Numbers and Falling Objects (06:55)
Mathematical rules underpin science; the concept of numbers is universal. Hannah Fry considers whether math is a human invention or a physical reality and discusses Aristotle's law of motion; Galileo Galilei challenged the theory.
Isaac Newton (06:26)
Fry discusses Newton's personal experimentation. She uses gravity's mathematical equation to calculate the force enacted on her body during a ride on the fastest zip line in the world.
Industrial Revolution (04:39)
Newton's laws allow us to view nature as ordered. By the end of the 18th century, scientists and engineers use mathematics to drive innovation; the invention of the steam engine has a profound impact.
Michael Faraday (03:59)
Fry visits Faraday's laboratory and discusses his experiments to find the connection between electricity and magnetism; many of his contemporaries dismissed his ideas.
James Clerk Maxwell (04:10)
Maxwell breaks down electricity and magnetism into four equations and finds a gap; he proves the two are linked. Maxwell shows how electromagnetic field lines create measurable waves and explains light.
New Geometries (05:21)
In the 19th century, mathematicians begin to question reality. Computer games illustrate a "behind the scenes" perspective of the universe. Experts consider geometric world views and changing space.
Infinity Concept (04:03)
Young students describe infinity. Experts consider the usefulness and reality of infinity. Fry uses infinity to approximate the measurement of a curve.
David Hilbert (03:05)
In 1924, Hilbert creates a thought experiment to help explain the concept of infinity.
Georg Cantor (05:17)
Fry discusses Cantor's desire to determine the size of infinity and his conclusions that started a revolution. Consider two number sets that will never stop.
Cantor's Mental Health (03:35)
In 1884, Cantor suffers a nervous breakdown and enters a psychiatric hospital. Dr. Frank Pillman discusses the impact of Cantor's work on his illness. Experts consider whether infinity mathematics is invented.
Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (06:45)
Math revolutionizes the way we understand our place in the universe. Experts use mathematical concepts to recreate conditions on the sun for energy purposes. Fry considers whether math was discovered or invented.
Credits: Expanded Horizons (00:37)
Credits: Expanded Horizons
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