Segments in this Video

Why Are We Here? (03:03)


Eric, Arjun, and Kelly arrive at an ancient English castle where they are served dinner on floating plates.

Magic or Magnets? (02:09)

Eric, Arjun, and Kelly figure out how the dinner plates are levitating above the table.

Laws of Nature (03:38)

The universe is controlled by rules. Isaac Newton is the most prominent figure from the scientific revolution. "Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica" was published in 1687.

Pendulum Martini Experiment (03:13)

Eric, Arjun, and Kelly participate in a challenge to understand how the laws of nature effect individual lives.

Pendulum Martini Experiment Results (03:56)

Eric, Arjun, and Kelly use a magnet to help control the pendulum in order to get the olive in the glass. The laws of nature are always in control and they do not vary.

Determinism (02:58)

Because the laws of nature rule the universe, the future is dictated by past events. Pierre-Simon Laplace believed the history of reality is contained in every moment.

Human Consciousness (02:29)

Eric and Kelly consider the possibility that lives are predetermined. Benjamin Libet's famous experiment showed that unconscious brain activity makes decisions.

Free Will Experiment (04:04)

Eric, Arjun, and Kelly participate in an experiment similar to those conducted by Libet. An EEG is used to measure spontaneous decisions.

Free Will Experiment Results (02:12)

EEG data shows that the subconscious part of the brain begins to make a decision up to half a second before the conscious decision.

Quantum Physics (03:02)

Kelly is not ready to say there is no free will. John Joseph Thompson discovered electrons in 1897. The universe does not follow the laws of nature on very small scales.

Subatomic Test (04:10)

Participants perform a blindfold experiment that illustrates the concept of trying to locate electrons on a very small scale.

The Uncertainty Principle (01:56)

In 1927, Heisenberg posited the idea that the difficulty of locating very small objects may be tied to a deeper reality. Kelly changes her mind about free will. Modern day scientists agree that determinism is part of a greater whole that governs the universe.

Uncertainty Principle and Determinism Test (02:40)

Participants illustrates the idea of the quantum world interacting with the physical. Eric, Arjun, and Kelly are shot by projectiles controlled by a colored roulette wheel that stops when a Geiger counter detects a random radioactive particle discharge.

Uncertainty Principle and Determinism Results (02:26)

The roulette wheel stops when a Geiger counter detects a random radioactive particle discharge. Participants learn how to increase the probability of dodging projectiles. One of them will be shot, but they cannot know who or when.

Why We Are Here Experiment (02:06)

Eric, Arjun, and Kelly are assigned a color and instructed to stand on a corresponding line. A large group of people representing copies of the participants line up behind them. Each person must step to the right or left when a whistle sounds.

Why We Are Here Results (03:28)

The experiment is repeated and Eric, Arjun, and Kelly observe and discuss the outcome. This test represents the principles of the Many-Worlds Theory.

Many-Worlds Theory (02:23)

Eric, Arjun, and Kelly discuss ending up where they are based on making choices from limited options in chaos and infinite universes and dimensions.

Summary: Why Are We Here? (02:19)

Hawking explains that the universe provides stable conditions that let unique creatures evolve. Eric and Kelly reflect on what they have learned.

Credits: Genius By Stephen Hawking: Why Are We Here? (00:35)

Credits: Genius By Stephen Hawking: Why Are We Here?

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Genius By Stephen Hawking: Why Are We Here?

Part of the Series : Genius By Stephen Hawking
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



World-famous scientist Stephen Hawking sets three ordinary people a series of fun challenges to show them how to think like a genius. Can they work out why they exist at all? Is it destiny or pure chance?

Length: 55 minutes

Item#: BVL129803

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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Why Are We Here?

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