Season 31, Episode 5 Einstein's Dream

First Aired: October 28, 2003

Physicist Brian Greene, the author of “The Elegant Universe,” explores string theory, the so-called “theory of everything” that unifies general relativity and quantum mechanics, in this three-part series. This unification has been “the holy grail of physics,” Greene says, and in Part 1 he tracks the search for it back to Isaac Newton, who “unified” earth and the heavens in 1665 with his discovery of gravity. The 20th century saw the development of general relativity (which explains “big things,” like the universe) and quantum mechanics (it explains “small things,” like subatomic particles). But they're incompatible. What could tie them together? Small strands of energy called “strings.” Trouble is, they're too small to see.

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  • Premiered: March 3, 1974
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  • Premise: PBS's premier science-documentary series, which has won six Peabody Awards and more than 20 Emmys (four in 2002 alone) since its 1974 debut. `Nova' clearly, and often engagingly, `demystifies' a vast range of science, technology and history topics---past a… (more)

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