Stephen Hawking- the brilliant, imaginative British mathematician- is today the best-known scientist since Albert Einstein. His best-selling book, "A Brief History of Time," sold more than seven million copies worldwide. Hawking brings his revolutionary views of time and the cosmos to public television in a revealing six-part display of cosmic fireworks and provocative ideas. STEPHEN HAWKING'S UNIVERSE introduces viewers to Hawking and to many of his most distinguished colleagues and collaborators- men and women who are changing forever the way people look at the universe. Their ideas are illustrated with advanced computer-generated animation.
Includes: SEEING IS BELIEVING: For centuries, people believed the earth was the center of the universe and everything revolved around it. Today, we know that the universe is expanding, that it is unimaginably vast, that it has no center- and that earthlings live in an obscure cosmic ZIP code. The first episode examines this 3,000- year journey of discovery. THE BIG BANG: Where did the universe come from? Did it have a beginning? Did it originate in an explosion of inconceivable magnitude? This episode explores the search for evidence to support the Big Bang theory. COSMIC ALCHEMY: If the universe began with a burst of pure energy, where did matter come from? When Einstein wrote "E=mc2," his equation implied an entirely new relationship between matter and energy. Utilizing today's particle accelerators, scientists can glimpse fragments of the explosive process believed to have given rise to stars, planets and people. ON THE DARK SIDE: The universe's billions of galaxies and trillions of stars account for as little as one percent of the total matter in the universe. The remainder is "dark matter"- and no one knows what it is. BLACK HOLES AND BEYOND: Hawking earned prominence with extraordinary mathematical descriptions of black holes- collapsed stars whose gravity absorbs their own light and devours the matter around them. In these ravenous objects may lie the secrets of the beginning, and the possible end, of the universe. AN ANSWER TO EVERYTHING: Scientists have answered more questions about the universe in the past 100 years than in all previous centuries combined, but one giant question remains: how did the Big Bang begin? A theory that accounts for the Big Bang should, by extension, be a "theory of everything," applying to the universe as a whole.