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The Fabric of the Cosmos: What is Space? 

Simple, obvious, ever-present aspects of our daily lives give scientists fits trying to understand them. One of these aspects is space which physicists are convinced is something more than ... See full summary »


(based on the book), (original book) | 8 more credits »

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Episode credited cast:
Christopher Berger ...
Raphael Bousso ...
Robert Cannon ...
Danny Dennis ...
Ken Driesslein ...
Alex Filippenko ...
S. James Gates ...
Himself (as S. James Gates Jr.)
Himself - Host
Frederic Heringes ...
Peter Higgs ...
Craig Hogan ...
Clifford V. Johnson ...
Himself (as Clifford Johnson)
Rocky Kolb ...


Simple, obvious, ever-present aspects of our daily lives give scientists fits trying to understand them. One of these aspects is space which physicists are convinced is something more than nothing. This program explains the experiments that are giving scientists hints about what space is. Written by David Foss

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2011 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

24 April 2016 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

I bought "The Elegant Universe" on DVD as soon as it hit the home video market. I had only managed to see portions of the program when it first aired on PBS, and bought "The Fabric of the Cosmos" on CD and listened to it in my car.

The current state of physics is that everything we experience is a kind of projection of information, and to be more precise, a certain strain events from a base or projection of information, the roots of which are stored elsewhere, and the tangential alternatives of which are also projected from that "point of storage". Allegedly all alternatives of what could have happened in your life, actually have played out in an alternative reality. I don't believe it, but that's what physicists are saying. Go figure. That's a far cry from the old F=ma for anyone who's taken any kind of high school or college physics.

Way back in the late 90s I tried to describe this very theory to an alleged "smart person" on a BBS dedicated to a game that simulated starship combat for the old 1960's Star Trek TV show. I cited Doctor Bill Wattenburgh (formerly of KGO radio) as my source. Said "smart person" copied my verbatim restatement of the theory explained in this series. He then took it to the head of his branch of physics at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), some individual with a name heralding from India or that region. Same smart person then brought back said professor's reply; "this is a load of nonsense."

I'm curious if the (former) head of MIT's physic's department has rethought his statement and position. One wonders.

One of the big problems with programs like this is how do you "dumb down" complex information for the lay person to digest and accept, or at least comprehend for the purpose of weighing as to whether to believe it or not. And how do you do it in a way that seems plausible, and without dazzling them with a bunch of math that's well beyond the lay person's basic mathematics' skills?

To be honest these programs are more designed for the amateur scientist, with I'm guessing the hope that they can impart and somewhat give another layer of easy to digest explanations from the more complex (yet still dumbed down) version presented by NOVA. Even so, I wonder if there might not be an intermediate layer or documentary that could transmit some of the mathematics for the more advanced amateur scientist. And I wonder if some of that math, if properly presented, might not help at least psychologically re- assure the lay viewer that they weren't just listening to a bunch of mad scientist gobbledy- gook. I'm not sure.

What I'm sure about is that I have been vindicated, and programs like this, produced by WGBH in Boston, and hosted by Brian Greene, and co-hosted by a number of others in the field, help disseminate highly complicated topics that seem so counter-intuitive and highly implausible, to an ever increasing population interested in science and hard scientific explanations of why we're here, and how "stuff", our universe, came into being.

What's even more heartening is that modern digital effects are used to help further the explanations. Sure, they're still allegories to help the lay audience digest the concepts without forcing them to go through 12 years of university physics and mathematics, but it works.

This particular episode discuss what space actually is, and the possibility of different universes, while touching on what our reality actually is.

If you have a passing interest in the topic, then check out this documentary and the episodes that precede and follow it.


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