Trade in your item
Get up to a $1.00
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

NOVA - Infinite Secrets: The Genius of Archimedes

4.2 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
Price
New from Used from
DVD
(Jan 06, 2004)
"Please retry"
1
$14.99

Unlimited Streaming with Amazon Prime
Unlimited Streaming with Amazon Prime Start your 30-day free trial to stream thousands of movies & TV shows included with Prime. Start your free trial

Editorial Reviews

In 1991, a small Medieval prayer book was sold at auction. Miraculously, some original writings of Archimedes, the brilliant Greek mathematician, were discovered hidden beneath the religious text. Through scholarly detective work with the help of modern technology, this book now reveals Archimedes’ stunningly original concepts, ideas, and theories—revelations that, if known sooner, might have reshaped our world.

Many historic figures have been hailed as ahead of their time. Few—if any—are said to be centuries ahead of their time. The Einstein of his era, Archimedes had a sophisticated understanding of mathematics, and designed marvelous war machines for his native Syracuse to use against the invading Romans. Many of Archimedes’ works disappeared during the Middle Ages, but some survived to help inspire the scientific revolution in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. One document that seemed irretrievably lost was his final treatise The Method, which reputedly explained how he achieved his brilliant results—secrets he revealed nowhere else. Now, over 2200 years later, the discovery of The Method has experts and scientists dreaming of what might have been if Renaissance thinkers and other great minds had known of his ideas and been able to build on them.

NOVA explores Archimedes’ rare writings, as well as the book’s mysterious beginnings, tumultuous history and amazing discovery. As the ancient text comes back from the dead, it unlocks its revolutionary contents—the infinite secrets of one of history’s greatest thinkers.

Special DVD features include: activities for educators; materials and activities for librarians; a link to the Infinite Secrets Web site; scene selections; closed captions; and described video for the visually impaired.

On one DVD5 disc. Region coding: All regions. Audio: Dolby stereo. Screen format: Letterboxed.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: WGBH Boston
  • DVD Release Date: January 6, 2004
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001WTX7S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,356 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 22, 2006
This is an utterly fascinating documentary. Not only does it help cast Archimedes in an even more important light than ever, it details one of the most amazing "lost book" stories I've ever read. Lost for over a millennium, then discovered, then lost again for decades, then rediscovered, the last known copy of Archimedes' greatest work has finally reemerged, amazing scholars with its revelations of Archimedes' true genius. Sold at auction in 1998 for two million dollars, this priceless document is now being painstakingly deciphered and translated by a team of experts.

The documentary opens with a summary of Archimedes' life and accomplishments. We may laugh at the story of Archimedes jumping out of his bath and running naked through the streets shouting Eureka, or roll our eyes when we hear of his boast to move the entire world if he only had a place to stand, but his discoveries speak for themselves: e.g., the principles of density and buoyancy, a remarkably accurate estimate of the value for pi, his work with spirals, spheres, etc. The man was also a gifted inventor, especially in the realm of weapons of war - catapults capable of firing at multiple ranges, the burning-mirror that proved so effective against Roman invaders, and advanced pulley and lever systems, just to name a few. When the Romans finally did invade Sicily, Archimedes was specifically targeted and killed (in 212 BC). Interest in mathematics soon declined, reemerging only during the European Renaissance - and now we know that the great thinkers of that new golden age were rediscovering things Archimedes already discovered and wrote about over two centuries before the birth of Christ.
Read more ›
2 Comments 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
I found this DVD at the local library, and now that I've seen it, I want to know more about Archimedes, and I want to study the lost book, "The Method".

I never knew how the scientific community held Archimedes in such high regard. To be labeled "centuries ahead of his time" indicates that this man could have easily reshaped our daily experiences, and the experiences of our posterity. This movie portrays the awakening of the scientific community on the the methods and thinking of a man who could have taught calculus to the inventors of calculus; a man whom Leonardo would call "genius".

How does one spark the curiosity of another to this degree? Such is the mystery of teachers everywhere.

Archimedes could have easily surpassed all other "geniuses", if only he had been captured instead of killed. I won't give the plot away, because I loved this DVD, and I strongly recommend it for the curious at heart.

Delightfully informative and entertaining! I might change this from a 4-star to a 5-star rating.
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Verified Purchase
Archimedes was a mathematical visionary who was ahead of his time, and if his work was used earlier, we would be far more advanced than we are today mathematically, and probably technologically. This discovery has been made by reading his lost manuscript, which has been found and restored by scientists. Archimedes also discovered a way to measure volume by water displacement. But what impressed me the most from the documentary was the techniques used to restore back the Archimedes texts from the damaged manuscript, worth the purchase, but 4 stars only because I'm hard to please.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Verified Purchase
This should be required watching in high school. The story of the multidiscipline detective team that recovered and unraveled the mysterious document is interesting in its own right. Most enlightening and maddening, however, is when it's finally revealed just how far advanced Archimedes was over all other scientists and mathematicians of his day. Had "The Method of Mechanical Theorems" been continuously available to scholars throughout the ages, humanity could have been on Mars and beyond centuries ago. The price we paid for the destruction of the classic period's libraries is beyond estimation.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Verified Purchase
This documentary, it should be said, is primarily about the history of the Archimedes Palimpsest (a previously unknown work by Archimedes rediscovered in the 20th century and, even there, lost from WWI until recently). This is a very interesting story but there is less about Archimedes life and discoveries than I would personally have hoped.

Moreover, for some reason, there seems to always be a desire to present this kind of thing with a maximum of spooky music, spooky noises, shady characters and so on. Is it necessary to dumb-down everything and try to make it "interesting" by implying there is some "conspiracy" or "secret" story? Unfortunately, you would think so watching the discovery channel and the history channel. Even PBS is not immune.

Nonetheless, I found this documentary to be very interesting.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Verified Purchase
I had purchased this hoping it to be more about Archimedes. Instead it follows the discovery of a manuscript with Archimedes writings on it. I have read the book that inspired this documentary and it covers the subject briefly but well.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Verified Purchase
I finished reading The Archimedes Codex and enjoyed that immensely. Then I found this NOVA program covering the same ground in a more accessible format. It is a very good summary of the book in many ways and introduces a number of the main contributors to the project.

If you have not read the book, then you will probably want to after you see this show.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Forums



What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?