World For All

Monday, January 03, 2005

PBS/Nova programs - Origins and The Elegant Universe(Theory of Everything)

Two fascinating PBS/Nova TV programs that I had seen in last few months:

Origins (~4 hours): It tells a lot about the theories regarding Origin of Universe and Earth. One of the most eye-opening thing mentioned is if the life of Planet Earth is considered to be of 24 hours period, then primates (leave alone humans) had appeared in last 15 seconds. Well, if people simply remember this fact when they get angry or when they think that they 'failed' or 'lost', I think they will realise the insignificance of the 'failure' or 'loss'. On the other hand, they should treat life as a journey and enjoy! More details about the 'Origins' are on the PBS/Nova website:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/origins/

Some other amazing pieces of information from 'Origins':

- An important role in protecting Earth from the bombarding of comets and meteors has been done by Jupiter. It is this protection that has enabled life, as we know it, to flourish on Earth. So important is the role of Jupiter, that in search of Aliens, Scientists look for other Solar systems with a Jupiter like planet first!

- Water, more likely than not, has been delivered on Earth from outer space by the comets/meteors that had struck Earth in the early stages!

- In the early stages, Earth was full of toxic and poisonous gases. It is bacteria that worked for most of the existence of Earth to produce Oxygen, etc. enabling other life, as we know it.


The Elegant Universe (String Theory or Theory of Everything) : In the 3-hour program itself, Scientists themselves exclaim - is it Science or Philosophy or that this Theory, if true, then it claims a number of things which better fit Science Fiction right now. One of the fascinating predictions is that we are living in a 11-dimensional universe (though we can see only 3-spatial and one time dimensions). As of now (program itself was recorded in 2003), Scientists are finding it challenging to test and confirm the predictions of the theory. But if confirmed, it will be a giant step in what we know about the Universe. It will do what Einstein wanted to do (One Theory explaining everything!). More details are on

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/

If you haven't seen the programs and are interested, these should be available in Public Libraries. The Elegant Universe is even available online on this PBS/Nova site.

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