Disruptive technologies uproot culture, can precipitate wars and even topple empires. By this measure, human history has seen nothing like the internet. From social upheaval and ever-shifting privacy standards to self-driving cars and networked groceries, this eye-opening program provides a stunning glimpse of what’s around the corner.
From a bee’s hexagonal honeycomb to the elliptical paths of planets, symmetry has long been recognized as a vital quality of nature. Today’s theorists are pursuing an even more exotic symmetry that, mathematically speaking, could be nature’s final fundamental symmetry: supersymmetry.
Consciousness is a terrible curse. Or so says a character in screenwriter/director Charlie Kaufman’s Being John Malkovich. Part theater of the absurd and part neuroscience fiction, the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s work captures the splintering between what we perceive and what we feel as our brains grapple with multiple layers of reality.
Though many animals display cooperative behavior, human cooperation is distinct. Alan Alda hosts E.O. Wilson, Sarah Hrdy and other leading evolutionary biologists, anthropologists and humanitarians as they examine the origins and evolution of human cooperative behavior.
Is the human brain an elaborate organic computer? Since the time of the earliest electronic computers, some have imagined that with sufficiently robust memory, processing speed, and programming, a functioning human brain can be replicated in silicon.
The multiverse hypothesis, suggesting that our universe is but one of perhaps infinitely many, speaks to the very nature of reality. Join physicist Brian Greene, cosmologists Alan Guth and Andrei Linde, and philosopher Nick Bostrom as they discuss and debate this controversial implication of forefront research.
Professor Witten is a leading light of superstring theory and the only physicist to have won the vaunted Fields Medal, mathematics’ highest honor. Known for advancing a number of novel approaches in mathematics and physics, Witten opened up new vistas in 1995 when he unified five seemingly competing superstring theories into M-theory, which seeks to unify Einstein’s general theory of relativity with quantum mechanics.
Do we make conscious decisions? Or are all of our actions predetermined? And if we don’t have free will, are we responsible for what we do? Modern neurotechnology is now allowing scientists to study brain activity neuron by neuron to try to determine how and when our brains decide to act.