Friday, 5 September 2008

The Big Bang

Two excellent documentaries on BBC4 last night;

Lost Horizons: The Big Bang:
To coincide with the switch-on of the LHC, the world's largest particle accelerator complex, Professor Jim Al Khalili delves into over 50 years of the BBC science archive to tell the story behind the emergence of one of the greatest theories of modern science, the Big Bang.

The remarkable idea that our universe simply began from nothing has not always been accepted with the conviction it is today and, from fiercely disputed leftfield beginnings, took the best part of the 20th century to emerge as the triumphant explanation of how the universe began. Using curious horn-shaped antennas, U-2 spy planes, satellites and particle accelerators, scientists have slowly pieced together the cosmological jigsaw, and this documentary charts the overwhelming evidence for a universe created by a Big Bang.
The Big Bang Machine
Professor Brian Cox visits Geneva to take a look around Cern's Large Hadron Collider before this vast, 27km long machine is sealed-off and the experiment to create the simulation of a black hole begins.

When it's up and running, it will be capable of creating the conditions that existed just a billionth of a second after the Big Bang. Brian joins the scientists who hope that the LHC will change our understanding of the early universe and solve some of its mysteries.
Nobody does it better than the BBC. Jim Al Khalili is fast becoming the Attenborough of the quantum world while the incredibly personable Cox jumps off the screen with his enthusiasm and excitement. Great stuff!

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