nova

For the first time in my life, I saw an episode of Nova on PBS last night. It was great. Nova is one of those things that I always knew I would enjoy if I ever sat down and figured out when it was on and then watched it. Hey, it only took me 18 years to get to that one.

The show was pretty awesome, though. The title of the episode was “Elegant Universe” or something like that, and it was about how Einstein wanted to believe very badly that deep down the universe can be explained in an orderly fashion. The show covered all kinds of stuff like gravity, electromagnetics, string theory, physicists from the early 1900s, and quantam mechanics. Very cool stuff.

For the record, I’m a real PBS junkie, too. I’ve got basic cable at home (only $12/mo, woots) and I get about thirty channels or so. Thankfully, Utah has about four public television shows (UEN, KBYU, KUED, and I know I’m forgetting something else … BYUTV maybe?) and there’s always something worth watching on one of them. It’s great.

Here’s some random stuff I picked up:

  • Einstein was a bit of a star in his younger days
  • String theory believes that there is an explanation that covers everything (I think)
  • Gravity is very weak compared to electro-magnetism, and on the atomic level is almost completely non-existant
  • Quantum mechanics deals with measuring the probability of certain outcomes, since nothing is ever certain.  Einstein refused to believe that because he couldn’t accept that on the smallest level that things were disorderly.
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3 Comments

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3 responses to “nova

  1. Yeah, that’s a cool episode. I highly recommend reading the whole Brian Greene book, and his newer one on the same general topic.

  2. Yeah, man…. ELEGANT UNIVERSE is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Really does a workout on your brain matter, tell you what!

  3. Randy

    I love PBS. When I purchased an HD card for my MythTV box, I discovered that there are even more PBS channels out there for free. If you have a digital tuner, you can get 7.1, 7.2, and 7.3 (PBSKids) from KUED … 9.1 and 9.2 from UEN … and 11.1, 11.2, 11.3, 11.4, and 11.5 (coming soon) from KBYU.

    The three KUED channels offer 3x the programming as just regular channel 7. Even PBSKids is only kids programming part of the time; otherwise they have documentaries and Nova-type shows.

    From KBYU, 11.1 (High Def) and 11.2 (SD) are the same as what’s normally on channel 11. 11.3 is BYUTV. 11.4 is “Create”, which has cooking, travel, woodworking, sewing, and other how-to type shows. Wife loves to record piles of cooking shows. I think 11.5 may end up being focused more on childrens programming.

    MythTV really helps me mange what I watch. It’s setup to record Nova, Frontline, American Experience, and a few other PBS regulars. Then I watch them whenever I get around to it.

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