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April 19, 2008 6:39 PM   Subscribe

So, I've seen Sagan's Cosmos. I've seen The Universe. I've listened to Feynman's lectures on physics. What's next?

Are there any other television series that will rock my universe?
posted by Optamystic to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
The Mechanical Universe comes highly recommended, I've only seen pieces myself. Connections is, of course, not to be missed. Some suggestions from dansdata though not all are in the same vein.
posted by Skorgu at 6:44 PM on April 19, 2008

Stephen Hawking's Universe.
posted by korres at 7:02 PM on April 19, 2008

Skip Hawking's, who has his own agenda to push, and read something by Paul Davies the Oxford Chair for the Public Understanding of Science... he does a great job of combining cosmology with physics and covering the interesting things in between like time travel and probabilities of life in the universe. He's also really good at qualifying things, less of an absolutist than say Richard Dawkins... ten years ago, when it wasn't quite clear wether we lived in an expanding universe or a universe that would eventually contract, Davies was great at explaining both possibilities and qulifying that more data was necessary before we know for sure which one it would be.

Unforutunately, if you want me to recommend a specfic book I'm not sure which one it would be, since I haven't read any of his stuff in the past ten years, and in a lot of cases some big things have been determined since there, but check out the bibliography and anything recent is bound to be good. His style is accessible, but he doesn't shy away from certain levels of technical detail. I'm sure you'll enjoy.
posted by furtive at 8:53 PM on April 19, 2008

It is hard to know what will rock your cosmos without knowing a bit more about your educational level and background, but I will say that I have enjoyed many of the above mentioned programs, so our interests mus overlap a good bit. Physicist Philip Morrison had an good series on general science on PBS called "The Ring of Truth" that was very similar in tone to James Burke's Connections mentioned above. Unfortunately, it seems to be only available on VHS or as the companion book.

On the other hand, it is much more basic science than cutting-edge, Nobel laureate type stuff, but the videos here are truly mind-blowing. They are also a good reminder that for most of us, basic physics concepts are hard to grasp.
posted by TedW at 9:30 PM on April 19, 2008

If you're willing to listen to introductory-level (though quite well done!) physics, biology, neurology, etc., then I'd highly suggest Radio Lab.
posted by you're a kitty! at 10:15 PM on April 19, 2008

posted by Large Marge at 11:52 PM on April 19, 2008

I really love connections. Please check it out, you will love it!
posted by mattholomew at 4:33 AM on April 20, 2008

The Royal Society website hosts webcasts of many of their lectures on a variety of science topics.
posted by Jakey at 5:30 AM on April 20, 2008

seconding anything done by burke (connections, the day the universe changed)
and also TED
adding the ascent of man by bronowski
posted by paradroid at 8:57 AM on April 20, 2008

TedW's suggestion of Philip Morrison's "Ring of Truth" series is a good one, and the companion book is also nice. Also "The Creation of the Universe" with Timothy Ferris (and music by Brian Eno, IIRC). Finally, if you haven't seen it, the recent Nova "Judgment Day: Intelligent design on trial" about the Dover school district trial is excellent.
posted by Killick at 1:34 PM on April 20, 2008

The Elegant Universe (string theory)
Guns Germs and Steel was really good also, but I don't see it playing online...
seconding/thirding the TED recommendation---that will keep you busy for hours
posted by hulahulagirl at 8:41 PM on April 21, 2008

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