NOVA

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Wednesday 9:00 PM on PBS Premiered Mar 03, 1974 In Season

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  • Season 46 (1)
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  • 3D Spies of WWII Preview

    Clip

    1/18/12

  • Deadliest Volcanoes Preview

    Clip

    1/4/12

  • Sneak Peak: Deadliest Volcanoes

    Clip

    12/16/11

  • Quantum Confidential

    Clip

    11/1/11

  • Fabric: Universe or Multiverse?

    Clip

    10/25/11

  • Fabric: The Illusion of Time

    Clip

    10/25/11

  • The Making of the "Quantum Club"

    Clip

    10/24/11

  • The Memorial Plaques

    Clip

    8/25/11

  • Nova: The Fabric Of The Cosmos

    Trailer

    "The Fabric of the Cosmos," a four-hour series based on the book by renowned physicist and author Brian Greene, takes us to the frontiers of physics to see how scientists are piecing together the most complete picture yet of space, time, and the universe. With each step, audiences will discover that just beneath the surface of our everyday experience lies a world we’d hardly recognize—a startling world far stranger and more wondrous than anyone expected. Brian Greene is going to let you in on a secret: We've all been deceived. Our perceptions of time and space have led us astray. Much of what we thought we knew about our universe—that the past has already happened and the future is yet to be, that space is just an empty void, that our universe is the only universe that exists—just might be wrong. Interweaving provocative theories, experiments, and stories with crystal-clear explanations and imaginative metaphors like those that defined the groundbreaking and highly acclaimed series "The Elegant Universe," "The Fabric of the Cosmos" aims to be the most compelling, visual, and comprehensive picture of modern physics ever seen on television.moreless
  • Animal Espionage

    Full Episode

    S 46 : Ep 24 - 11/27/19

    Camera traps and drones are revolutionizing wildlife biology by recording the lives of animals, from whales and tigers to elusive giant armadillos, without disturbing them.
  • The Violence Paradox

    Full Episode

    S 46 : Ep 23 - 11/20/19

    Whether violence has declined through the centuries. Also: How people are working to stop violence.
  • Decoding Da Vinci

    Full Episode

    S 46 : Ep 22 - 11/13/19

    How Leonardo da Vinci used science to create his legendary artwork. Included: why Mona Lisa's smile is so captivating—and what it took to create it.
  • Dead Sea Scroll Detectives

    Full Episode

    S 46 : Ep 21 - 11/6/19

    What new technology reveals about the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls. Scientists investigate suspicious, newly surfaced fragments to see if they're authentic, and use imaging techniques to digitally unravel the charred remains of a scroll.moreless
  • Rise of the Mammals

    Full Episode

    S 46 : Ep 19 - 10/30/19

    Sixty-six million years ago, an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs in a fiery global catastrophe. An amazing trove of fossils reveals how mammals took over, ultimately evolving into the huge array of species—including humans—that rule the Earth today.moreless
  • Look Who's Driving

    Full Episode

    S 46 : Ep 18 - 10/23/19

    After years of anticipation, autonomous vehicles are being tested on public roads around the world. As ambitious innovators race to develop what they see as the next high-tech pot of gold, some experts warn there are still daunting challenges ahead, including how to train artificial intelligence to be better than humans at making life-and-death decisions.moreless
  • Back to the Moon

    Full Episode

    S 46 : Ep 12 - 7/10/19

    Why engineers and entrepreneurs alike have their sights set on the moon once again. Fifty years after humans first set foot on the moon, new scientific discoveries are fueling excitement for a return to the lunar surface—this time, perhaps, to stay.moreless
  • Nova: Decoding The Weather Machine

    Trailer

    Disastrous hurricanes. Widespread droughts and wildfires. Withering heat. Extreme rainfall. It is hard not to conclude that something?s up with the weather, and many scientists agree. It?s the result of the weather machine itself?our climate?changing, becoming hotter and more erratic. In this two-hour documentary, NOVA will cut through the confusion around climate change. Why do scientists overwhelmingly agree that our climate is changing, and that human activity is causing it? How and when will it affect us through the weather we experience? And what will it take to bend the trajectory of planetary warming toward more benign outcomes? Join scientists around the world on a quest to better understand the workings of the weather and climate machine we call Earth, and discover how we can be resilient?even thrive?in the face of enormous change.moreless
  • Nova: Prediction By The Numbers

    Trailer

    Predictions underlie nearly every aspect of our lives, from sports, politics, and medical decisions to the morning commute. With the explosion of digital technology, the internet, and ?big data,? the science of forecasting is flourishing. But why do some predictions succeed spectacularly while others fail abysmally? And how can we find meaningful patterns amidst chaos and uncertainty? From the glitz of casinos and TV game shows to the life-and-death stakes of storm forecasts and the flaws of opinion polls that can swing an election, ?Prediction by the Numbers? explores stories of statistics in action. Yet advances in machine learning and big data models that increasingly rule our lives are also posing big, disturbing questions. How much should we trust predictions made by algorithms when we don?t understand how they arrive at them? And how far ahead can we really forecast?moreless
  • Nova: First Face Of America

    Trailer

    One unlucky day 13,000 years ago, a slight, malnourished teenager missed her footing and tumbled to the bottom of a 100-foot pit deep inside a cave in Mexico?s Yucat?n. Rising seas flooded the cave and cut it off from the outside world?until a team of divers chanced upon her nearly complete skeleton in 2007. Intricate detective work reveals that the young woman?s bones are among the earliest known human remains in the Americas. What drove her to venture nearly a mile underground inside a vast cave? Where did her people come from, and why does she look so distinct from today?s Native Americans? From a stunning Mexico cave to the wilderness of the Yukon, from the genetics lab to the forefront of forensics, NOVA pursues tantalizing new clues that are rewriting the story of the forgotten first people who ventured into our continent.moreless
  • Nova: The Impossible Flight

    Trailer

    On March 9, 2015, Solar Impulse II took off from Abu Dhabi on one of the greatest aviation adventures of our time: the first solar-powered flight around the world. Together with a team of brilliant engineers, two visionary pilots?Bertrand Piccard and Andr? Borschberg?designed and built Solar Impulse from scratch, even though top airplane manufacturers told them it would be ?impossible to control.? To pull it off, they had to re-invent everything, from innovative solar cells and batteries to massive carbon-fiber wings. Despite all their efforts, the performance of the plane was balanced on a knife-edge, demanding near-perfect weather conditions and hour after hour of vigilant, skillful piloting. The longest nonstop leg, from Japan to Hawaii, lasted five days and set a new world solo flight record. NOVA captures an insider?s view of the Solar Impulse pilots and ground team as they experience moments of hair-raising crisis, remarkable endurance, and ingenious problem-solving.moreless
  • Nova: Black Hole Apocalypse

    Trailer

    Black holes are the most enigmatic and exotic objects in the universe. They?re also the most powerful, with gravity so strong it can trap light. And they?re destructive, swallowing entire planets, even giant stars. Anything that falls into them vanishes?gone forever. Now, astrophysicists are realizing that black holes may be essential to how our universe evolved?their influence possibly leading to life on Earth and, ultimately, us. In this two-hour special, astrophysicist and author Janna Levin takes viewers on a journey to the frontiers of black hole science. Along the way, we meet leading astronomers and physicists on the verge of finding new answers to provocative questions about these shadowy monsters: Where do they come from? What?s inside? What happens if you fall into one? And what can they tell us about the nature of space, time, and gravity?moreless
  • Nova: Day The Dinosaurs Died

    Trailer

    A seven-mile-wide asteroid collided with Earth 66 million years ago, triggering a chain of events that coincide with the end of the dinosaurs. But experts have long debated exactly what happened when the asteroid struck and how the giant beasts met their end. Now, scientists have uncovered compelling new clues about the catastrophe?from New Jersey to the wilds of Patagonia?and an international expedition of scientists has drilled into the impact crater off the coast of Mexico, recovering crucial direct evidence of the searing energy and giant tsunami unleashed by the asteroid. Join NOVA as scientists piece together a chillingly precise unfolding of the Earth?s biggest cataclysm, moment by moment, and discover how our early mammalian ancestors managed to survive and repopulate the Earth.moreless
  • Nova: Bird Brain

    Trailer

    Call somebody a ?bird brain,? and you?re not delivering them a compliment. But as NOVA shows, birds turn out to have advanced problem-solving skills that we usually assume are unique to humans. Watch astonishing tests of avian aptitude: parrots that can plan for the future, jackdaws that can ?read? human faces, and crows that can solve multi-step puzzles with tools like pebbles, sticks, and hooks. Could these just be clever tricks based on instinct or triggered by subtle cues from their human handlers? To rule out any doubts, NOVA puts feathered Einsteins through their paces and reveals skills that even three- or four-year-old children have a hard time mastering?such as putting off one reward now to get a bigger one later. From this revolution in thinking about our feathered friends, the conclusion seems irresistible that bird brains see the world in ways that aren?t so different from our own.moreless
  • Nova: Extreme Animal Weapons

    Trailer

    From lobster claws and dog teeth to bee stings and snake fangs, every creature depends on a weapon. But some are armed to extremes that make no practical sense?whether it?s bull elks with giant 40-pound antler racks or tiny rhinoceros beetles with horns bigger than their body. What explains giant tusks, horns, and claws that can slow an animal down and even impair health and nutrition? NOVA investigates the riddle of outsize weaponry and uncovers a bold new theory about what triggers an animal arms race. In creatures as varied as dung beetles and saber-toothed tigers, shrimp and elephants, the same hidden factors trigger the race and, once started, these arms races unfold in exactly the same pattern. Join scientists as they crack the secret biological code that underlies nature?s battleground.moreless
  • Nova: Killer Floods

    Trailer

    All over the world, scientists are discovering traces of ancient floods on a scale that dwarfs even the most severe flood disasters of recent times. What triggered these cataclysmic floods, and could they strike again? In the Channeled Scablands of Washington State, the level prairie gives way to bizarre, gargantuan rock formations: house-sized boulders seemingly dropped from the sky, a cliff carved by a waterfall twice the height of Niagara, and potholes large enough to swallow cars. Like forensic detectives at a crime scene, geologists study these strange features and reconstruct catastrophic Ice Age floods more powerful than all the world?s top ten rivers combined. NOVA follows their efforts to uncover the geologic fingerprints of other colossal megafloods in Iceland and, improbably, on the seabed of the English Channel. There, another deluge smashed through a land bridge connecting Britain and France hundreds of thousands of years ago and turned Britain into an island for the first time. These great disasters ripped through terrain and transformed continents in a matter of hours?and similar forces reawakened by climate change are posing an active threat to mountain communities throughout the world today.moreless
  • Rise of the Superstorms

    Full Episode

    S 45 : Ep 7 - 6/27/18

    A look at the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Included: whether scientists can better predict these storms; and what the 2017 season may signal about the likelihood of similar storms in the future.moreless
  • Nova: Killer Hurricanes

    Trailer

    Devastating hurricanes struck the U.S. mainland and Caribbean islands in 2017. But they weren?t the first. The Great Hurricane of 1780 took nine days to blast its way across the Caribbean, killing at least 20,000?the highest known death toll of any single weather event in history. What made this superstorm so deadly? To reconstruct its epic scale and investigate what made it so devastating, NOVA joins historians and storm sleuths as they track down clues in eyewitness chronicles, old ruins, and computer simulations. Their evidence points to a truly terrifying, 300-mile-wide storm?with wind speeds probably exceeding 230 miles an hour and 25-feet storm surges that demolished everything in their path. But just how unusual was the Great Hurricane? Diving into sinkholes off Barbados and squirming into caves in the Yucatan, NOVA?s experts recover traces of tempests stretching back over more than 1,000 years. The picture they paint is disturbing: mega-hurricanes were not only more frequent in the past but are likely to strike again in our near future, as climate change warms the oceans and fuels more intense hurricanes.moreless
  • Decoding the Weather Machine

    Full Episode

    S 45 : Ep 6 - 4/18/18

  • Nova: Killer Volcanoes

    Trailer

    Follow a team of volcano sleuths as they embark on a worldwide hunt for an elusive volcanic mega-eruption that plunged medieval Earth into a deep freeze. The mystery begins when archaeologists find a hastily dug mass grave of 4,000 men, women, and children in London. At first they assume it?s a plague pit from the Black Death, but when they date the bones, they turn out to be too old by a century. So what killed off these families? The chronicles of that time describe a run of wild weather that devastated crops and spread famine across Europe. NOVA?s expert team looks for the signature of a volcanic eruption big enough to have blasted a huge cloud of ash and sulfuric acid into the atmosphere, which chilled the entire planet. From Greenland to Antarctica, the team finds telltale ?fingerprints? in ice and soil layers until, finally, they narrow down the culprit to a smoldering crater on a remote Indonesian island. Nearly 750 years ago, this volcano?s colossal explosion shot a million tons of rock and ash every second into the atmosphere. Across the globe, it turned summer into winter. What would happen if another such cataclysm struck again today?moreless
  • Great Escape at Dunkirk

    Full Episode

    S 45 : Ep 5 - 2/14/18

    Archaeologists and divers recover remains of ships and planes lost during World War II's epic Dunkirk operation. Included: evidence of the ingenious technology that helped save Allied forces from defeat by the encircling Germans.moreless
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