Mario at CERN

The Great Math Mystery

Dr Mario Livio sets out to explore the powerful connection that exists between mathematics, number and the world.

Every day, mathematics exerts a powerful role in our lives that we all take for granted. But for many people—including Mario Livio, the power of math poses a huge and compelling mystery. Why should our universe follow such orderly and predictable rules? What explains, in Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner’s famous phrase, “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics”?

 
Crater1

Fireball of Christ

The astonishing evidence that a deadly meteorite impact may have played a part in the adoption of Christianity by the Roman Empire, and so changed the world.

In AD312 the Roman Emperor Constantine claimed he saw a mysterious light in the sky which convinced him to convert to Christianity – and so changed the history of the world. Now scientists believe they may have tracked down the source of this mysterious light. 

 
The Solomon Treasures

The Solomon Treasures

A series of extraordinary finds comes to light in Israel, but not all these discoveries are quite what they seem.

Official investigations are revealing that apparently priceless objects are actually fake, and Israeli archaeologists fear that history and science is being repeatedly distorted. 

 
Terry Pratchett's Jungle Quest

Terry Pratchett's Jungle Quest

Terry Pratchett, best selling author, travels to the rain forest of Borneo in search of that least understood of the great apes, the orangutan.

Intrigued by the enormous popularity of the orangutan Librarian, a character in his Discworld series of books, Terry sets off in the company of ape expert Ian Redmond to try and understand what these close cousins of humans are really like.

 
Asteroid Impact

Asteroid Impact

On the 6th October 2008, for the first time in history, scientists detect an asteroid on a collision course with earth.

After warnings go out around the world, the asteroid explodes over Sudan with the force of a small atomic bomb. Scientists immediately organise an expedition to recover fragments - and learn the critical lessons the impact holds for the future.

 
The Fireball of Tutankhamun

The Fireball of Tutankhamun

The story of how a mysterious gem in one of Tutankhamun’s necklaces leads to the discovery of a dramatic new cosmic threat.

Tut’s gem is identified as a type of glass found in a remote part of the Sahara Desert, and scientists embark on a quest deep into the desert, and then across the world, to discover the remarkable truth about the glass’s origin.

 
King Solomons Tablet of Stone

King Solomon’s Tablet of Stone

A few years ago, a remarkable stone tablet mysteriously turns up in Israel.  It appears to come from the Temple of Solomon.

The tablet is an archaeological bombshell. But as scientists and scholars study the tablet they discover another more sinister mystery hidden within the stone.

 
Percy Pilchers Flying Machine

Percy Pilcher’s Flying Machine

In 1899, four years before the Wright brothers' maiden flight, the leading British aviation pioneer Percy Pilcher built a powered aircraft.

On 17 December 1903 the Wright brothers completed the world’s first ever sustained powered flight. Yet it could be an altogether different name we remember today.   This programme sets out to answer: could Percy Pilcher’s machine have flown? 

 
Stone Age Columbus

Stone Age Columbus

One of the most epic journeys in human history – a voyage across the Atlantic in some of the harshest conditions the world has ever known.

These intrepid voyagers were not explorers, Vikings or adventurers. They were men, women and children. And it appears they reached America 15,000 years before Columbus, at the height of the Ice Age. 

 
The Mystery of the Persian Mummy

The Mystery of the Persian Mummy

An extraordinary mummy is discovered in Pakistan. The body is  believed to be that of a Persian Princess 2,600 years old.

As scientists investigate, the mummy begins to reveal a terrible secret, a secret that turns this archaeological triumph into a modern murder hunt. 

 
Electronic Heart

Electronic Heart

Following the first clinical trial of an electrical device which could transform the lives of people with heart failure.

For more than thirty years, heart surgeon Michael DeBakey pursued a dream: to perfect an artificial heart. In 1998 when he was already 90 years old, he came to Europe to supervise a series of ground breaking operations which were the realisation of his dream.

 
Day Return to Space

Day Return to Space

A new space race is underway. The prize will go to the people who can make space travel affordable.

The new space race involving NASA, the big aerospace corporations, and a growing number of private entrepreneurs aims to come up with a space vehicle which could make astronauts of us all...

 
Fallout from Chernobyl

Fallout from Chernobyl

The first attempt to analyse the fall out from the Chernobyl accident forced the textbooks on radiation to be rewritten.

The findings from two British scientists, Keith Baverstock and Professor Sir Dillwyn Williams, linking thyroid cancer in children to the accident at Chernobyl stand as the first confirmed effects of the fall-out.

 
Exodus

Exodus

As half a million Rwandan refugees moved across the border into Tanzania, the country’s second largest ‘city’ appeared out of nothing.

As an ever widening circle of devastated land spread out from the camp, the world’s first Environmental Impact Assessment of a refugee crisis begins, as the aid agencies are forced to look ahead.