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Nova: Fabric of the Cosmos

811 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Fabric of the Cosmos, based on the book by physicist and author Brian Greene, takes us to the frontiers of physics to see how scientists are piecing together the most complete picture yet of space, time and the universe. With each step, audiences will discover that just beneath the surface of our everyday experience lies a world we d hardly recognize, a startling world far stranger and more wondrous than anyone expected.

Physicist-author Brian Greene, whose Nova presentation The Elegant Universe made string theory comprehensible to the armchair scientist, returns with the four-part Fabric of the Cosmos, an even more whiz-bang approach to current ideas in physics. Imagine the final section of 2001: A Space Odyssey interrupted by talking heads and voiceover narration, and you'll get a grasp for the baffling realm Greene and his cadre of brainiacs enter here: theories of quantum physics, "entanglement" (that one'll mess with your mind), and the possibility of a multiverse, a set of universes beyond our own visible one. Various explanations for the Big Bang are also explored. Greene, a humorous if somewhat awkward presenter, knows perfectly well he is dealing with stuff that goes beyond the knowledge of the average viewer, so he offers many examples and demonstrations, and the information is reliably intriguing. Not so intriguing is the show's overall style, which is so full of pulsating graphics and cutesy metaphors that it might prove headache-inducing. Too bad the makers of this series didn't trust the information contained here, because it's pretty exciting on its own. --Robert Horton

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Brian Greene
  • Directors: Paula S. Apsell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS (DIRECT)
  • DVD Release Date: November 22, 2011
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (811 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0056031LE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,826 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

135 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Learner on November 5, 2011
Format: DVD
This is the clearest explanation I've seen of relativity, quantum theory, the nature of space and time - even Newton. Very very good science documentary.

NOVA has surpassed its usual high standards. It's obvious they thought carefully about how to visually explain the concepts.

They did an admirable job in trying to appeal to a broad audience, including to curious people who aren't well-read about science. If you like eye-grabbing graphics you are in luck here. But this show was also enjoyable to me, even though I was already familiar with many of these ideas.

As is NOVA's trend in recent years, for me there was too much hyperactivity in the presentation. But I assume they do this to appeal to younger audiences, and this show will without a doubt be presented in high schools for years to come.

The last part of episode one was mind-blowing, that our universe is like a hologram. I didn't really understand it, but it's a very interesting idea to say the least. (I did see some science news articles a few months ago saying this idea has now been mostly disproved, but maybe those news articles were premature.)

Having seen the previous Brian Greene series named The Elegant Universe years ago, I had high expectations for this new series. Even more so because where Elegant Universe is mostly about only string theory, Fabric of the Cosmos is broader, covering space, time, quantum physics, and multiverses - all core ideas to physics. Now I'm reading the book, The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality.

If you are interested in science or just enjoy an excellent documentary, this is a must-have DVD.
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71 of 74 people found the following review helpful By sina on November 17, 2011
Format: DVD
I have used the 3 DVD's of the original Elegant Universe in my introductory Astronomy courses. Students really liked that series.
I have seen 3 episodes of the "Fabric of the Cosmos" now. The Episode on Time is alright but not superb. The episode called "Quantum leap" is superb and I will definitely use it for my introductory astronomy courses. The 3rd episode on "String theory" is even better than the original Elegant universe.
The part about Einstein and Neil Bohr is superb. The explanation of Quantum Entanglement and then the Teleportation is surprisingly digestible. I am thinking of building a course based on the fabric of the universe series. This is a fantastic series for the curious minded people among us. I am definitely buying these DVD's even though I have seen only 3 of the episodes.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By nellandis on November 10, 2011
Format: DVD
Saw the first two episodes on PBS last night and was glued to the TV. They explain concepts of the universe in such a clear and conscise manner. It put so many things into perspective and I can't wait to watch it again along with the other episodes. Dont miss out on this DVD, they did an amazing job putting it together.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Yenn on December 4, 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
How well do you understand this universe you live in? Science has come a long way in recent times. Programs nowadays are transformed to keep pace with our rapid information media society. This one is no exception, as it excels at getting the latest and greatest info to make you ponder deeper about the fabric of what this world is really made of, from the tiniest of strings, to the expanse of what's beyond our own universe.

Some basic concepts (and prerequisites for the laymen) are reviewed in the 1st episode, Space. (For example, this show is NOT about black holes. But they briefly review it to show a concept they're getting at, i.e. the fabric of space, and how it can be warped.) Otherwise, besides episode 1, there are may be parts of this program where you may need to hit the pause to process the info and let it sink in.

As a follow up to "NOVA - The Elegant Universe," Dr. Brian Greene continues where he left off, presenting hard science understandable today by using colorful illustrations, and the down to earth explanations. This is a biggest noticeable improvement compared to programs decades ago. Modern physics is a tough topic to grasp even for those with a science background, because this topic is beyond the realm of what we humans normally perceive in our daily lives. For example, in the Time episode 2, Greene takes an imaginary sword and slices across the time continuum graft, to show how the concept of "now" may not be the same as someone else's "now.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Buckhippo on November 5, 2011
This is the first of a four part series on the universe narrated and essentially created by Brian Greene. I've been a fan of his books because he is very good at explaining complex concepts in a very simple and tangible way. This first episode is an engaging one hour full with historical references that Brian is able to tie into the modern age of theoretical physics. The special effects are worth a thousand words alone because they are able to convey what would be otherwise very complex ideas into something the viewer can comprehend. As an adult I found The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space to be very engaging and I think a high school student who has an interest in physics and science would also find it amazing. I am looking forward to purchasing the other episodes in this series. Why didn't we have stuff like this when I was in school?!

Please keep up the good work at PBS. It's works like this that inspire.
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