NOVA: Hunting the Hidden Dimension

NOVA: Hunting the Hidden Dimension

Thu, 12/16/2010 - 9:00pm

Body in motion, fractals at work: A test subject fitted with body motion sensors demonstrates the balancing reflex for Richard Taylor at the University of Oregon. Taylor and other scientists are looking for — and finding — fractal patterns in this kind of sub-conscious human movement.

Credit: Courtesy of Quest Productions

A revolutionary new branch of math called fractals has changed the way we see the world and opened up a vast new territory to scientific analysis and understanding.

What do movie special effects, the stock market, heart attacks and the rings of Saturn have in common? They're all connected by a revolutionary new branch of math called fractals, which has changed the way we see the world and opened up a vast new territory to scientific analysis and understanding. NOVA: Hunting the Hidden Dimension, airing Thursday, December 16 at 9 p.m. on WXXI World (cable 524/DT21.2), tells the dramatic story of a group of pioneering mathematicians who developed fractals from a curiosity that few took seriously to an approach that is touching nearly every branch of understanding — including what happened after the Big Bang and the ultimate fate of our universe.

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