New NOVA Film Seeks to Answer Math Mystery
Where did math come from? Why does it work so well as a tool for explaining our natural world? Is it a human invention or is it the very language of the Universe? CET and ThinkTV take viewers on a journey to answer these questions with the upcoming NOVA special The Great Math Mystery on April 15. The documentary explores math’s power and achievements throughout human history in order to answer this profound question.
Hosted by renowned astrophysicist and author Mario Livio, NOVA: The Great Math Mystery brings together a colorful cast of the world’s top mathematicians, physicists and engineers to answer a question that has plagued minds both scientific and philosophic for years: do we invent mathematical laws, or are they really an element of the universe that we discover? To answer this question, the documentary explores stunning examples throughout history of math’s effect on human advancements, drawing from discoveries by famous names such as Galileo, Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Pythagoras. It also taps into modern mathematic minds who continue to ponder and debate if all those little numbers and symbols are really the hidden language of the universe that we keep in our heads.
Livio, who works on the Hubble Telescope, notes how even centuries-old simple equations and insights of early scientists still permeate the universe as laws of science that can be applied to galaxies far beyond the scope of man. According to Livio, the uncanny way that mathematics can reveal the secrets of the universe makes it seem almost like a part of nature instead of a manmade.
“In the same way that NOVA took viewers on a wild ride through basic chemistry, the periodic table and the materials of life in ‘Hunting the Elements,’” Paula S. Apsell, senior executive producer of NOVA said in a press release regarding the documentary, “This new film looks at math and its connections to our world, down to the subatomic level and up to the scale of galaxies.”
Join us for NOVA special The Great Math Mystery at 9pm Wednesday, April 15, on CET and ThinkTV16.