The Structure of Earth

Category: Physics

…or why we live on an onion made of magma.

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Track the evolution of the space suit, from the first pressure suit of the 1930s to outfits that will take man to Mars.

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A Temperature for Life

Physicist Dr Helen Czerski explores the narrow band of temperature that has led to life on Earth. She reveals how life began in a dramatic place where hot meets cold, and how every single living creature on Earth depends on temperature for its survival. She uncovers the extraordinary natural engineering that animals have evolved to keep their bodies at the right temperature. And she witnesses the remarkable surgery that's using temperature to push the human body to the very brink of life.

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That Shrinking Feeling

Hannah is going the other way by asking whether everything could, in fact, be smaller. But going smaller turns out not to be much safer... First, we shrink the Earth to half its size - it starts well with lower gravity enabling us to do incredible acrobatics, but things gradually turn nasty as everyone gets altitude sickness - even at sea level. Then we visit Professor Daniel Lathrop's incredible laboratory, where he has built a model Earth that allows us to investigate the other effects of shrinking the planet to half size. The results aren't good - with a weaker magnetic field we would lose our atmosphere and eventually become a barren, lifeless rock like Mars. In our next thought experiment, we shrink people to find out what life is like if you are just 5mm tall. We find out why small creatures have superpowers that seem to defy the laws of physics, meet Jyoti Amge, the world's smallest woman, and with the help of Dr Diana Van Heemst and thousands of baseball players reveal why short people have longer lives. Lastly, the Sun gets as small as a sun can be. We visit the fusion reactor at the Joint European Torus to find out why stars have to be a minimum size or fusion won't happen. And if our Sun were that small? Plants would turn from green to black, and Earth would probably resemble a giant, frozen eyeball. Which all goes to show that size really does matter.

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Scientists investigate the way the Sun builds its power -- through fusion -- hoping to find a way to use fusion as a less dangerous and less radioactive waste-producing path to energy than fission. But there are some major difficulties along the way...

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Quantum Entanglement - Atomic Physics and Reality

A historical account from 1985 of the long standing debate between Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein regarding the validity of the quantum mechanical description of atomic phenomena and observation of quantum states with respect to the uncertainty principle and quantum entanglement. Starring some famous physicists, John Archibald Wheeler, John Stewart Bell, Alain Aspect, David Bohm and others. Interesting material about the famous concept of "Spooky action at a distance" as quoted by Albert Einstein, an example of his displeasure at the nature of non-locality as a consequence of quantum entanglement which is nevertheless how particles in the universe work.

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