The Clash of the Titans • episode "1/3" Atom

Category: Physics

The story of the groundbreaking scientific discovery that everything is made from atoms.

Atom • 3 episodes •

The Clash of the Titans

The story of the groundbreaking scientific discovery that everything is made from atoms.


The Key to the Cosmos

Jim Al-Khalili shows how investigation into the atom unravelled the mystery of creation.


The Illusion of Reality

How studying the atom forced us to rethink the nature of reality itself.


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On November 25th, 1915, Einstein published his greatest work: general relativity. The theory transformed our understanding of nature’s laws and the entire history of the cosmos, reaching back to the origin of time itself. Now, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s achievement, NOVA tells the inside story of Einstein’s masterpiece. The story begins with the intuitive thought experiments that set Einstein off on his quest and traces the revolution in cosmology that is still playing out in today’s labs and observatories. Discover the simple but powerful ideas at the heart of relativity, illuminating the theory—and Einstein’s brilliance—as never before. From the first spark of an idea to the discovery of the expanding universe, the Big Bang, black holes, and dark energy, NOVA uncovers the inspired insights and brilliant breakthroughs of “the perfect theory.”

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Our Quantum Future

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How did the Universe Begin?

The human race has succeeded in explaining nearly everything in this universe using mathematical formulae. Yet there is one place that remains shrouded in mystery -– black holes. Physicists believe that if they could discover a formula that explains the center of black holes, the last remaining mystery of the universe could finally be unraveled -– how the universe came into being. Their attempts have been mired by unforeseen pitfalls but with the development of superstring theory, physicists have arrived at a formula that could finally end their century-long search. What the formula described was a world beyond our wildest imaginations. This is the incredible story of physicists like Einstein, Hawking and the superstring theorists who have endeavored to solve the mystery of the origin of the universe.

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Einstein's Big Idea

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Measuring Mass: The Last Artifact

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The 2,400-year search for the atom

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