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How the Universe Works

377 customer reviews

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(Jun 28, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Engineering the Universe shows you how the cosmos is designed, built, and actually works. From the beginning of time, Stars, Galaxies, Planets, Solar Systems, and more have been working individually and together to produce all that is and all that we see. See as never before the inner workings of our world, and explore black holes, supernovae, neutron stars, dark energy, and all the titanic forces that make us who we are. With a dynamic cast of experts and a new generation of CGI, Engineering the Universe looks under the celestial hood to reveal the inner workings of outer space: the story of how it's made and how it runs. This is your ultimate Cosmos Operator's Manual.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Mike Rowe
  • Directors: Pioneer Productions
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Discovery - Gaiam
  • DVD Release Date: June 28, 2011
  • Run Time: 480 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (377 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004QSQMG8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,470 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

198 of 203 people found the following review helpful By Jube I. Lation on July 6, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Our family had long been on the pre-order list waiting for this 2-dvd set to arrive. Now that it has, we all agree that if we had known what an excellent ("excellent" is truly an understatement. "Magnificent" would be more accurate!)set this would be, we would have all been a lot more impatient for its arrival, but then we might have missed the surprise. By all means, start at the beginning with the Big Bang (track one on disc one), and then when you've seen Black Holes (track two on disc one),... well, we won't say more, but be prepared for some surprising revelations. It is just incredible how far astronomers have come since the last round of dvds dealing with how the universe works, especially with how "black holes" work and the part they play in completing the circle on "how the universe works". This program will catch you up in no uncertain terms, and it's our bet that you'll love every minute of it. The graphics are superb, and keep in mind that they are illustrating information that has not been presented so beautifully and clearly before (as far as we know). Even if you have been following technical research closely, you'll be thrilled to see the fresh twist on the computer graphics. Personally, we found the scientific and philosophical aspects so unforcedly entertwined as to make this series a joy for those who lean toward either "pure science alone" or toward "intelligent design" (we have both in our family). This series can speak to us all in its effort to do justice to what in anyone's terms can be unreservedly recognized as "magnificent design". Once again, in our family's unanimous view, this is, at least to date, an unparalleled presentation, which we unconditionally recommend.
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110 of 115 people found the following review helpful By AEM on August 7, 2011
Format: DVD
I love this series. I have found it to be more informative - in a lower level and a higher level of understanding than Through the Wormhole. Wormhole seems to focus on all of these possible "out there" concepts - Higgs Boson, the origin of the universe, before the big bang - this series focuses more on what we do know - and how we came to know it. It wasn't for sale when I was watching it on TV - so what did I do? I called the Science Channel and left them a message stating "you MUST sell this DVD - it's amazing, incredible, and I want to show my students the excerpt on Supernovas". I know that my science non-major students and my science major students will watch the episode on supernovas and be able to understand and appreciate the creation of atoms. I am so happy this went on sale - I was so excited that I had my institution pre-order it! I recommend it to anyone interested in the cosmos, interested in science, and interested in learning. Start here, work your way to Wormhole, and then top it off with Unlocking the Universe - the trifecta of videos!
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98 of 105 people found the following review helpful By Bob Short on June 21, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw the entire "How the Universe Works" series when it premiered on Science Channel in January and have been eagerly awaiting its DVD release ever since. The commentators are interesting-I especailly liked black hole hunter Dr. Andrea Ghez and "Bad Astronomer" himself,Dr. Phil Plait, and Mike Rowe's narration was well-done; but the visuals were the real star. To me, it felt like actually cruising through the universe in a spaceship. But, like almost every other show about supernovae, they get it wrong and have sound effects when stars explode. Remember the tagline for "Alien": In space, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM. :-)
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Irfan A. Alvi TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 5, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD set provides an excellent introduction to astronomy and cosmology:

- The technical level of the presentation is enough to satisfy most science enthusiasts, yet accessible for the whole family (my 10-yo daughter was totally hooked).

- The script is clear and narrated very well.

- The short interviews with scientists add variety and show their passion and excitement.

- The graphics are highly effective and stunningly vivid, even without Blu-ray.

- Most importantly, the information will (or should) blow your mind. This is stuff every educated and inquisitive person needs to know.

- Last but not least, the price is a bargain.

Needless to say, highly recommended!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Jake on November 25, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A series of eight well-constructed episodes, each about 45 minutes long, "How the Universe Works" explains, in language that won't make you feel like you've bitten off more than you could chew, a bit about the cosmos: what holds it together, how the various components (from matter and energy to stars, planets and nebulae) interact, and how it all works. The visuals are stunning, the musical score only further enhances this series, and the interviews with physicists, astronomers and other scientists in the field help to break down a bit about what science knows about space, what the scientists theorize, and their rationale behind the theories. As other reviewers have stated, this series is very intriguing but doesn't use a lot of technical jargon; it's explained very clearly and very concisely, so that "Average Joe and Jane" at home can follow along with the eight very gripping and very interesting episodes.

One can't argue with the price either - very agreeable. It seems like is almost giving this series away, considering how packed it is with information.

Bottom line: Extremely highly recommended, whether astronomy/cosmology is a genuine interest of yours, or whether you've ever looked up on a starry night and wondered, "How does it all work?"
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