Nova Poster

(1974– )

Episode List

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Season 42

14 Jan. 2015
Big Bang Machine
On July 4, 2012, scientists at the giant atom smashing facility at CERN announced the discovery of a subatomic particle that seems like a tantalizingly close match to the elusive Higgs Boson, thought to be responsible for giving all the stuff in the universe its mass. Since it was first proposed nearly 50 years ago, the Higgs has been the holy grail of particle physicists: finding it completes the "standard model" that underlies all of modern particle physics. Now CERN's scientists are preparing for the Large Hadron Collider's second act, when they restart the ...
 
21 Jan. 2015
Sunken Ship Rescue
NOVA follows the epic operation to secure, raise and salvage the Costa Concordia cruise ship, which ran aground and capsized off the coast of Italy on January 13, 2012, killing 32 people. The wreck stretches the length of three football fields, weighs 45,000 tons and lies half submerged on the site of a protected reef, with a 160-foot-long hole in its hull. Moving it from its precarious perch on the edge of an underwater cliff will be a huge technical and logistical challenge. Now, NOVA joins a team of more than 500 divers and engineers working around the clock as ...
 
28 Jan. 2015
Sinkholes-Buried Alive
In Tampa, Florida, in February 2013, a giant hole opened up under the bedroom floor of Jeffrey Bush, swallowing the 36-year-old as he slept. His body was never found. Bush was a victim of a sinkhole -- a growing worldwide hazard that lurks wherever limestone and other water-soluble rocks underpin the soil. When carbon dioxide in the air dissolves in rainwater, it forms a weak acid that attacks the soft rocks, riddling them with holes like Swiss cheese. Sinkholes can occur gradually when the surface subsides into bowl-shaped depressions or suddenly, when the ground ...
 
11 Feb. 2015
Colosseum: Roman Death Trap
The Colosseum is a monument to Roman imperial power and cruelty. Its graceful lines and harmonious proportions concealed a highly efficient design and advanced construction methods that made hundreds of arches out of 100,000 tons of stone. In its elliptical arena, tens of thousands of gladiators, slaves, prisoners and wild animals met their deaths. Ancient texts report lions and elephants emerging from beneath the floor, as if by magic, to ravage gladiators and people condemned to death. Then, just as quickly, the Colosseum could be flooded with so much water that ...
 
18 Feb. 2015
Petra: Lost City of Stone
More than 2,000 years ago, the thriving city of Petra rose up in the bone-dry desert of what is now Jordan. An oasis of culture and abundance, the city was built by wealthy merchants who carved spectacular temple-tombs into its cliffs, raised a monumental Great Temple and devised an ingenious system that channeled water to vineyards, bathhouses, fountains and pools. But following a catastrophic earthquake and a slump in its desert trade routes, Petra's unique culture faded and was lost to most of the world for nearly 1,000 years. Now, in a daring experiment, an ...
 
25 Feb. 2015
Hagia Sophia: Istanbul's Mystery
Istanbul's magnificent Hagia Sophia has survived on one of the world's most active seismic faults, which has inflicted a dozen devastating earthquakes since Hagia Sophia was built in 537 AD. As Istanbul braces for the next big quake, a team of architects and engineers is investigating Hagia Sophia's seismic secrets. NOVA follows the team's discoveries as they examine the building's unique structure and other ingenious design strategies that have insured the dome's survival. The engineers build a massive eight-ton model of the building's core structure, place it on a ...
 
15 Apr. 2015
The Great Math Mystery
NOVA leads viewers on a mathematical mystery tour -- a provocative exploration of math's astonishing power across the centuries. We discover math's signature in the swirl of a nautilus shell, the whirlpool of a galaxy and the spiral in the center of a sunflower. Math was essential to everything from the first wireless radio transmissions to the prediction and discovery of the Higgs boson and the successful landing of rovers on Mars. But where does math get its power? Astrophysicist and writer Mario Livio, along with a colorful cast of mathematicians, physicists and ...
 
22 Apr. 2015
Invisible Universe Revealed
Twenty-five years ago, NASA launched one of the most ambitious experiments in the history of astronomy: the Hubble Space Telescope. In honor of Hubble's landmark anniversary, NOVA tells the remarkable story of the telescope that forever changed our understanding of the cosmos and our place in it. But amazingly, when the telescope first sent images back to earth, it seemed that the entire project was a massive failure; a one-millimeter engineering blunder had turned the billion-dollar telescope into an object of ridicule. It fell to five heroic astronauts in a daring ...
 
6 May 2015
Nazi Attack on America
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor German seizes the opportunity to attack cargo ships along the United State East coast while the United States is unprepared. This program describes the scope of the German assault as a backdrop to the efforts of a group of investigators to determine how the first sunken German submarine, U-166, met its fate to determine if disgraced Commander Herbert G. Claudius deserves credit to the kill.
 
13 May 2015
Lethal Seas
A deadly recipe threatens the survival of countless creatures throughout Earth's oceans. We've known for years that oceans absorb about a quarter of the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. With carbon emissions sharply rising, the silent killer is entering the seas at a staggering rate -- raising the oceans' acidity. As a result, the skeletons and shells of marine creatures that form the foundation of the web of life are dissolving. Follow scientists who are seeking solutions and making breakthrough discoveries, including a unique coral garden in Papua New Guinea that ...
 
15 Jul. 2015
Chasing Pluto
NOVA captures New Horizons' historic flyby of Pluto, the culmination of the spacecraft's nine-year, three-billion-mile journey to reveal the first ever detailed images of this strange, icy world at the very edge of our solar system.
 
29 Jul. 2015
Nuclear Meltdown Disaster
Four years after one of history's worst nuclear accidents, NOVA reveals the minute-by-minute story of the Fukushima nuclear crisis and its ongoing aftermath, told by the brave workers who stayed behind as an earthquake and tsunami crippled the plant.
 
16 Sep. 2015
Dawn of Humanity
Deep in a South African cave, an astounding discovery reveals clues to what made us human.
 
23 Sep. 2015
Arctic Ghost Ship
160 years ago, the Franklin Expedition to chart the Northwest Passage vanished. NOVA is on board as a Canadian team makes a breakthrough discovery of one of Franklin's lost ships--a vital new clue to the fate of the ill-starred expedition.
 
7 Oct. 2015
Secrets of Noah's Ark
A new version of the biblical flood story includes instructions for assembling an ark.
 
14 Oct. 2015
Cyberwar Threat
Cyber weapons have the ability to inflict physical damage on factories, power plants and pipelines.
 
28 Oct. 2015
Animal Mummies
Animal mummies from the Egyptian catacombs are examined. Also discussed, the role of animals in Egyptian beliefs.
 
4 Nov. 2015
Making North America: Origins
The shaping of North America, including palm trees that once thrived in Alaska and an eruption that nearly tore the Midwest in two.
 
11 Nov. 2015
Making North America: Life
North America's geological history answers some curious riddles about life on the continent. Why were there so many dinosaur species in western North America? Why were there fish in Kansas and shellfish in the Rockies? What happened to the numerous North American lemur species?
 
18 Nov. 2015
Making North America: Human
The influence of geology on the human occupation of North America is described.
 
25 Nov. 2015
Inside Einstein's Mind
On November 15th, 1915, Einstein published his greatest work: general relativity. The theory transformed our understanding of nature's laws and the entire history of the cosmos, reaching back to the origin of time itself. Now, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Einstein's achievement, NOVA tells the inside story of Einstein's masterpiece. The story begins with the intuitive thought experiments that set Einstein off on his quest and traces the revolution in cosmology that is still playing out in today's labs and observatories. Discover the simple but powerful ...
 

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