Our Mysterious Universe

October 2, 2016
(was 11.01.2015)

For all the amazing discoveries that scientists have made, the cosmos is still full of mysteries - from dark matter to quantum entanglement. Will physicists ever explain the universe, or is it fundamentally unknowable? We explore the frontiers of physics and ponder what it means to live with mystery.

  1. Did We Find an Alien Civilization?

    Astronomers have detected strange light patterrns around a star 1500 light years away. The usual explanations fall short, so Jason Wright says one possibility is a massive structure created by an advanced alien civilization.

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  2. The Unknowable Universe

    Physicist Alan Lightman likes living in a universe filled with mystery. He finds it in the unanswered questions about the cosmos and also in his personal life, including a remarkable interspecies encounter with two ospreys.

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  3. Is Quantum Entanglement for Real?

    Einstein hated the idea. He called it "spooky action at a distance." But experiments have confirmed the bizarre property of quantum entanglement, where two particles on opposite sides of the universe can almost magically respond to each other. Journalist George Musser says we've barely begun to grasp the truly radical nature of non-locality.

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  4. In the Newton Archives

    If you really want to get a feel for Isaac Newton - perhaps history's greatest scientist - the best way is to see his original manuscripts at Cambridge University Library. But they're so valuable, it's hard to get permission to look at them. They did let Steve Paulson in, but only in the company of 4 archivists, plus Newton historian Sarah Dry.

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  5. On Being Terry Gilliam

    Welcome to the wonderful, wild mind of Monty Python's Terry Gilliam, who went on to direct the acclaimed films "Brazil," "Time Bandits" and "12 Monkeys." In an interview that can only be described as "Gilliamesque," Doug Gordon talks to the comedy legend.

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