Updated Fri, Oct 14, 2011 11:58 am
Nova - The Fabric of the Cosmos: "What is Space?"
Wednesday, Nov. 2, 9 p.m.
Space. It separates you from me, one galaxy from the next, and atoms from each other. It is everywhere in the universe. But to most of us, space is nothing, an empty void. Well, it turns out space is not what it seems. From the passenger seat of a New York cab driving near the speed of light to a pool hall where billiard tables do fantastical things, Brian Greene reveals space as a dynamic fabric that can stretch, twist, warp, and ripple under the influence of gravity. Stranger still is a newly discovered ingredient of space that actually makes up 70% of the universe. Physicists call it dark energy because while they know it’s out there, driving space to expand ever more quickly, they have no idea what it is. Probing space on the smallest scales only makes the mysteries multiply down there, things are going on that physicists today can barely fathom. To top it off, some of the strangest places in space, black holes, have led scientists to propose that like the hologram on your credit card, space may just be a projection of a deeper two-dimensional reality, taking place on a distant surface that surrounds us. Space, far from being empty, is fled with some of the deepest mysteries of our times.
Acclaimed physicist Brian Greene lets NOVA viewers in on a secret: we’ve all been deceived. Our perceptions of time and space have led us astray.
Much of what we thought we knew about our universe—that the past has already happened and the future is yet to be, that space is just an empty void, that our universe is the only universe that exists—just might be wrong. In The Fabric of the Cosmos, a new four-hour NOVA special series, premiering Wednesday, November 2, Greene takes viewers on a mind-bending reality check and journey to the frontiers of physics to see how scientists are piecing together the most complete picture yet of space, time, and the universe. With each step, audiences will discover that just beneath the surface of our everyday experience lies a world we’d hardly recognize—a startling world far stranger and more wondrous than anyone expected.
The Fabric of the Cosmos premieres on four consecutive Wednesday nights in November at 9 p.m.