What are we made of? What was there before the beginning? Are we really alone? These questions have been pondered by the most brilliant minds in history. Now, modern science may be able to provide us with answers.
Season 2, Episode 1: Is There Life After Death?
Original Air Date—8 June 2011
It probably wasnt long after ancient people developed a belief in the afterlife that they began trying to contact those who had crossed over to the other side..
Season 2, Episode 2: Is There an Edge to the Universe?
Original Air Date—15 June 2011
Except for mathematicians and physicists, most people dont like infinity. We like to know the extent of things. We can wrap our heads around measurements. Your car might be 10 feet long, your house is 2,000 square feet, the U.S. national debt is … well, some things are more finite than others.
Season 2, Episode 3: Does Time Really Exist?
Original Air Date—15 June 2011
Early on in human history, we decided to start measuring the days and weeks, and eventually hours, minutes and seconds. Time was useful in organizing society, planting crops and getting ready for dates. Things worked extremely well until scientists started muddling it all up.
Season 2, Episode 4: Are There More Than 3 Dimensions?
Original Air Date—29 June 2011
For most of our history, weve rested easy in the notion that there were three dimensions that have existed throughout time: length, width and height. Ah, the good old days. In the early 20th century, Hermann Minkowski and Albert Einstein connected our comfortable three dimensions with a fourth, time, defining special relativity using a space-time continuum.
Season 2, Episode 5: Is There a Sixth Sense?
Original Air Date—6 July 2011
Sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch are the tools most of us depend on to perceive the world. But some people say they also can perceive things that are outside the range of the conventional senses, through some other channel for which there is no anatomical or neurological explanation. Scientific researchers who study such abilities call them extrasensory perception (ESP), but lay people often refer to them as the "sixth sense."
Season 2, Episode 6: How Does the Universe Work?
Original Air Date—13 July 2011
Since the ancient Greeks first speculated that everything they observed in reality was the result of the interaction of tiny particles they called atoms, great thinkers have tried to find a single mathematical formula that governs and explains the workings of the entire universe. So far, though, even minds as brilliant as physicists Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking have been unable to come up with that single grand equation of everything, also known as the theory of everything, or the final theory.
Season 2, Episode 7: Can We Travel Faster Than Light?
Original Air Date—20 July 2011
Prior to the day in 1947 when test pilot Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager broke the sound barrier for the first time, people argued it wasnt possible for a plane to fly that fast. So, perhaps we shouldnt be deterred by the part of Einsteins special theory of relativity that seemingly bars traveling at speeds faster than light.
That said, cracking the light-speed barrier is vastly more complicated than going faster than sound. The aircraft that Yeager used to break Mach 1, for example, didnt have to change form. But according to Einstein, an object that attains light speed would be converted to energy itself.
Season 2, Episode 8: Can We Live Forever?
Original Air Date—27 July 2011
Medical advances have doubled human life expectancy in past centuries. But can humans ever beat death altogether? Can we control and fix the errors that build up in our DNA over the years? Can we find a way to replace the chemistry of life with something more durable? This episode wonders into the mystifying definition of eternity as it relates to human lifespan.
Season 2, Episode 9: What Do Aliens Look Like?
Original Air Date—3 August 2011
Science fiction writers have always had their little green men. But these humanoid aliens were based soundly on Earth-based life, not any extra terrestrial evidence. Today, weve discovered hundreds of planets around other stars. As we learn what some of these alternative Earths might look like, science and imagination have allowed us to use real science to imagine the biology of their inhabitants. Will they have two eyes? Two legs? What color will their skin be? Which species on Earth can give us clues about likely biology of aliens? And what can we learn from how life on Earth developed to help us understand what ET really looks like?