iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for 14/03/2011

Listen now 45 mins

Listen in pop-out player


45 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 14 March 2011

Andrew Marr with the physicists Brian Greene and Brian Cox explores the universe in all its wonder. And he attempts to understand our relation to parallel universes, which can be separated from us by enormous stretches of time and space, or hover just millimetres away. The science writer, Angela Saini, looks at why India is so successful in producing the next generation of doctors and scientists, in her book, Geek Nation.

Producer: Katy Hickman.


    "Gravity is the great architect of the universe", so explains the physicist Brian Cox in his new television series, Wonders of the Universe. At the beginning of time, gravity drew matter together to forge the stars and sculpt the planets. Across the universe, it creates shape and structure, guides orbits and steers vast, complex galaxies through space. But, as Cox points out, gravity is also the great destroyer because, when the largest stars collapse, it crushes all matter out of existence to form black holes. With forays into black holes, neutron stars and the beauty of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, Brian Cox explores the vastness and mystery of the universe.

    Wonders of the Universe continues on Sunday 20 March on BBC2.

    Wonders of the Universe

    There was a time when ‘universe’ meant ‘all there is’, and the idea of more than one universe would have appeared a contradiction in terms. But many of the major developments in fundamental theoretical physics have led to the notion of a whole variety of parallel universes. The physicist Brian Greene in his latest book, The Hidden Reality, delves into the world of universes, from the quilted, to the bubble, to the holographic. In some, the parallel universes are separated from us by enormous stretches of time or space, in others, hovering just millimeters away. He argues that, although the subject is highly speculative, mathematics is central to these ideas and has the capacity to reveal surprising and hidden truths about the workings of the world.

    The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos is published by Allen Lane.

    The Hidden Reality

    Around 1500 years ago India was one of the most advanced countries in science. Today the science journalist Angela Saini asks whether the country is undergoing a renaissance. From the Indian constitution which exhorts its citizens “to develop the scientific temper”, to the increasing investment in science education, India is on the verge of entering the scientific premier league. In her book, Geek Nation, Saini argues that the country possesses a strong culture of creativity and innovation, and both the government and the public are highly enthusiastic about science. In India the scientific and pseudo-scientific, the mainstream and the alternative, rub alongside each other, and Saini believes this gives scientists the freedom to explore the edges of what is believed to be possible.

    Geek Nation: How Indian Science is Taking Over the World is published by Hodder & Stoughton.

    Angela Saini


Arts & Culture selection

Damian Lewis on reading A Delicate Truth

A selection of highlights from our arts and culture programmes.

Free download

  1. Image for Start the Week

    Start the Week

    Start The Week sets the cultural agenda for the week ahead, with high-profile guests discussing the…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.