In this popular PBS mini-series Nova: the Fabric of the Cosmos, renowned physicist and author Brian Greene tells us that "lying just beneath everyday reality is a breath-taking world where much of what we perceive about the universe is wrong". He tells us that empty space is in fact not empty. It is substantial. It bends, twists, and interacts with objects in it to form curvatures, which is responsible for what Isaac Newton called gravity. Contrary to popular belief that time is like a river flowing inexorably from the past to the future, time, according to Brian Greene, is actually a stack of infinite number of frozen slices of reality; one experiences reality from one slice to another as he ages and dies, and the past, present, and future exist simultaneously. Brian Greene introduces to the viewers the strange world of atoms, electrons, and sub-atomic particles, where a particle can be at more than one place at the same time. In this world governed by quantum mechanics, a particle exists in a "probability wave" and has no fixed position until it is looked at by an observer, and an event that happens in one place determines the outcome of another over long distance through "entanglement", as if space-time does not exist between them. Lastly, he proposes that there might be exact duplicates of you and me and everybody else in a parallel universe exactly like ours. According to Brian Greene, our universe might be just one among an infinite number of universes floating like bubbles in a forever expanding "multiverse". Brian Greene has done a marvelous job explaining an immensely complicated subject in the simplest terms. Don't miss out on this thought provoking series.
on August 16, 2014
This is an utterly fascinating look at some of the stranger aspects of physics today -- the stuff that wasn't in your high school classes, but if it had been, you'd probably be majoring in physics right now. Brian Greene has to be the single most lucid teacher of outlandish concepts I've ever come across, and this DVD is a sterling introduction to truly weird science.
The set comprises four PBS TV shows, covering 1) the nature of space (what *is* empty space? is it just nothing, or is space a "something"?); 2) the nature of time (brilliant discussion of time, spacetime and relativity; what is "now" for me may not be "now" for you); 3) quantum mechanics (VERY weird happenings at the subatomic level, including actual teleportation - could "Beam Me Up Scotty" one day be real?); and 4) the multiple-universes theory (is this the only universe or are there others? can we ever really know?). If you have a curious mind -- perhaps you read science fiction and have wondered how much of it could ever really be likely -- then this is a fascinating and sometimes mindboggling introduction to the world of what is and what could be.
The one issue I have with this series is that you're presented with all these brilliant ideas -- but there isn't the explanation as to why they're true, or how or why they were found. For example, in episode 3 (Quantum Leap) Dr Greene describes how Einstein disliked quantum mechanics and thought it must be wrong, or at least incomplete. But a physicist named Bell found evidence that led to a mathematical proof that Einstein was wrong. Quantum mechanics wins, hooray! And I'm left wondering, What proof? If it's so esoteric that I haven't a hope of understanding it, why bring it up at all? Because in the book of the same name, Dr Greene explains the proof (in an analogy; I'm sure the math is out of my league) and it makes perfect sense. Same with quantum entanglement and the multiverse theory -- this presentation tells you that they exist, but not how and why they are (or might be) true.
As an introduction to weird science, this compilation is by far the best I've come across. But I think its real value is that it might pique your curiosity to find out more. In which case I *thoroughly* recommend the book of the same name (though it's not at all a quick read). After that, well, I guess it's off to university to study physics ...
on September 25, 2013
I was pleasantly surprised because I was expecting a Blu-ray on "What is Space?". Instead, this Blu-ray is a two disk set with four titles: What is space?, The Illusion of Time, Quantum Leap, Universe or Multiverse? Then the show talks about the Universe as a halogram. Very interesting.
on March 20, 2013
Je ne me considère pas comme étant une personne stupide et je regarde une tonne de documentaires. Par contre, j'avais vraiment de la difficulté avec la science derrière la physique quantique. Cette série m'a enfin permis de comprendre.
Le sujet est très bien vulgarisé et imagé sans jamais prendre son public pour des idiots. Les images CGI sont très bien faites et le présentateur (Brian Greene) fait un excellent travail. L'éventail de sujet est aussi très interressant (l'espace, le temps, la physique quantique et les "univers" multiples).
Je vais continuer à regarder ce que NOVA (la production) nous offre comme produit car The fabric of the cosmos est un produit extra-rdinaire, bien au delà de mes attentes.
note: Documentaire en anglais seulement