Professor Brian Cox explores the universe in the new BBC Earth Series – Post World

Brian Cox gives the audience a front row seat for the greatest show in the universe.

This month the physicist / professor is hosting the new BBC Earth series with the aptly named name universe. The series marks a continuation of its previous series called The planets, which focused on the history of the solar system. However, universe will research far beyond that.

A natural successor to the BBC’s scientific program for the likes of David Attenborough, Brian is Professor of Particle Physics in the University of Manchester’s School of Physics and Astronomy. He uses his extensive knowledge in this new series to great effect when he takes viewers on a tour of the cosmos. In this new series, viewers take Brian on an interstellar journey to places we didn’t even know existed 10 years ago.

Explore the secrets of the cosmos

7,000 light years from Earth, our galaxy is producing new stars in a small but iconic corner of the “Eagle Nebula” known as the “Pillars of Creation”.

In the five episodes Brian Cox will dive into the vastness of space and uncover the moments of pure drama in which the universe as we know it changed forever. With impressive special effects, accompanied by insightful narration, the audience experiences the power of a supermassive black hole, the birth of a star and many other wonders of the cosmos.

“Incredible CGI lets us see a new star ignite and stand on the surface of planets that could harbor life in other galaxies,” explains Professor Brian Cox. “We used to look at the sky and just see questions. Now we’re starting to see answers. “

In this exclusive interview on the promotion of the upcoming series, we ask the professor about the vastness of space and the secrets of the cosmos as well as the age-old question – are we really alone in the universe?

Professor Brian Cox stands in front of the Vestrahorn Mountains in southwest Iceland. From episode 01: God Star: The Sun

What do you find most fascinating about space?

Oh the endless possibilities that are out there. Imagine there are two trillion galaxies and it is very difficult to imagine what that means. However, we have strong evidence that it goes well beyond that. This is what we talk about in the series and we also think that our entire universe could just be a bubble in a bigger one Multiversum of universes. With that in mind, there are endless possibilities out there and there are so many things we don’t know and that interests me.

universe, continues where Planets stopped. Was this an intentional approach or was it something that happened naturally?

Yes, in a way it was a natural evolution. In Planets, talk about the sun, the earth and so on, but universe is about cosmology and it goes much deeper and living this short life in this vast and possibly infinite and perhaps eternal universe. That’s pretty much the intro to the show, I’m saying that astronomy challenges us and that’s probably the most valuable thing about it.

So it’s not that we discovered all of these galaxies – you know, the 400 billion suns in the Milky Way and so on. It is the fact that these discoveries challenge us intellectually by asking us to reflect on what our place is and what it means to be human in this much larger universe.

Professor Brian Cox, Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye, Scotland. From episode 03: Isle of Light: The Milky Way

Given the endless possibilities and themes, was it difficult to finalize the themes or episodes to be covered in the series?

It’s hard to wrap them all up. Writing these stories, these little films so to speak, is difficult because you want them to be entertaining and self-contained. But it’s a big job because the universe is so big and there are many things in it. It’s quite a challenge building five films on a theme.

One topic that interests me particularly is black holes. That’s part of my academic research, and there’s an episode of that. I love this particular story because it is probably the fastest changing and most challenging area in theoretical physics. There is also one about stars, which is quite difficult because so many films have been made about them. We thought very hard about what story to tell, and we came up with the idea of ​​the very first star.

We know there was a time after the Big Bang when there were no stars. So there was a first star, and we know there will be a last star because the universe continues to expand and accelerate in its expansion. So we figured let’s do one from the first star to the last and explore this unique narrative. It’s a good old-fashioned dramatic story that has a beginning, a middle, and an ending, which is quite difficult at times.

Are we discovering new things about space and the universe as technology advances, space exploration like Hubble and Pathfinder and the like?

Oh, every day, and as you mentioned earlier, we discover things about the universe by exploring it. So exploration with telescopes and space probes drives these ideas about the nature of reality itself. But we couldn’t take the physics of black holes seriously without knowing they exist.

We know they exist because we built telescopes. So this is science. It is the interaction of data from nature observation, the human mind and theoretical physics and so on. In the series, we deliberately celebrate instruments such as telescopes and space probes. We have images and graphics of these tools that we have used to collect the data that has led us to think deeper about the nature of reality.

You are probably asked a lot – are we alone in the universe?

Yes, it is one of the most requested. One of the films in this series is called “Alien Worlds” and explores exoplanets. It’s about new discoveries that we make when we discover planets around distant stars. Obviously, the moment you start exploring planets around stars, the question of life arises, because planets are the places in the universe where life begins and exists.

The answer, of course, is we don’t know. But I think it is inconceivable that we are alone, because the universe can even be infinitely large. So if it’s infinite, we’re not alone, are we? But there are different degrees of self – it is certainly possible that there is a microbial underground on Mars or on some of the moons of Jupiter or Saturn. So with that in mind, we may not be alone in the solar system. However, what we really mean when we say we are alone is whether there are any other civilizations out there.

I think the only observation we have right now is that we haven’t seen any. We know this, so plausible arguments that other civilizations exist can be extremely rare. Not only have we not seen any, but the history of life on earth tells us that it took almost the entire age of the planet, nearly four billion years, from the origin of life to civilization. And that’s a long time, which, as you may know, is a third the age of the universe.

As a professor and space enthusiast, what do you personally think of extraterrestrial life?

Well, it is entirely possible that we are alone in our galaxy, right in the Milky Way. It is entirely possible that we are the only civilization right now. And I argue that even if it isn’t, it’s a good working assumption.

Because what it could do if we internalize this is that we could behave differently because we could not withstand our physical insignificance. We could prove extremely valuable because this is possibly the only place that there is anything that takes the trouble to explore the universe involved.

Still, I can’t imagine that there aren’t any civilizations out there. We have two trillion galaxies out there and a single galaxy is all you will ever really have access to. No matter how long we exist and how smart we get, I don’t think we’ll travel between galaxies because the distances are too great. So if you are alone in your galaxy, which is possible, then you are effectively alone because you are not going to meet anyone else.

(Photos: BBC)

See Brian Cox in Universe, which premieres Sunday December 5th at 9:00 pm on BBC Earth, available on UnifiTV Channel 501 and BBC Player | Astro channel 554

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.