"The Creation of the Universe" video program details.
"Take a cosmic ride on the ultimate detective story - 15 billion years in the making. Creation of the Universe presents the latest theories on the birth of the cosmos from noted scientists such as Steven Hawking and Carlo Rubbia in easy-to-follow terms featuring state-of-the-art computer graphics." (From the Wellspring catalogue.)
Amazon.ca (DVD about $20.00)
Amazon.ca - (direct link to the program)
In the U.S.:
Amazon.com (VHS $2.99 or DVD $17.99)
Amazon.com - (direct link to the program)
From the jacket of the video disk:
One of the most exciting alliances in contemporary science was forged in the 1980's when particle physicists, who explore the smallest objects in nature, hoined forces with cosmologists, who study the cosmos as a whole. Together they sought to comprehend events that transpired during the first instant of time--when the entire universe is thought to have been smaller than an atom, and hotter than a star. Their goal was to fulfill Albert Einstein's dream of finding a unified field theory--a theory that could shed light on the ancient question of how the universe began. The Creation of the Universe tells their story.
Critically acclaimed as a breakthrough special that sets new standards in excellence for science documnetaries, The Creation of the Universe was produced with an eye to repeated viewing; rich in both visual and intellectual content, it is meant to be seen several times. The musical score by Brian Eno melds beautifully with the imagery of award-winning cinematographer Francis Kenny. The special effects, the product of an unprecedented collaboration between physicists and artists, include stunning digital sequences, composed on three satellite-linked VAX computers, depicting the nucleus of an atom, interactions of subatomic particles at the birth of the universe, and the rotation of the Milky Way galaxy.
The program is enlivened by interviews with leading scientists, among them Allan Sandage, the discoverer of quasars; Murray Gell-Mann, who first postulated the existence of quarks; Steven Weinberg, who contributed to the first modern unified theory of particle interactions; John Archibalk Wheeler, who invented the concept of hyperdimensional "superspace"; and Stephen Hawking, who has attained a stature in physics somethimes compared to Einstein's despite suffering from ALS, a nervous system disorder that has left him almost totally paralyzed.
Although its subject matter encompasses some of the most exotic concepts ever to be found at the cutting edge of science, The Creation of the Universe consistently grounds the technical esoterica of physics and cosmology in the realities of everyday life.
It all adds up to a uniquely intimate view of the universe that draws together art and science, poetry and philosophy, the vastness of cosmic spacetime and the immediacy of the here and now. As Ferris says at the program's conclusion, "Every scrap of matter and energy in our blood and bones, and in the synapses of our thoughts, can trace their lineage back to the origin of the universe... The evolution of the universe goes on, not just around us, but within us. Our thoughts and feelings, after all, are part of the universe, too. Its story is our story as well."
- The role of the four fundamental forces of nature is explained by way of a major league baseball game with the commentary by the inimitable radio comedy team Bob and Ray.
- The history of the solar system begins with a look at the Manhattan skyline. Its swayback countours--skyscrapers downtown and midtown, none between--trace the form of subterrean mountains of bedrock laid down by lava floes millions of years ago.
- The decay of matter predicted by the Grand Unified Theory is explored during a trip down the canals of the sinking city of Venice.
- Location sequences in Beauvais Cathedral, France and FermiLab, Illinois, compare the architects of Gothic cathedrals with the builders of modern particle accelerators.
- And, in a celebrated sequence, author-narrator Timothy Ferris reviews eighteen billion years of cosmic history by ascending the iron staircase of an old lighthouse, opening windows onto scenes depicting stages in cosmic evolution stretching back from the present day to the beginning of time.
"Cost comparison" details:
The Visual Education Centre has PBS distribution rights in Canada. To legally show this video in a Canadian classroom, it should be purchased from them, and you then have classroom viewing license priveleges.
In the US, the copyright law is more lenient. The home version (as I understand it) is legal for US classroom use in a "face to face presentation" condition. This means, for instance, that it cannot be transmitted via closed-circuit TV to different lecture halls.
The bottom line: You just HAVE to see this program!
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