Carved from a hundred million pounds of stone, soaring effortlessly atop a spiderweb of masonry, Gothic cathedrals are marvels of human achievement and artistry. But how did medieval builders reach such spectacular heights? Consuming the labor of entire towns, sometimes taking a hundred years to build, these architectural marvels were crafted from just hand tools and stone. Many now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse. To save them, an international team of engineers, architects, art historians, and computer scientists searches the naves, bays, and ...
A look at new attempts by archaeologists to understand Stonehenge by excavating in the area around the site. Included is an explanation of previous excavations at the site as well as how the site compares to other stone and timber circles around the British Isles. Also, experiments are conducted to show how various components may have been brought together.
This documentary, part of the Nova (1974) television series, focuses on two archaeological expeditions that may shed light on the origin and nature of King Solomon's fabled mines. There is little in the historical record and while there are several Biblical references to Solomon's wealth, the mines themselves are never mentioned. In the ancient Kingdom of the Edomites, in what is now Jordan, ancient copper mines and the remnants of massive smelting have been found. Copper was an expensive commodity at the time and was used initially as a metal for ornaments and jewelry. In ...
What happens when the ice melts and the sea levels rise? Scientists study Antarctica in an effort to understand possible climate change through geologists looking at ancient landscapes, paleobotany, drilling, and diving.
This program looks at cleaner ways to generate power principally in our cars and electrical power plants. It reviews alternatives for all the steps in the fuel generation, storage and distribution processes with a particular emphasis on how unwanted waste products can play a significant role.
Making stuff smarter isn't about artificial intelligence. It's more about engineering materials at the microscopic level to behave in specific ways. Today is it possible to create materials with clever designs or micro structures that permit control of a material's ability to self-heal, stick and release, self-clean, prevent disease, alter their shape and other properties. This program explains where several of these materials came from, how they work and how they are put to practical use.
Nova and National Geographic follow researchers collecting venom from the world's most dangerous snakes, spiders, lizards and other creatures. The program explains why the researchers do it and what is known about how venom works and why some animals are especially dangerous.