Saturday 2 April 2011

Everything and Nothing — Professor Jim Al-Khalili

We've had Professor Brian Cox's latest wondrous TV series ogling different aspects of the universe — and very splendid it was too. But I'd like to recommend a shorter and perhaps more focussed series recently broadcast on BBC Four. This was Professor Jim Al-Khalili's two-parter Everything and Nothing.
Two-part documentary which deals with two of the deepest questions there are - what is everything, and what is nothing?

In two epic, surreal and mind-expanding films, Professor Jim Al-Khalili searches for an answer to these questions as he explores the true size and shape of the universe and delves into the amazing science behind apparent nothingness.

The first part, Everything, sees Professor Al-Khalili set out to discover what the universe might actually look like. The journey takes him from the distant past to the boundaries of the known universe. Along the way he charts the remarkable stories of the men and women who discovered the truth about the cosmos and investigates how our understanding of space has been shaped by both mathematics and astronomy.

The second part, Nothing, explores science at the very limits of human perception, where we now understand the deepest mysteries of the universe lie. Jim sets out to answer one very simple question - what is nothing? His journey ends with perhaps the most profound insight about reality that humanity has ever made. Everything came from nothing. The quantum world of the super-small shaped the vast universe we inhabit today, and Jim can prove it.
Available on iPlayer for a limited time:



For those beyond the reach of iPlayer, both programmes are available on YouTube (but expect them to be pulled soon):

Everything — Part 1:

Everything — Part 2:
Everything — Part 3:
Everything — Part 4:

Nothing — Part 1:

Nothing — Part 2:
Nothing — Part 3:
Nothing — Part 4:

In the words of Sir Arthur Eddington, "Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine."