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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Science > Physics > The Elegant Universe (Nova)

The Elegant Universe (Nova)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C     Episodes: B+



It seems like Science Fiction has gone a little batty lately, with all of its virtual reality, quantum physics and other dimensions.  In most cases, this has been by poseurs pretending to say something or decorate their films and TV shows with junk that may seem like real science, but is not.  After and because of Newton and Einstein, whole new ideas of timeslips, wormholes and the like started to surface, and the multi-part The Elegant Universe (2003) from the great Nova series explains all the developments from three-dimensions to what has gone al the way to 11 to date.


Brian Greene looks at this “Theory Of Everything” that Einstein began and the greatest minds in science are still working on.  Gravity is discussed, then the forces even more magnetic and dense follow.  This brings the viewer to “String Theory” in which so many dimensions are held together somehow by tiny threads of energy all over the universe.  Will it hold up?  This would be complicated, but the series makes this advanced science and all the theories that go with it very accessible.  The first episode does an amazing job of establishing the classical science, the second great in introducing the new concepts and challenges, then the final part bringing us all up to date and holding it all together.  Parallel universes never seemed so feasible before.  Now those bad Sci-Fi works look far worse.


The letterboxed 16 X 9/1.78 X 1 image is good, but has detail limits since it is not anamorphically enhanced.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has some Pro Logic surrounds.  There are more extras here for a change, with weblinks, DVD-ROM printable educational material and even video descriptive services joined by an excerpt of the book that inspired this show and how the animation was created for the show.  Hope we see more of this more often.  The Elegant Universe is one of the best Nova DVD releases yet. 



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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