Life in the universe • 2015 The Economist

Category: Astronomy
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Does life exist anywhere else in the universe? And how did it get started? Scientists are seeking the answers in the cosmos, our solar system and right here on planet Earth.

The Economist • 0 • 9 episodes •

What caused the Cambrian explosion?

For most of the Earth's history, life consisted of the simplest organisms; but then something happened that would give rise to staggering diversity, and, ultimately, life as complex as that which we see today. Scientists are still struggling to figure out just what that was.

2015 • Nature

Do we live in a multiverse?

It has long been thought that our universe is all there is, but it is possible we may live in just one of many.

2015 • Astronomy

What is consciousness?

Understanding what consciousness is, and why and how it evolved, is perhaps the greatest mystery known to science.

2015 • Brain

Why does time pass?

The equations of physics suggest time should be able to go backwards as well as forwards. Experience suggests, though, that it cannot. Why? And is time travel really possible?

2015 • Physics

Life in the universe

Does life exist anywhere else in the universe? And how did it get started? Scientists are seeking the answers in the cosmos, our solar system and right here on planet Earth.

2015 • Astronomy

What is the universe made of?

The Earth, the sun, the stars, and everything we can see, only comprise five percent of the universe. But what about the other 95 percent? Scientists are puzzling over dark matter and dark energy, the mysterious components that make up the rest.

2015 • Astronomy

Why are women paid less than men?

The gender pay gap is not caused by women earning less than men for the same job. It is largely because women choose different careers and suffer a “motherhood penalty”’.

2017 • Economics

Transforming cities with technology

Cities are growing faster than at any time in history, straining services and infrastructure. Technology-driven advances are at the forefront of solving this age-old problem

2017 • Technology

Which trends will affect our lives in the future

A futurist, a demographer and a museum curator spot trends that will affect the way people live and work.

2015 • Technology

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How Big is the Universe?

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Who Speaks for Earth?

Sagan reflects on the future of humanity and the question of "who speaks for Earth?" when meeting extraterrestrials. He discusses the very different meetings of the Tlingit people and explorer Jean-Francois de La Perouse with the destruction of the Aztecs by Spanish conquistadors, the looming threat of nuclear warfare, and the threats shown by destruction of the Library of Alexandria and the murder of Hypatia. The episode ends with an overview of the beginning of the universe, the evolution of life, and the accomplishments of humanity and makes a plea to mankind to cherish life and continue its journey in the cosmos. The Cosmos Update notes the preliminary reconnaissance of planets with spacecraft, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of apartheid in South Africa, and measures towards the reduction of nuclear weapons.

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What is Dark Matter and Dark Energy?

What is dark energy? What is dark matter? Well, if we knew exactly we would have a nobel prize – we know that they exist though. So what do we know about those strange things?

In a Nutshell • 2015 • Astronomy

The Sun

Phil takes us for a closer (eye safe!) look at the two-octillion ton star that rules our solar system. We look at the sun's core, plasma, magnetic fields, sunspots, solar flares, coronal mass ejections, and what all of that means for our planet.

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Misconceptions About the Universe

The expanding universe is a complicated place. During inflation the universe expanded faster than light, but that's something that actually happens all the time, it's happening right now. This doesn't violate Einstein's theory of relativity since nothing is moving through space faster than light, it's just that space itself is expanding such that far away objects are receding rapidly from each other. Common sense would dictate that objects moving away from us faster than light should be invisible, but they aren't. This is because light can travel from regions of space which are superluminal relative to us into regions that are subluminal. So our observable universe is bigger than our Hubble sphere - it's limited by the particle horizon, the distance light could travel to us since the beginning of time as we know it.

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Atmosphere

In 1971 a Russian spacecraft attempted to photograph Mars, but the planet did not cooperate. Since then, we've learned more about the atmosphere of the red planet, and what makes it similar to, but very different from, our own.

6/8The Planets • 2004 • Astronomy