What are the origins of life? How did things go from non-living to living? From something that could not reproduce to something that could? Earth is estimated to be about 4.5 billion years old, and for much of that history it has been home to life in one form or another. Our planet is teaming with life, from the highest mountain to the deepest ocean; life is everywhere. But what was the firing pistol that started the evolutionary race? How did material go from non-living to alive? Its one of the most fundamental and difficult questions that has challenged us since the beginning of time.
Faster than a speeding bullet, six times hotter than the surface of the sun, it can turn sand to glass, and lasts less than a fraction of a second. Lightning strikes our planet up to eight million times every day. It is one of nature's most well observed events but also one of the most mysterious. To unlock its secrets, Naked Science follows a lightning bolt on its incredible journey from outer space to deep inside the human body. Australia's own Darwin is host to some of the most violent lightning storms on earth. Venture into the heart of a monster storm cloud to observe the mysterious forces that trigger a lightning bolt. Dramatic new research and shocking experiments reveal lightning is one of the strangest, most destructive and important phenomena on Earth.
Though the Roman Empire collapsed 1,500 years ago, much of its technology is still the blueprint for modern living. Many 'new' technologies such as strengthened concrete, sports arenas and aqueducts are Roman inventions. The Roman Empire may be ancient history, but its ingenuity is all around us. The Romans created everything from surgical instruments and window glass to plywood and concrete – even bikini swimsuits.
Stephen Hawking is one of the world's most famous scientists. But ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, has left him almost totally paralyzed and it is progressing. Unable to walk, talk, or write, his only way of communicating is through a computer program that turns a small movement of a finger or the blink of an eye, into words from a vocal synthesizer. But Hawking remains determined to discover a theory of everything, a complete set of rules for the Universe. Where did the Universe come from and where is it going? What is the nature of time? Will it ever come to an end? This program will explore Hawking's major contributions to the understanding of our Universe - from his revolutionary proof that our Universe originated in a Big Bang; to his ground breaking discovery that Black Holes are not completely black, but rather emit radiation and eventually evaporate and disappear, to his insights on string theory. Will he unlock the secret of creation before his time runs out?