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Premier :: 2007-07-26

on BBC Four

Genre :: Documentary

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Jim Al-Khalili, the head of theoretical nuclear physics at the University of Surrey, brings absorbing and accessible views on the development of fundamental physics ideas to the screen for both non-scientists and scientists. Even if you already have a strong science interest/background, this captivating mini-series offers a different take on many familiar and not-so familiar names (Einstein, Bhor, Curie, Rutherford), their relationships and key events that makes it well worth viewing. In this three-part documentary series, Professor Jim Al-Khalili tells the story of one of the greatest scientific discoveries ever: that the material world is made up of atoms. The book that accompanies the Atom series is published by Icon Books.

Latest Episode

Series 1 - Episode 3 - The Illusion Of Reality
Aired - 09 August 2007

Episode summary:

The final part of Professor Jim Al-Khalili's documentary series about the basic building block of our universe, the atom. Al-Khalili explores how studying the atom forced us to rethink the nature of reality itself, encountering ideas that seem like they are from science fiction but in fact are a central part of modern science. He discovers that there might be parallel universes in which different versions of us exist and finds out that empty space is not empty at all, but seething with activity. The world we think we know - the solid, reassuring world of our senses - turns out to be a tiny sliver of an infinitely weirder and more wonderful universe than we had ever conceived in our wildest fantasies.

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