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Wonders Of The Universe

 Unrated   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 30.98
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

Wonders of the Universe is a lovely, sometimes surreal journey to the edges of reality and back--and a fully entertaining experience right here on planet Earth. British scientist Brian Cox is a personable host for this BBC miniseries--an enthusiastic teacher who could be Carl Sagan's English offspring. Wonders of the Universe is a follow-up to Wonders of the Solar System, and some of the same territory is covered. But Wonders of the Universe contains plenty of amazing information and visuals in its four episodes. Cox and his producers don't claim to speak to the scientific community (for which he and the series have received some mild complaints) but instead present for the lay audience a basic overview of four pretty giant topics: "Destiny" (the laws of the universe), "Stardust" (how stars and solar systems--and life--are formed), "Falling" (the science of gravity), and "Messengers" (the study of the travel of light, and what might lie beyond the farthest reaches of our knowledge). If the topics are big, Cox's approach is down-to-earth and infectiously captivating. It's hard to imagine a more enthusiastic scientist just brimming with superlatives he wants to share with his audience. The photography, and Cox's travels to little-known ancient ruins around the world where prehistoric peoples built structures to study the stars, are both truly heavenly. Wonders of the Universe makes understanding the barely comprehensible easy and very enjoyable. Great for star watchers of all ages. --A.T. Hurley

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing it all back home Oct. 15 2011
By Gary Fuhrman TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
In the aptly named Wonders of the Universe, Brian Cox presents the whole cosmological saga from the Big Bang to the unimaginably distant future when the final sparks will die out, with a special focus on some of the crucial events that created the world as we know it. Each of the four hour-long episodes is organized around a fundamental concept of physics. The first is about time, and explains how the arrow of time is related to entropy through the Second Law of thermodynamics. The second explains the chemical elements and how most of them were created by crucial events in the life cycles of stars. The third is about gravity and its effect on the fabric of spacetime. The last is about light as the messenger from the distant past which allows us to see where we've come from.

Brian Cox presents it all as a voyage of discovery, showing us at every suprising step that the story of the universe is our own story, directly related to common earthly experience despite the mind-boggling vastness of the cosmos. Above all, he communicates the sense of wonder, both at the grandeur of this vision and at the marriage of imagination and experiment which enables us to become aware of it - for as he says, we are the universe's way of becoming conscious of itself. Cox doesn't have time here for much detail on how the important discoveries in physics were made, or on current controversies in physics, but his personal sense of wonder comes across vividly. At one point while using a picture from Carl Sagan's book Cosmos to explain a concept, he tells us how that book inspired him to become a physicist. Surely young people somewhere will be equally inspired by this series, not only by the clarity of its explanations but also by the sense of wonder it conveys, which is (or should be) universally human.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonders of the Universe April 7 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Well done. Very informative in a very interesting and exciting manner. Not boring or feel like you're in class having to 'pay attention'. The interest is held without a doubt.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By rossuk TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
This review is based on the series as aired in the UK, March 2011. This is a follow-up to `Wonders of the Solar System'; it has the same format with Brian Cox travelling the world. As usual some science background will help you to appreciate this series, my degree is in physics. I found it a bit slow, it is also dumbed down in places, and it is only four episodes, hence only 4 stars. The account of the nucleosynthesis of the heavy elements in stars and supernovae was fascinating, we are all made of star dust (Ep 2).

Episodes (adapted from BBC iPlayer and youtube)

1. Destiny

Professor Brian Cox explores the laws of the universe. In this episode, Brian seeks to understand the nature of time and its role in creating both the universe and ourselves.

It looks at the furthest star that we know, which blew up 13.0bn years ago. It looks at the arrow of time which is always moving forward, which he relates to the second law of thermodynamics, entropy always increases, i.e. the tendency to go from order to disorder. He looks at the stelliferous era. The red dwarfs will be the longest lived stars in the universe, because they burn their fuel so slowly. The death of stars will be in a 100 trillion years time, leading to the heat death of the universe when all matter will disappear leaving only photons. However the good news is that the arrow of time gives a point in time (i.e. now) when intelligent life is possible in the universe. He ends with the single pixel picture of earth taken by Voyager.

2. Stardust

What are we and where do we come from? Professor Brian Cox finds out. The account of the nucleosynthesis of the heavy elements in stars and supernovae was fascinating.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Content not as good as I had expected March 22 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The content was interesting but really not the best work done by Brian Cox. His science presentations are usually more riveting!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonders of the Universe, BluRay Jan. 9 2014
Format:Blu-ray
Eloquently and beautifully-presented series that goes back in time in human civilization in different parts of the world to introduce or illustrate concepts and then stimulates our thinking and imagination when explaining or discussing cosmological, quantum, and relativistic principles and ideas. We will most certainly watch this series more than once
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful in HD Dec 31 2013
By Jason M
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Watching this in Blue ray on a 50 inch TV is amazing, and since it is not through a television provider, the image adds a whole new depth of majesty to space.
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