Secrets of Size: Atoms to Supergalaxies

Secrets of Size: Atoms to Supergalaxies

What would the universe look like if you were a billion times smaller or a billion times bigger? In this mind-bending series, Jim Al-Khalili will look at the universe across its vast range of size, ranging from the tiniest objects measuring just a few atoms, to vast structures consisting of hundreds of thousands of interconnected galaxies. Investigating these astonishing objects will reveal fundamental truths about our universe. At the end of each film, the audience will see the largest structures ever discovered in the universe and the smallest objects whose images scientists have managed to capture to date.

In the first episode, Jim will enter the Alice in Wonderland world of objects that are too tiny to glimpse with the naked eye. Starting with the smallest insects, he moves on to encounter living cells with amazing superpowers and confronts some of humanity’s deadliest enemies in the form of viruses. Going smaller still, he encounters wondrous new nanomaterials such as graphene, discovered by physicist Andre Geim. These are revolutionising engineering, medicine, computing, electronics and environmental science.

Finally, Jim comes face to face with the fundamental building blocks of the world around us – atoms – and reveals why understanding the science of the ‘small’ is crucial to the future of humanity.

Secrets of Size: Atoms to Supergalaxies – Monday 9pm on BBC4

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