transport system in the world, has been usurped by modern transport like Shanghai's 400km/hour magnetic railway. Andrew joins Mexico City's traffic cops in the air, then finds out who is in charge of unblocking Mexico's most filthy canals. He looks into Dhaka's waste management problems, and sees what Britain's fast food obsession is doing to London's sewers.
Safety and security are two of the biggest challenges faced by each and every metropolis. Whether earthquake, terrorism, flood or just crime, it's the geology, politics and social makeup of the megacities that make them some of the most profitable and dangerous places to live. Andrew starts in Mexico City, the kidnap capital of the world. The compactness of the megacity often means that the super rich must live closely beside the super poor. Andrew finds out how evasive driving and bulletproof vests are protecting Mexico's super rich and middle classes. In London, he joins a Metropolitan Police riot unit on a practice routine, and hangs out with boy racers in Tokyo. And he meets the canine helpers responsible for saving lives in the event of terrorist attack. Tokyo, Mexico City, Dhaka - the megacities are victims of their shifting geologies. Andrew explores how sea levels, earthquakes and floods are putting some of our most promising cities at risk.
In the first episode, Andrew looks at how people live in five of the world's biggest megacities: London, one of the world's oldest megacities; Dhaka, the world's fastest-growing megacity; Tokyo, the largest megacity on Earth; Mexico City, one of the most dangerous cities in the world; and Shanghai, arguably the financial capital of the world. Andrew compares the sleek skyscrapers and rapid modernisation of Shanghai to the colourful street culture and geographic sprawl of Mexico City. He spends a night living in a one-room shack in Dhaka's toughest slum, taking his turn to fetch water, cook and clean; and he rents a friend in the efficient and high-tech, but alienating, city of Tokyo. As he gets under the skin of each unique metropolis, Andrew discovers how the structure of each megacity defines every aspect of its inhabitants' daily lives. And he considers what the megacities of the future can learn from the metropolises of today.
Dubai's Burj Khalifa is over 2,700 feet high and the tallest building in the world, and as engineers race to top this record-setting height with cutting-edge tech, a new 3,200-foot-tall building in Saudi Arabia is poised to take the crown.
Today's greatest skyscrapers use cutting-edge tech to build sky-high micro-cities within their walls, and these innovative mega-builds are becoming the new engineering icons in Chicago, Dubai, Beijing, and other twenty-first century metropolises.
The World Trade Center and Sears Tower were record-setting skyscrapers made possible by cutting-edge engineering innovations, but just as these American icons set new standards in construction, dark and insidious forces were poised to undo it all.
The world's most iconic buildings were built in the heyday of the American century, and as New York became the capital for these innovative new skyscrapers, experts used cutting-edge tech to push engineering to new heights.
Can new engineering techniques help prevent deadly bridge collapses? In 2018, Italy’s Morandi Bridge collapsed, tragically killing 43 people. For 50 years, the iconic bridge had withstood the elements—and stress from ever-increasing traffic. What went wrong that fateful day? And how can new engineering technology protect bridge infrastructure to prevent such tragic failures in the future? Through eyewitness testimony, expert interviews, and dramatic archival footage, NOVA investigates the Morandi disaster and other deadly bridge collapses.
After years of anticipation, autonomous vehicles are now being tested on public roads around the world. As ambitious innovators race to develop what they see as the next high-tech pot of gold, some experts warn there are still daunting challenges ahead, including how to train artificial intelligence to be better than humans at making life-and-death decisions. How do self-driving cars work? How close are we to large-scale deployment of them? And will we ever be able to trust AI with our lives?
In 1962, the British and French governments signed a historic agreement: they will produce the first passenger superstructure Concorde. Engineers will move the aeronautical engineering boundaries to fly the Atlantic Ocean in less than three and a half hours. In the midst of the Cold War, Concorde took part in the unrestrained race with Boeing 2707, a project initiated by J. Kennedy and Soviet Tupoljev 144. In the spring of 1969, Concorde successfully carried out the first pilot flight.
The sea level in Venice has increased drastically in the last century or so, threatening the very existence of the city. Global warming and the harmful effects of tourism have amplified the phenomenon of acqua alta (sudden rise in sea level), rendering the traditional responses of inhabitants obsolete. It is urgent to act today. Projects conceived in laboratories across the globe are joining forces to save the city. These include RAMSES, a 3D modelization of the lagoon produced using lasers, which analyzes rises in water level; and MOSE, a series of movable dams costing over 4 billion euros, intended to block the sea in case of acqua alta. The film will take us on this extraordinary journey, the technological and scientific struggle for the survival of Venice, a survival that has been in doubt from its very construction.
2018 • Technology
The remarkable story of the engineers behind the revolutionary technologies developed for the Apollo missions. In the face of epic challenges, and with a fraction of today’s technology, these are the people who navigated us to the moon and back.
2019 • Technology
YouTube star and gaming addict Dan Howell explores the changing world of gaming: from hobby to a mass spectator sport that’s watched by millions around the world. To the envy of amateurs, they've taken gaming to a whole new level, training 12 hours a day, playing in packed stadiums, and earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.The bizarre community of e-sports has been almost invisible to the outside world – up until now. Three young British gamers at different stages of their careers all have dreams of reaching the very top. KaSing, an overnight sensation from Tottenham, lives in Berlin, and is playing in one of Europe’s top teams. His 20-year-old former teammate, Matt, nicknamed Impaler, is having a crisis of confidence about his once-flourishing career. And 17-year-old hopeful Greensheep is struggling to break through onto the big stage.
2015 • Technology
Dial in to the fascinating history of the smartphone, from its roots in Morse Code to 2007, when Apple unveiled the first-ever iPhone. Plus, see how the next generation of Smartphones will allow us to communicate through them just by thinking.
Learn the explosive history of the rocket, from its origin in ancient China, to its use as a weapon of war, to how adding hydrogen allowed it to carry astronauts all the way to the moon. Narrated by Patrick Stewart. With guest Jim Al-Khalili
Go for a ride through the 9,000-year history of the car, from its roots in dogsleds to Henry Ford’s affordable and assembly line-built Model T, and meet the scientists working on the next generation of self-driving automobiles.
Learn how robots were first conceptualized in ancient Rome and see how their use has evolved over the centuries, from the calculator to the Roomba. Then, take a sneak peek at what future robots will be able to do. Narrated by Patrick Stewart.
Costing $150 billion, the International Space Station is the most expensive structure humans have ever built. In this episode, using the series' signature photo-real computer graphics, we take it apart to uncover the extraordinary innovations that enable it to support life in the deadly vacuum of space.
Take to the sky with the dreamers whose work gave humans the ability to fly. From Leonardo da Vinci’s “flying machines” to the modern commercial plane, without these inventions, we may have never left the ground. Narrated by Patrick Stewart.
After the success of the first manned moon landing, NASA ups the stakes by aiming for a new destination tens of millions of miles away: Mars. This is the inside story of Project Viking. Witness the overwhelming challenges engineers and scientists faced, not only to reach the Red Planet, but to land their spacecraft and deploy computer-operated experiments to answer the universal question: Is there life beyond Earth?
The Hubble Telescope, launched in 1990, has captured unparalleled views of the universe, transforming modern astronomy and transfixing the world with its spectacular images. But building this orbiting observatory would prove to be a rollercoaster ride for all involved, requiring engineers, scientists, and astronauts to venture into uncharted territory. From construction to release, from ridicule to redemption, this is the story of the unsung heroes who turned man's quest to uncover the mysteries of the universe into reality.
It's July 20, 1969. Four days after Apollo 11 thundered skyward from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first humans to set foot upon the moon, thanks to a marvel of engineering: the lunar module. It's the culmination of years of toil and millions of man-hours of engineering prowess. This is the story of the unsung heroes who built the unconventional flying machines that carried 12 Americans to the moon on six separate missions and made the dream of a generation come true.
We live in a world where technology is constantly changing. Sadly you know as you leave the store, that your brand new SmartPhone is already out of date – somebody, somewhere has just upgraded it. Keeping up with the latest everything can be a challenge. We asked Dr. Jennifer Gardy to explore current scientific research that will impact us all in the future. Dr. Gardy is a Senior Scientist, Molecular Epidemiology at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control. On this journey, Jennifer travels from Toronto to New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Munich and back home to Vancouver – all in the name of science exploration.
Setting off from a snowy mountain ski resort in Cyprus, Simon finds an island and a capital city still deeply divided between Turkish Cypriots in the north and Greek Cypriots in the south. Simon joins the UN troops who patrol the line that separates the two sides, one of the world's longest-running peacekeeping missions. From Cyprus, Simon heads to the Middle East, a region of the Mediterranean that's also no stranger to conflict and division. In Lebanon, Simon explores a country of breathtaking landscapes, with spectacular coastline, soaring mountains and a sacred valley known as the Qadisha, a holy site for Lebanese Christians. Staying overnight in an abandoned monastery carved into the rock face, Simon learns that in a Muslim-dominated Middle East, Christians are facing persecution and numbers are collapsing. Travelling south, Simon's next stop is Israel, a country that perhaps more than any other depends on the Mediterranean for its survival. With few friends in the region, Israel has to transport most of its goods by sea. Simon joins the Israeli Navy who patrol the coast and protect the country's offshore oil reserves using the latest military weaponry and technology, including unmanned, combat-ready drone boats. From Israel Simon crosses one of the world's most heavily fortified borders to reach the Gaza Strip. Palestinians and Israelis have endured a seemingly endless cycle of violence and in Gaza the result has been devastating destruction. Many building materials are restricted by an Israeli blockade on Gaza, but Simon meets an inspiring young woman who has helped reconstruction efforts by inventing an ingenious method of making bricks from ash. It's a rare ray of hope in one of the most troubled regions of the Mediterranean.
NOVA takes you inside the historic international race to develop the first supersonic airliner, the Concorde. Hear stories from those inside the choreographed effort to design and build Concorde in two countries at once—and the crew members who flew her. Then, follow Concorde’s legacy to a new generation of innovators reviving the dream of supersonic passenger travel today.
By 2065, the waters surrounding the island where Singapore lays may be dramatically impacted. Under such circumstances, living on the sea in floating communities would be commonplace while growing massive crops of food and generating power would become crucial to the city’s survival.
Filmmaker Greg MacGillivray explores the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels -- big and small -- and reveals the heart that drives engineers to create better lives for people around the world. Narrated by Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges, Dream Big: Engineering Our World is a spectacular look at man-made marvels that will forever transform the way you think about engineering. From the Great Wall Of China and the world's tallest buildings to underwater robots, solar cars, and smart, sustainable cities, Dream Big celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small, and shows how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways.
2017 • Technology
With more board configurations than there are atoms in the observable universe, the ancient Chinese game of 'Go' has long been considered a grand challenge for artificial intelligence. On March 9, 2016, the worlds of Go and artificial intelligence collided in South Korea for an extraordinary best-of-five-game competition, coined the Google DeepMind Challenge Match. Hundreds of millions of people around the world watched as a legendary Go master took on an unproven AI challenger for the first time in history.
2017 • Technology
We all dream of having the best school possible for our children – one that nourishes their curiosity, makes them eager to learn and provides them with the technological, intellectual and human tools that better prepare them for the future in store.
Art is undergoing a revolution brought about by advances in technology. Digital techniques, data flows, calculating power, and 3D visualization are some of the tools that open the way to new ways and forms of expression and new artistic practices.
To respond to global demand and population growth, energy production will have to increase by 75% between now and 2050. The fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas) that we use currently use on a massive scale are becoming increasingly rare and are highly polluting, wreaking havoc on the climate.
This episode will reveal how new technologies will transform music by 2050 new robotic and intelligent instruments, intuitive composition software, virtual artists, collaborative composition and more. Tomorrow, music will be capable of adapting to our moods and offer us more than just entertainment.
This episode will reveal how new technologies will transform fashion in 2050: 3D textile printing, intelligent clothes, new fibers, new sustainable materials that adapt to the body’s needs… With a special guest appearance by JC de Castelbajac, the fashion designer.
What will communication look like in 2050? First, the internet will be everywhere. Researchers and scientists from around the world are working on ways to make this happen, for example with self-sufficient balloons equipped with wifi to cover digital deserts.
The oceans are at the heart of the terrestrial climate machine. Without them, there is no life. However, they are subjected to significant changes: heating, acidification, pollution, a loss of biodiversity. In 2050, we will do all it takes to preserve them.
As we embark upon the 21st century, sports now occupy a central role in our lives. They set the pace of our daily routines, influence our lifestyles, and maintain our health and general well being. This episode will show how the athletes of 2050 will be spoiled with technological choices.
Cuisine meets a vital need, but it is also a way of expressing pleasure, emotions, and sharing. With an hour on average spent everyday cooking, it is also at the heart of our daily lives. How will cooking respond to environmental challenges in the future?
This episode will reveal how medicine in 2050 will be perfectly targeted and adapted to the individual as well as accessible to everyone. Just as science fiction already imagined, medicine in 2050 will be reparative and regenerative.
What will our cities look like in 2050? How will they be able to accommodate the one million additional people who arrive every week? The challenge is enormous. To reduce the impact on the planet and the energy footprint and optimize exchanges within megacities, digital technologies will be crucial.
Professor Jim Al-Khalili looks at how we have created machines that can simulate, augment, and even outperform the human mind - and why we shouldn't let this spook us. He reveals the story of the pursuit of AI, the emergence of machine learning and the recent breakthroughs brought about by artificial neural networks. He shows how AI is not only changing our world but also challenging our very ideas of intelligence and consciousness. Along the way, we'll investigate spam filters, meet a cutting-edge chatbot, look at why a few altered pixels makes a computer think it's looking at a trombone rather than a dog and talk to Demis Hassabis, who heads DeepMind and whose stated mission is to 'solve intelligence, and then use that to solve everything else'. Stephen Hawking remarked 'AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilisation. Or the worst'. Jim argues that AI is a potent new tool that should enhance our lives, not replace us.
2018 • Technology
Science fiction has long anticipated the rise of machine intelligence. Today, a new generation of self-learning computers is reshaping every aspect of our lives. Incomprehensible amounts of data are being collected, interpreted, and fed back to us in a tsunami of apps, smart devices, and targeted advertisements. Virtually every industry on earth is feeling this transformation, from job automation to medical diagnostics, from elections to battlefield weapons. Do You Trust This Computer? explores the promises and perils of this developing era. Will A.I. usher in an age of unprecedented potential, or prove to be our final invention?
2018 • Technology
Facebook is thought to know more about us than any other business in history, but what does the social network that Mark Zuckerberg built do with all of our personal information? Reporter Darragh MacIntyre investigates how Facebook's powerful algorithms allow advertisers and politicians to target us more directly than ever before, and he questions whether the company's size and complexity now makes it impossible to regulate.
SILICON VALLEY tells the story of the pioneering scientists who transformed rural Santa Clara County into the hub of technological ingenuity we now know as Silicon Valley. The film spotlights the creativity of the young men who founded Fairchild Semiconductor and in particular the brilliant, charismatic young physicist Robert Noyce. Their radical innovations would include the integrated circuit that helped make the United States a leader in both space exploration and the personal computer revolution, transforming the way the world works, plays and communicates, making possible everything from the Apollo program to smart phones, from pacemakers to microwaves.
Explore the hidden history and super science of hot air balloons, synthetic rubber and metal detectors.
We explore the hidden history and super science of the wrist watch, the digital watch and the prosthetic leg.
Imagine a world without the power to capture or transmit sound. Journey with Steven Johnson to the Arcy sur Cure caves in northern France, where he finds the first traces of the desire to record sound — 30,000 years ago. He also learns about the difference that radio made in the civil rights movement and reveals the Hollywood star who designed a WW2 weapon that would make possible the modern cell phone network. During an ultrasound on a pregnant dolphin, he realizes just how big a role sound has played in medicine. The unsung heroes of sound have had an impact on our working lives, race relations, saving lives and the radical alteration of cities.
Steven 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 shipping community discovered a source of illumination by putting a kid inside a whale’s head. See how a French scientist accidentally discovered how to create neon light, leading to a revolution in advertising. Dispelling the myth of the individual “eureka” moment, Johnson reveals that teamwork and collaboration led the way to the most transformative ideas. Whether, altering the world’s sleeping patterns, giving rise to mass spectator sports, revolutionizing how global business is done or triggering one of the great social reforms in American history, the pioneers of light have made themselves indispensable throughout human history.
Join Steven Johnson and consider how the invention of the mirror spurred on the Renaissance, how glass lenses allow us to reveal worlds within worlds and how, deep beneath the ocean, glass is essential to communication. Johnson learns about the daring exploits of glassmakers who were forced to work under threat of the death penalty, a physics teacher who liked to fire molten glass from a crossbow and a scientist whose tinkering with a glass lens allowed 600 million people to see a man set foot on the moon. The link between the worlds of art, science, astronomy, disease prevention and global communication starts with the little-known maverick innovators of glass.
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. Steven Johnson plunges into a sewer to understand what made a maverick engineer decide to lift the city of Chicago with jackscrews in order to build America’s first sewer system. He talks about John Leal, who deliberately “poisoned” the water supply of 200,000 people when, without authorization, he added chlorine, considered lethal in 1908, into Jersey City’s water and made it safe to drink. This isn’t only about the world becoming a cleaner place — the iPhone, the subway, flat screen TVs and even the two piece swimsuit are the result of the valiant efforts of the unsung heroes of clean.
The surprising story of the hidden powerhouse behind the globalised world - the diesel engine, a 19th-century invention that has become indispensable to the 21st century. It's a turtle versus hare tale in which the diesel engine races the petrol engine in a competition to replace ageing steam technology - a race eventually won hands down by diesel. Splendidly, car enthusiast presenter Mark Evans gets excitedly hands on with some of the many applications of Mr Diesel's - yes, there was one - original creation, from vintage submarines and tractors to locomotive trains and container ships. You'll never feel the same about that humble old diesel family car again.
The Boeing 787 according to its manufacturers is a revolution in air travel. Similar to the Airbus A380, the plane is made from carbon fiber reinforced plastics and aluminum glass fiber materials which are lighter and more resistant to fatigue. It is one of many planes that have been developed to reduce the carbon footprint while improving space, comfort and entertainment for its passengers.
Traditionally, regulators had insisted that all passenger aircraft be powered by at least three engines. But the development of more sophisticated airplanes eventually made twin-engine, long-distance travel feasible. A new standard was introduced, known as Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards, or ETOPS.
The Boeing 737 twin-engine jetliner was to become Boeing's greatest success. It had one of the lowest approach speeds of any jet transport, a great asset when landing at smaller airports with shorter runways. It also required minimum equipment for use in refueling. However, despite all its advantages, the 737 was soon overshadowed by the new, improved 747 Jumbo Jet.
Britain and France collaborated to build the world's first Concorde, a jet that could traverse the Atlantic in just 3 hours, at twice the speed of sound. The all-metal Trident jet was a popular choice for airlines but couldn't compete with the glamour and allure of the Concorde
In the early years, air fields were more concerned with utility than comfort with the first passengers becoming used to enduring the elements as they walked out to their flight. As the popularity of air transport increased, cities recognized the need to provide better service to passengers, and airports grew in design, to become the hub of activity and convenience they are today.
Airlines began to spring up everywhere, catering to the demands of passengers wanting to go just about anywhere, but the flights were only domestic at the time. Pre-war travel was sold as a luxury experience afforded only by the rich, but post war, the emphasis was on comfort and customer service for both the rich and middle class.
Seaplanes saw the dawn of the aviation industry as they could accommodate large numbers of passengers between continents, and only required a smooth body of water to land. Since the 1920's, advances in floatplane technology saw metal hulls introduced, a cantilevered design and single engine. Seaplanes continue to be an extremely popular mode of transportation.
The years following the First World War saw flying take off as serious business. Previously unimagined opportunities opened up, among them, skywriting and sightseeing tours. Flying became a bigger feature of life all around the world, not just as a novelty "adventure" for rich people but as a mode of transport available to just about anyone.
The decades following the First World War saw aircraft designers pushing the boundaries of aeronautical technology, moving the industry forward at a rapid pace. With new commercial markets opening up, it was the visionaries who held the key to success. Each invention promising a future filled with endless possibilities.
To fly an early airplane required skill, courage and a sense of adventure. The advent of the movie camera meant that their exploits could be broadcast to every corner of the globe, and recorded for posterity. The pilots of Germany, France and Britain who were able to master combat flying in time to prevent an early death were known as "Air Aces".
This program looks at the beginnings of flight, with innovators such as Benjamin Franklin and Leonardo DaVinci coming up with new ways to give man wings, and chronicles the invention of hot air balloons, Zeppelins, box kites, and of course the story of the most influential aviation inventors of all - Wilbur and Orville Wright.
Our lives are going digital. We shop, bank, and even date online. Computers hold our treasured photographs, private emails, and all of our personal information. This data is precious—and cybercriminals want it. Now, NOVA goes behind the scenes of the fast-paced world of cryptography to meet the scientists battling to keep our data safe. They are experts in extreme physics, math, and a new field called "ultra-paranoid computing," all working to forge unbreakable codes and build ultra-fast computers. From the sleuths who decoded the world's most advanced cyber weapon to scientists who believe they can store a password in your unconscious brain, NOVA investigates how a new global geek squad is harnessing cutting-edge science—all to stay one step ahead of the hackers.
Gordon Welchman was one of the original elite codebreakers crucial to the allies defeating the Nazis in World War II. He is the forgotten genius of Bletchley Park. Filmed extensively at Bletchley Park, the centre for codebreaking operations during World War II, this documentary features the abandoned buildings where thousands of people worked tirelessly trying to crack the codes, Hut 6, where Welchman pioneered his groundbreaking work, and the machines that Welchman helped design.
2015 • Technology
Imagine you could make a copy of a loved one. A digital clone with a life of its own – their Avatar. That’s the dream of biomechanical engineer, Dr Jordan Nguyen, and he says we have the technology to do it right now in the form of Virtual Reality.
Is there anyone out there? Does the popular movie quote 'ET phone home' have any substance? Astronomers have been pointing their radio telescopes at the skies for decades trying to pick up alien signals. Hitch a ride as we join astronomers trawling through the galaxy looking for signs of life.
Fifty meters beneath the teeming mega-city of Tokyo is an underworld river system - 6.4km of tunnels, colossal water tanks, massive pillars, giant pumps that remove 200 tons of floodwater every second. It’s an engineering marvel built to protect Tokyo against the increasing threat of flooding.
The promise of quantum computers is that what would otherwise take a billion years to calculate, could be done in a few seconds. First-generation quantum computers have started to appear. Indeed, earlier this year, Google bought one, The D-Wave 2. How will this advance change our future lives?
Atari: Game Over chronicles the fall of the Atari Corporation through the lens of one of the biggest mysteries of all time, dubbed “The Great Video Game Burial of 1983.” As the story goes, the Atari Corporation, faced with an overwhelmingly negative response to “E.T.,” the video game for the Atari 2600, disposed of hundreds of thousands of unsold game cartridges by burying them in the small town of Alamogordo, New Mexico.
2014 • Technology
As YouTube turns ten, we chart the history of the last decade through the lens of the world's most famous video sharing site. It's the human story of those who created it, the stars it gave birth to, and the countries whose fates it changed. On April 23, 2005 the first YouTube video, "Meet Me at the Zoo," featuring co-founder Jawed Karim, was uploaded. Ten Years later, the video sharing platform has harnessed a power that has changed the world -transforming pop culture, rewriting the rules of politics, overthrowing governments, redefining the nature of news, and exposing us all to tweaking, planking, Psy, Beiber, and the car in the shark outfit on the robo-vac.
2015 • Technology
Automation in the Information Age is different.
Each day, some 2.5 trillion bytes of data are exchanged, a deluge known as "big data." How can we classify, store, and give meaning to this mass of digital information? Will our digital society remain capable of producing a lasting memory? Learn the fate of memory storage in the future.
2014 • Technology
Looks at the black market website known as the Silk Road, which emerged on the darknet in 2011. This 'Amazon of illegal drugs' was the brainchild of a mysterious, libertarian intellectual operating under the avatar The Dread Pirate Roberts. Promising its users complete anonymity and total freedom from government regulation or scrutiny, Silk Road became a million-dollar digital drugs cartel. Homeland Security, the DEA, the FBI and even the Secret Service mounted multiple investigations in the largest online manhunt the world had ever seen. But it would be a young tax inspector from the IRS, who had grown up in the projects of Brooklyn, who would finally crack the case and unmask 'DPR'.
2017 • Technology
The world's electric grids are aging and vulnerable. Now, engineers are making a dangerous trek to prove there is a better way to bring power to the people. Engineers make a dangerous trek across the Himalayas to bring power to a remote monastery.
The Singularity, or the arrival of superhuman intelligence, has been described as both the “rapture of the nerds” and inevitable. Futurist and philosopher Jason Silva explores the ways in which this radical transformation may occur through biotechnology, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence.
2016 • Technology
In the future will we spend our leisure time with smart and sophisticated machines designed for fun - Entertainment Robots? Marvel at Mantis, a two ton insect and Tradinno, a giant fire-spitting dragon. Then take a seat and watch a mechanical actor and a robotic pianist perform.
From brains to eyes, hands to legs, and deep down to the internal organs; implants, prosthesis and rehabilitation are entering a new era potentially creating a new type of human being - The Bionic Man- in reality, not on retro TV. But what ethical concerns arise as we mix technology with biology?
Inhospitable environments that would normally be unreachable become accessible thanks to a new class of robot - Robot Explorers. Robots can help us in difficult tasks like search and rescue operations. Is there any danger in letting machines handle so many tasks that used to belong to us?
By the year 2050, three quarters of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Looking at robotic systems being developed worldwide we can take a glimpse at the city life of the future. Private transportation with self-driving cars, our homes with automated systems - robots are in our future.
In the 21st century devices create more data than humans do. Rick Smolan, author of The Human Face of Big Data, shows the positive force of the collection of data in worldwide examples of the uses of medical data, personal data and business data to enrich people's lives.
The car has shrunk the world, increased personal freedom and in so many ways expanded our horizons, but there is a flipside. Fumes from car exhausts have helped to destroy our environment, poisoned the air we breathe and killed us in far more straightforward ways. But all that is going to change. Horizon enters a world where cars can drive themselves, a world where we are simply passengers, ferried about by wholesome green compassionate technology which will never ever go wrong. And it is almost here. Horizon explores the artificial intelligence required to replace human drivers for cars themselves, peers into the future driverless world and discovers that, despite the glossy driverless PR (and assuming that they really can be made to work reliably), the reality is that it might not be all good news. From the ethics of driverless car crashes to the impact on jobs, it might be that cars are about to rise up against us in ways that none of us are expecting.
Look at a parallel world that humans cannot see. Among other stories, we delve into how boxers and table tennis pros see; the skills of Shaolin Monks; the way a bee transmits the locale of flowers, and the amazing lion fish and how it hunts.
Phenomena of incredible speed that we cannot see, captured in stunning detail using high-speed cameras. Watch the mechanics of dogs in motion (do their feet touch the ground?) Learn how a cat’s tongue works, experience the shockwaves of explosions, see the dynamics of fire -- and more!
With specialized photography we can view some amazing sights not visible to the human eye. Watch the "Kiss Experiment", the dynamics of the oldest weapon ever discovered, the brain waves of musicians and the scales on a butterfly's wing, amongst other awesome moments captured for our eyes to see.
We cannot see things like the movement of a sponge because its movements are too slow. But with specialized photography we can see imperceptibly slow and fast movements. See the dynamics of a child's first steps, rainfall, nocturnal animals and butterflies in flight-and the incredible archer fish.
Horizon looks at the issues that will change the way we live our lives in the future. Rather than relying on the minds of science fiction writers, mathematician Hannah Fry delves into the data we have today to provide an evidence-based vision of tomorrow. With the help of the BBC's science experts - and a few surprise guests - Hannah investigates the questions the British public want answered about the future. Hannah tries to discover whether we could ever live forever or if there will ever be a cure for cancer. She finds out how research into the human brain may one day help with mental health, and if it is possible to ever ditch fossil fuels. Hannah and her guests also discover the future of transport - and when, if ever, we really will see flying cars. She discovers whether a robot will take your job or if, as some believe, we will all one day actually become cyborgs. The programme predicts what the weather will be like and discovers if we are on the verge of another mass extinction. Hannah's tenth prediction is something she - and Horizon - are confident will definitely happen, and that is to expect the unexpected!
Eric Drexler, the "founding father of nanotechnology," and Jim Phillips, the CEO of Nanomech, discuss the potential applications and implications of nanotechnology. How will this atomically precise manufacturing impact the future of technology, global governance, and the environment?
Vint Cerf, co-author of the TCP/IP protocol suite that provides the Internet with its basic architecture, is known as "one of the founding fathers of the Internet." Cerf discusses what the future may hold for the internet: will it ultimately connect us with the universe?
In 50 years from now, cities will be home to 70% of all human beings. They will have seven billion mouths to feed and will face an immense challenge in terms of food supply. Are hydroponics and vertical farming going to solve this challenge?
DOWN THE DEEP, DARK WEB reverses everything you thought you knew about the internet and the dangers of the digital world. Our guide is Yuval Orr, a young journalist born in 1984 and well-aware of the gradual encroachment of Big Brother, but like many of his generation, too busy updating his Facebook status to pay it much attention. Assigned with writing an article about the Darknet, he dives headfirst down the rabbit hole. On a journey that takes us through Tel Aviv, Prague and Berlin, Yuval meets tech experts, cybercrime watchmen, and a group of self-appointed underground freedom fighters.
2016 • Technology
Uncovering what is left of Hitler's ambitious structures which were built in a bid for world domination, beginning with a look at the Atlantic Wall. Created in order to protect Europe from an Allied invasion it stretches thousands of kilometres from France to Norway, and on D-Day the fortifications were put to the ultimate test.
Documentary which follows the construction of a trailblazing 36,000-tonne steel structure to entomb the ruins of the nuclear power plant destroyed in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. It films close up with the team of international engineers as they race to build the new structure before Chernobyl's original concrete sarcophagus - the hastily built structure that covers the reactor - collapses. Built to last just thirty years, the temporary sarcophagus is now crumbling, putting the world at risk of another release of radioactive dust. Radiation levels make it impossible for workers to build the new shelter directly over the old reactor, so engineers are erecting the new megastructure - taller than the tower of Big Ben and three times heavier than the Eiffel Tower - to one side and will then face the challenge of sliding the largest object ever moved on land into place over the old reactor.
2016 • Technology
In Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World, the Oscar-nominated Herzog chronicles the virtual world from its origins to its outermost reaches, exploring the digital landscape with the same curiosity and imagination he previously trained on earthly destinations as disparate as the Amazon, the Sahara, the South Pole and the Australian outback. Herzog leads viewers on a journey through a series of provocative conversations that reveal the ways in which the online world has transformed how virtually everything in the real world works - from business to education, space travel to healthcare, and the very heart of how we conduct our personal relationships.
2016 • Technology
What if we could travel not just through space, but through time itself? If you could travel through time, would you change the past or the future? What if you found it couldn’t be changed? What price does the time traveller — and the people they are closest to — pay? This is a journey from H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine through ideas like The Grandfather Paradox and The Butterfly Effect to the professional time traveller that is the ever popular Doctor Who. Steven Moffat, David Tennant, Karen Gillan, and Neil Gaiman offer a unique perspective on the Doctor. Edward James Olmos reveals the hidden meaning of the language he created for the vision of the future that is Blade Runner. Bob Gale and Christopher Lloyd take us behind the scenes of Back to the Future, while Ed Solomon describes the joy of solving a time travel conundrum for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. But what would be the physical and emotional cost to the time traveller? Audrey Niffenegger explains what inspired her novel The Time Traveller’s Wife. And what if someone from the future tried to travel back in time to warn us? Would we believe them? From the apocalyptic tones of 12 Monkeys to the drama of Quantum Leap and the comedy of Groundhog Day, time travel is a subject that has been irresistible to the creators of every type of science fiction.
What if aliens landed on Earth? Much of science fiction explores the moment of first contact – what will people do when the aliens land? From H. G. Wells’ pioneering The War of the Worlds to Independence Day, Men in Black, and District 9, Invasion deals with our fears of alien invasions of earth. David Tennant explains the appeal of Doctor Who’s Daleks and Cybermen while John Carpenter and Chris Carter explore the rich appeal of the paranoia fuelled by hidden aliens with The Thing and The X-Files. It also asks what if the monsters were our own creation? With the aid of rarely seen animation tests, Phil Tippett takes us behind the scenes in the creation of the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park. But not all invasions are hostile. Peter Coyote and Richard Dreyfuss discuss the creation of Spielberg’s spellbinding classics E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. There is more than one kind of invasion.
What if we could explore the vastness of Space? Science fiction has always fed upon our need to explore – to wonder what is out there. Space journeys from Jules Verne’s earliest ideas about attempts to leave our planet, to the Star Wars far away galaxy through to Nichelle Nichols revealing how her groundbreaking role as Lt. Uhura in Star Trek led to her participation in the recruitment of NASA’s astronauts. It explores the deep sea inspiration for Avatar, finds out why Ursula K Le Guin wrote The Left Hand of Darkness and discovers how Stanley Kubrick was able to make 2001: A Space Odyssey seem so believable. In addition, the program looks at the way Dune and The Mars Trilogy embraced the challenge of world building and discusses the appeal of the beaten up ‘dirty space’ of Dark Star and Firefly. From the horrifying scenes of Alien, to the epic spectacle of Star Wars, this is a journey to the stars and the alien encounters that await us there.
What if our creations turn against us? The idea of creating life has fascinated society since the earliest days of science fiction. The first installment of the four-part series, Robots transports viewers from the first steps of Frankenstein’s monster to the threat provided by the Terminator and the world of Cyberspace. Find out how Rutger Hauer created one of the greatest speeches in all of science fiction for Blade Runner. Discover from Kenny Baker the challenge of acting in Star Wars while inside the body of R2D2, and learn how Anthony Daniels was drawn to the role of C-3PO by concept art modeled closely on the robot from the silent classic Metropolis. Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner) discusses how he managed to create a whole new approach to robot design. The creators of the original Robocop describe how its hidden depths have given it enduring appeal and William Gibson reveals the origins of his seminal novel Neuromancer. From HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey to the Cylons of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica and the world of The Matrix, this is a journey that asks – what does it mean to be human?
Liz Bonnin delves in to the world of invention, revealing the people and technologies set to transform all our lives. She examines the conditions that are promising to make the 21st century a golden age of innovation and meets some of the world's foremost visionaries, mavericks and dreamers. From the entrepreneurs that are driving a new space race, to the Nobel Prize wining scientist leading a nanotech revolution, this is a tour of the people and ideas delivering the world of tomorrow, today.
Our ability to see and record live events from right across the world has shrunk the globe, making virtual neighbours of us all. It is a defining characteristic of our modern world. The final episode in the series reveals the fascinating stories that made such everyday miracles possible. It tells the story of the handful of extraordinary inventions and their inventors who tackled the complexities of chemistry and electronics and discovered how to capture and reproduce still and moving images. Michael Mosley and academics Prof Mark Miodownik and Dr Cassie Newland tell the amazing story of three of the greatest and most transformative inventions of all time - photography, moving pictures and television.
Nothing has shrunk the globe more than our extraordinary ability to talk to one another across the oceans and continents. Episode three of The Genius of Invention reveals the fascinating chain of events that made such every-day miracles possible. It tells the story of the handful of extraordinary inventors and inventions who helped build the modern world by harnessing electricity and electromagnetism to enable us to send instant messages across vast distances. Michael Mosley and academics, Prof Mark Miodownik and Dr Cassie Newland tell the amazing story of three more of the greatest and most transformative inventions of all time; the electric telegraph, the telephone and wireless communication. Our experts explain how these inventions came about by sparks of inventive genius and steady incremental improvements. They separate myth from reality in the lives of the great inventors and celebrate some of the most remarkable stories in British history.
This episode reveals the fascinating chain of events that made everyday miracles such as turning on a light or boiling a kettle possible. Michael Mosley, Professor Mark Miodownik and Dr Cassie Newland tell the amazing story of three of the most transformative inventions of all time: the steam engine, the electrical generator and the steam turbine. They explain how these inventions came about by sparks of inventive genius and steady, incremental improvements hammered out in British workshops.
Dallas and Hannah conclude the series by examining the process of bringing a plane safely to the ground. Hannah meets air traffic controllers at the world's busiest airport and visits a site that has seen over 2000 unscheduled landings in the last decade. Dallas sits in the cockpit of a plane heading for Paro, Bhutan, a place where only 26 pilots in the world are qualified to land.
Dallas Campbell and Dr Hannah Fry present a documentary exploring aviation, beginning with a look at the challenges of getting aircraft into the air. The programme features a visit to the world's busiest airport to discover the work that goes into getting its millions of visitors off the ground. Plus, the construction of the world's largest passenger plane and the dangers of taking off from the coldest city on Earth.
They are constantly circling hundreds of miles above our heads, driving our daily lives - yet we barely give satellites a second thought. Satellite engineer Maggie Aderin Pocock wants to change all that. She wants to make us realise and appreciate what these unsung heroes of the modern world have done for us. Maggie reveals how satellites have revolutionised exploration, communication, location-finding and spying. She discovers how they have transformed not only the way we see our planet but our understanding of the dangers within it, like volcanoes and earthquakes. Plus, she discovers the jaw-dropping power of the technology used by satellites to make our lives run smoothly.
2012 • Technology
From the Stone Age to the Silicon Age, materials have helped drive forward our civilisation. By manipulating materials we have been able to transform our world and our lives - and never more so than in the past century when we have discovered and designed more materials than at any other time in human history. (Part 2: Plastic) Professor Mark Miodownik tells the story of plastics - created in the lab, they have brought luxury to the masses and shaped the modern age. He recounts tales of the mavericks responsible for some of plastic's most outrageous failures and heady successes, from the explosive attempts to make a replacement for ivory billiard balls to the ultimately ubiquitous Bakelite. Investigating at atomic level, Mark discovers the properties that have allowed plastics to dominate our world and reveals how the next generation of plastics will take its inspiration from nature, creating man-made materials which behave as though they are alive and which could help rebuild the human body.
From the Stone Age to the Silicon Age, materials have helped drive forward our civilisation. By manipulating materials we have been able to transform our world and our lives - and never more so than in the past century when we have discovered and designed more materials than at any other time in human history. (Part 1: Metal) Professor Mark Miodownik travels to Israel to trace the history of our love affair with gleaming, lustrous metal. He learns how we first extracted glinting copper from dull rock and used it to shape our world and reveals how our eternal quest for lighter, stronger metals led us to forge hard, sharp steel from malleable iron and to create complex alloys in order to conquer the skies. He investigates metals at the atomic level to reveal mysterious properties such as why they get stronger when they are hit, and he discovers how metal crystals can be grown to survive inside one of our most extreme environments - the jet engine.
This documentary presented by Professor Simon Schaffer describes the amazing story of automata Designed and built with pen and paper in the 18th Century leveraging the mechanisms employed in making timepieces, these mechanical devices containing 1000’s of parts and are programmable to mimic human actions in Mechanical Theatre. The program describes how there development has led to the creation of the mechanical devices we take for granted today showing the first mechanical weaving looms allowing for the mass production of fabrics and in effect started the industrial revolution.
2013 • Technology
With the rapid emergence of digital devices, an unstoppable, invisible force is changing human lives in ways from the microscopic to the gargantuan: Big Data, a word that was barely used a few years ago but now governs the day for almost all of us. This award-winning film explores how the real time visualization of data streaming in from satellites, billions of sensors and GPS enabled cameras and smart phones is beginning to enable us, as individuals and collectively as a society, to sense, measure and understand aspects of our existence in ways never possible before. Together these devices are helping create a new kind of planetary nervous system. This massive gathering and analyzing of data in real time is also allowing us to address to some of humanity biggest challenges, including pollution, world hunger, and illness. But as Edward Snowden and the release of the NSA documents have shown, the accessibility of all this data comes at a steep price.
Tyger Drew-Honey has never really experienced virtual reality. But all that is about to change. With high-spec virtual reality headsets expected to become widely available within the next few months, Tyger explores how they could change everything - from how we meet up with our friends to the way we have sex. He experiences one of the most successful virtual worlds and has his own lifelike avatar created. And he meets the man who makes robot sex dolls that you can programme via an app on your tablet to be the perfect partner. 'If you don't want her to be smart she won't be smart, if you want her to be shy she will be shy.'.
2016 • Technology
On Jan. 28, 1986, seven astronauts "slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God." America's space program was never the same.
2014 • Technology
Ada Lovelace was a most unlikely computer pioneer. In this film, Dr Hannah Fry tells the story of Ada's remarkable life. Born in the early 19th century Ada was a countess of the realm, a scandalous socialite and an 'enchantress of numbers'. The film is an enthralling tale of how a life infused with brilliance, but blighted by illness and gambling addiction, helped give rise to the modern era of computing. Hannah traces Ada's unlikely union with the father of computers, Charles Babbage. Babbage designed the world's first steam-powered computers - most famously the analytical engine - but it was Ada who realised the full potential of these new machines. During her own lifetime Ada was most famous for being the daughter of romantic poet Lord Byron ('mad, bad and dangerous to know'). It was only with the advent of modern computing that Ada's understanding of their flexibility and power (that they could be far more than mere number crunchers) was recognised as truly visionary. Hannah explores how Ada's unique inheritance - poetic imagination and rational logic - made her the ideal prophet of the digital age. This moving, intelligent and beautiful film makes you realise we nearly had a Victorian computer revolution.
2015 • Technology
Scientific advancements are challenging the concept of what it means to be human. Technology embedded in our bodies is fairly common: artificial limbs, pacemakers. But new research is taking us beyond replacement parts and into a new realm that is changing the nature of the human body and the human mind. Will the fusion of biology and technology change how we think, how we feel, how we experience the world?
Where are the limits of human technology? And can we somehow avoid them? This is where quantum computers become very interesting.
Apple is the most valuable brand on the planet, making products that everyone wants - but how are its workers treated when the world isn't looking? Panorama goes undercover in China to show what life is like for the workers making the iPhone 6. And it's not just the factories. Reporter Richard Bilton travels to Indonesia to find children working in some of the most dangerous mines in the world. But is the tin they dig out by hand finding its way into Apple's products?
2015 • Technology
Hackers have stolen the personal details of millions of customers from companies like Talk Talk. So how do cybercriminals get hold of our data? Reporter Daniel Foggo meets the hackers who can break into any website and finds out how criminals profit from our information.
2015 • Technology
The global cyberwar is heating up and the stakes are no longer limited to the virtual world of computers. Now, thanks in part to secret documents released by Edward Snowden, the true scale of the National Security Agency's scope and power is coming to light.
Watch the cybercrime documentary profiling the Romanian town nicknamed "Hackerville" or "Most Dangerous Town on the Internet." Convicted blackhat hackers, like Guccifer (real name), talk worms, viruses, social engineering, identity theft, and even hacking Hillary Clinton's email.
2015 • Technology
Exploring the murky and fast-paced world of the hackers out to steal money and identities and wreak havoc with people's online lives, and the scientists who are joining forces to help defeat them. Horizon meets the two men who uncovered the world's first cyber weapon, the pioneers of what is called ultra paranoid computing, and the computer expert who worked out how to hack into cash machines.
Where science fiction becomes science fact - that is the place Hank is exploring in today's episode of SciShow. Many inventions we use today were first imagined in stories that described fantastical futures. Hank talks about the origins of four of these: the cell phone, the submarine, the telemanipulator (or robot arm), and the taser.