UCL CENTRE FOR LANGUAGES & INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION (CLIE)

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Diploma Lecture 2014

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astronomyelectromagnetic spectrumenergyengineeringfluorescencefrequencylightmatterphysicsplancksciencetechnology

Diploma Lecture 2014

400 BC to 200 AD is known as the Axial Age, when great civilisations in Asia and the Mediterranean forged the ideas that dominated the next two thousand years. In China the equivalent to the Golden Age in Greece was the Warring States Period. It was a time of political turmoil, economic change and intellectual ferment that laid the foundations for the first Chinese Empire. Astronomy was systematised, the principles of Yin and Yang were invented, Confucianism grew and Taoism emerged, as a hundred schools of thought are reputed to have vied for the patronage of rival kings. Why was a period of war such a fertile age for culture and thought, what kinds of ideas were developed and how do they still inform the thinking of nearly a fifth of the world’s population?

400 BC to 200 AD is known as the Axial Age, when great civilisations in Asia and the Mediterranean forged the ideas that dominated the next two thousand years. In China the equivalent to the Golden Age in Greece was the Warring States Period. It was a time of political turmoil, economic change and intellectual ferment that laid the foundations for the first Chinese Empire. Astronomy was systematised, the principles of Yin and Yang were invented, Confucianism grew and Taoism emerged, as a hundred schools of thought are reputed to have vied for the patronage of rival kings. Why was a period of war such a fertile age for culture and thought, what kinds of ideas were developed and how do they still inform the thinking of nearly a fifth of the world’s population?

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With Jim Al-Khalili, Senior Lecturer in Physics at the University of Surrey; Christine Sutton, Particle Physicist and Lecturer in Physics at St Catherine’s College Oxford; John Gribbin, Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex.

With Jim Al-Khalili, Senior Lecturer in Physics at the University of Surrey; Christine Sutton, Particle Physicist and Lecturer in Physics at St Catherine’s College Oxford; John Gribbin, Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex.

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With Dr John Gribbin, Visiting Fellow in Astronomy, University of Sussex; Lee Smolin, Professor of Physics, Centre for Gravitational Physics and Geometry, Pennsylvania State University and Visiting Professor of Physics at Imperial College, London; Dr Janna Levin, Advanced Fellow, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge University.

With Dr John Gribbin, Visiting Fellow in Astronomy, University of Sussex; Lee Smolin, Professor of Physics, Centre for Gravitational Physics and Geometry, Pennsylvania State University and Visiting Professor of Physics at Imperial College, London; Dr Janna Levin, Advanced Fellow, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge University.

Le 19 janvier 2006, la Nasa mettait la touche finale à un projet colossal en faisant décoller une sonde chargée de fournir la première reconnaissance de Pluton et de ses satellites. Le voyage, prévu pour durer neuf ans, ne s'achèvera réellement qu'en 2030 : après Pluton, la sonde New Horizons doit encore explorer la ceinture de Kuiper, anneau de débris et d'astéroïdes qui délimite notre Système solaire...

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astronomyplutospace explorationspace science

Le 19 janvier 2006, la Nasa mettait la touche finale à un projet colossal en faisant décoller une sonde chargée de fournir la première reconnaissance de Pluton et de ses satellites. Le voyage, prévu pour durer neuf ans, ne s'achèvera réellement qu'en 2030 : après Pluton, la sonde New Horizons doit encore explorer la ceinture de Kuiper, anneau de débris et d'astéroïdes qui délimite notre Système solaire...

A unique journey around the weird and wonderful planet that we call home.

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astronomygeographynature and environmentscience and nature

A unique journey around the weird and wonderful planet that we call home.

  • Brian Cox's Adventures in Space and Time - Series 1

  • Simon Winchcombe

Discovering our place in the universe. Brian Cox looks back on a decade of discovery and towards the next space frontier, asking the biggest question of all - what's next?

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astro physicsastronomyphysicsspacetheoretical physics

Discovering our place in the universe. Brian Cox looks back on a decade of discovery and towards the next space frontier, asking the biggest question of all - what's next?

Star Men celebrates the history of stargazing - the inventions and discoveries that have enabled us to learn so much about the universe, but more importantly to understand how much more we have yet to discover.

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astronomyspacespace exploration

Star Men celebrates the history of stargazing - the inventions and discoveries that have enabled us to learn so much about the universe, but more importantly to understand how much more we have yet to discover.

Four British astronomers celebrate 50 years of work and friendship by going on a road trip to revisit some of the world's greatest observatories.

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astronomyhistory of science

Four British astronomers celebrate 50 years of work and friendship by going on a road trip to revisit some of the world's greatest observatories.

Astronomer Carl Sagan leads us on an engaging guided tour of the universe, bringing such topics as Einstein\\\'s theory of relativity and Darwin\\\'s theory of evolution down to a layman\\\'s level of understanding. The first episode opens with a description of the cosmos and introduces the iconic \\\'Spaceship of the Imagination\\\'

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astronomybiologycosmologynatural worldnaturesciencetechnology

Astronomer Carl Sagan leads us on an engaging guided tour of the universe, bringing such topics as Einstein\\\'s theory of relativity and Darwin\\\'s theory of evolution down to a layman\\\'s level of understanding. The first episode opens with a description of the cosmos and introduces the iconic \\\'Spaceship of the Imagination\\\'

It's a voyage of exploration like no other - to Titan, Saturn's largest moon and thought to resemble our own early Earth. For a small team of British scientists this would be the culmination of a lifetime's endeavour - the flight alone, some 2 billion miles, would take a full seven years. This is the story of the space probe they built, the sacrifices they made and their hopes for the landing.

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astronomyengineeringexplorationsciencespace

It's a voyage of exploration like no other - to Titan, Saturn's largest moon and thought to resemble our own early Earth. For a small team of British scientists this would be the culmination of a lifetime's endeavour - the flight alone, some 2 billion miles, would take a full seven years. This is the story of the space probe they built, the sacrifices they made and their hopes for the landing.

The moon is such a familiar presence in the sky that most of us take it for granted. But what if it wasn't where it is now? How would that affect life on earth?

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astronomygravitynatural worldnaturesciencespace

The moon is such a familiar presence in the sky that most of us take it for granted. But what if it wasn't where it is now? How would that affect life on earth?

Professor Jim Al-Khalili sets out to discover what the universe might actually look like.

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astronomyhistory of sciencemathematicsphysicssciencespace

Professor Jim Al-Khalili sets out to discover what the universe might actually look like.

The second part, Nothing, explores science at the very limits of human perception, where we now understand the deepest mysteries of the universe lie. Jim sets out to answer one very simple question - what is nothing?

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astronomyhistory of sciencemathematicsphysicssciencespace

The second part, Nothing, explores science at the very limits of human perception, where we now understand the deepest mysteries of the universe lie. Jim sets out to answer one very simple question - what is nothing?

In 2014, three young astronauts perform their first space mission aboard the International Space Station: the German Alexander Gerst, Russian Maksim Surayev and American Greg Wiseman. The crew shot fascinating 3D images that reveal both the space, Earth and the research that the trio carries on board. The effect is such that the viewer has the impression of floating in the cosmos.

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astronomyspace explorationspace science

In 2014, three young astronauts perform their first space mission aboard the International Space Station: the German Alexander Gerst, Russian Maksim Surayev and American Greg Wiseman. The crew shot fascinating 3D images that reveal both the space, Earth and the research that the trio carries on board. The effect is such that the viewer has the impression of floating in the cosmos.

A fundamental force of nature, gravity shapes our entire universe. It sculpts galaxies and warps space and time. But gravity’s strange powers also affect our daily lives in the most unexpected ways. This is a story with surprises in store for Jim himself. In telling the story of gravity, his own understanding of the nature of reality comes to be challenged.

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astronomyastrophysicsgravityphysics

A fundamental force of nature, gravity shapes our entire universe. It sculpts galaxies and warps space and time. But gravity’s strange powers also affect our daily lives in the most unexpected ways. This is a story with surprises in store for Jim himself. In telling the story of gravity, his own understanding of the nature of reality comes to be challenged.

The search for extra-terrestrial life has been going for 50 years - but there's been a recent breakthrough. Astronomers have discovered a new planet called Gliese 581 c. It is the most Earth-like planet ever found. It orbits a star and may have habitats capable of supporting life. NASA hopes to find 50 more Earth-like planets by the end of the decade, all of which increases the chance that alien life has begun elsewhere.

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astronomynaturespacespace science

The search for extra-terrestrial life has been going for 50 years - but there's been a recent breakthrough. Astronomers have discovered a new planet called Gliese 581 c. It is the most Earth-like planet ever found. It orbits a star and may have habitats capable of supporting life. NASA hopes to find 50 more Earth-like planets by the end of the decade, all of which increases the chance that alien life has begun elsewhere.

A chance to look back at a classic Horizon special in which James Burke looks at space exploration and exploitation. Originally transmitted in 1984, James begins by looking at the Apollo XI moon landing, before moving on to future space plans for humankind.

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apollo x1astronomyphysicsspacespace exploration

A chance to look back at a classic Horizon special in which James Burke looks at space exploration and exploitation. Originally transmitted in 1984, James begins by looking at the Apollo XI moon landing, before moving on to future space plans for humankind.

Forget the Big Bang. The real moment of creation was the moment of first light, the moment the first stars were born. Horizon tells the scientific version of the story of Genesis.

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astronomyastrophysicsphysicssciencespace

Forget the Big Bang. The real moment of creation was the moment of first light, the moment the first stars were born. Horizon tells the scientific version of the story of Genesis.

Scientists genuinely don't know what most of our universe is made of. The atoms we're made from only make up four per cent. The rest is dark matter and dark energy (for 'dark', read 'don't know'). The Large Hadron Collider at CERN has been upgraded. When it's switched on in March 2015, its collisions will have twice the energy they did before. The hope is that scientists will discover the identity of dark matter in the debris.

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astronomycolliderlarge hadronphysicsscience

Scientists genuinely don't know what most of our universe is made of. The atoms we're made from only make up four per cent. The rest is dark matter and dark energy (for 'dark', read 'don't know'). The Large Hadron Collider at CERN has been upgraded. When it's switched on in March 2015, its collisions will have twice the energy they did before. The hope is that scientists will discover the identity of dark matter in the debris.

Scientists genuinely don't know what most of our universe is made of. The atoms we're made from only make up four per cent. The rest is dark matter and dark energy (for 'dark', read 'don't know'). The Large Hadron Collider at CERN has been upgraded. When it's switched on in March 2015, its collisions will have twice the energy they did before. The hope is that scientists will discover the identity of dark matter in the debris.

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astronomydark matterlarge hadron colliderphysicsscience

Scientists genuinely don't know what most of our universe is made of. The atoms we're made from only make up four per cent. The rest is dark matter and dark energy (for 'dark', read 'don't know'). The Large Hadron Collider at CERN has been upgraded. When it's switched on in March 2015, its collisions will have twice the energy they did before. The hope is that scientists will discover the identity of dark matter in the debris.

Horizon plunges down the biggest rabbit-hole in history in search of the smallest thing in the universe.

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astronomyblack holesphysicsspace science

Horizon plunges down the biggest rabbit-hole in history in search of the smallest thing in the universe.

Dark flow is the latest in a long line of phenomena that have threatened to re-write the textbooks. Does it herald a new era of understanding, or does it simply mean that everything we know about the universe is wrong?

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astronomynaturephysicssciencespace

Dark flow is the latest in a long line of phenomena that have threatened to re-write the textbooks. Does it herald a new era of understanding, or does it simply mean that everything we know about the universe is wrong?

'To send a spacecraft there is a little bit insane,' says Scott Bolton when talking about Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. But that is exactly what he has done, because Scott is head of Juno, the Nasa mission designed to peer through Jupiter's swirling clouds and reveal the wonders within.

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astronomyengineeringhdjupitersciencespacespace exploration

'To send a spacecraft there is a little bit insane,' says Scott Bolton when talking about Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. But that is exactly what he has done, because Scott is head of Juno, the Nasa mission designed to peer through Jupiter's swirling clouds and reveal the wonders within.

Horizon goes behind the scenes at Nasa to discover how it is preparing for its most ambitious and daring mission: to land men - and possibly women - on the surface of Mars.

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astronomyengineeringmarssciencesolar systemspace

Horizon goes behind the scenes at Nasa to discover how it is preparing for its most ambitious and daring mission: to land men - and possibly women - on the surface of Mars.

The intriguing possibility of life on Mars has fuelled man's quest to visit the Red Planet. Drawing on 45 years of Horizon archive, space expert Dr Kevin Fong presents a documentary on Earth's near neighbour.

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astronomyengineeringmarssciencesolar systemspace

The intriguing possibility of life on Mars has fuelled man's quest to visit the Red Planet. Drawing on 45 years of Horizon archive, space expert Dr Kevin Fong presents a documentary on Earth's near neighbour.

The oceans define the earth. They are crucial to life and we used to think that they were unique to our blue planet. But we were wrong.

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astronomyastrophysicsphysicsspace exploration

The oceans define the earth. They are crucial to life and we used to think that they were unique to our blue planet. But we were wrong.

Around the world, a new generation of astronomers are hunting for the most mysterious objects in the universe. Young stars, black holes, even other forms of life.

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astronomyblack holeengineeringnaturesciencespace

Around the world, a new generation of astronomers are hunting for the most mysterious objects in the universe. Young stars, black holes, even other forms of life.

Scientists are expecting a fit of violent activity on the sun which will propel billions of tonnes of superheated gas and pulses of energy towards our planet.

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astronomydisastersmeteorologynaturesciencespace

Scientists are expecting a fit of violent activity on the sun which will propel billions of tonnes of superheated gas and pulses of energy towards our planet.

A gas cloud three times the size of our planet has strayed within the gravitational reach of our nearest supermassive black hole. And across the globe, telescopes are being trained on the heart of our Milky Way galaxy, some 27,000 light years from Earth, in the expectation of observing this unique cosmic spectacle.

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astronomyblack holeengineeringnaturesciencespace

A gas cloud three times the size of our planet has strayed within the gravitational reach of our nearest supermassive black hole. And across the globe, telescopes are being trained on the heart of our Milky Way galaxy, some 27,000 light years from Earth, in the expectation of observing this unique cosmic spectacle.