You’ll perhaps recall that a few days ago I mentioned some upcoming science shows in which I talk about various science ideas. I said, among other things:
[...] one is called Parallel Universes and the other is called (I think) Light Speed, both doing more or less what it says on the packet. I’ve not seen the final cut of either show this time, so I’ll be curious to see how they put the material together. They’ll air in the upcoming new season of the series, on the 18th November and the 25th November, respectively. I think – not 100% sure – that is all that is coming up from me on that series for the rest of this year (there is another thing due on that channel in December, and then that’s certainly enough of me showing up in your living rooms for a while), not counting the reruns [...]
Well, I was wrong about the latter. It is on Monday, I was recently informed! This is, I think, going to be a really very good documentary on Einstein and his work, from a somewhat different angle than maybe you’ve seen before. It’ll focus quite a bit on the ideas and concepts and, importantly, the process by which Einstein developed his theories.
You’ll recall that I mentioned that two filmmakers, Eric Salat and Phillip Shane, came by and sat in on one of my physics classes here at USC last year. It was my (new) undergraduate General Relativity class, and they watched me derive the deflection of light by the gravitational influence of the sun. This is one of the classic tests of Einstein’s theory for which he derived the correct result from his (almost completed) theory in 1915. It was tested in 1919 by two exploration expeditions that went to observe the sun and the stars behind it during a total solar eclipse. When his result was confirmed, his proposal that gravity is the curvature or “warping” of spacetime was confirmed, and it was the resulting newspaper headlines that catapulted him to global Science Hero status, becoming a household name. This is a major focus of the program, which is a two hour special. (No, it is not part of the “The Universe” series). The website for it is here. (I’m going to have to send an email to someone at the History Channel about some of what is written in the synopsis though… It needs some fact-checking.)
You’ll recall that I did some work some weeks ago as an equation wrangler (as I called it), writing lots of equations that were filmed in various ways. Well, this is the show it was for. I’m curious to know how they used all that material. We shall see. History Channel, Monday 17th November, 9:00pm E/P, (8:00pm C).
Feel free to leave comments about the show here if you like, or perhaps on the History Channel’s site. I know that Phil and Eric will welcome feedback in order to continue making films that people like and can learn from, and it is also good to show the History Channel that there are people interested in these programs. (Don’t forget to look at the new season of The Universe, including those episodes I mentioned at the top, the first one being on Tuesday.)
Some Related Asymptotia Posts (not exhaustive):