Cosmos #6

This episode looks to the nature of the cosmos on the micro and atomic scales, using the Ship of the Imagination to explore these realms.

Tyson describes some of the micro-organisms that live within a dew drop, demonstrating parameciums and tardigrades.

Tardigrade

He proceeds to discuss how plants use photosynthesis via their chloroplasts to convert sunlight into chemical reactions that convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and energy-rich sugars.

Tyson narrates how two Greek philosophers contributed to our understanding of science.

Thales was among the first thinkers to examine a “universe governed by the order of natural laws that we could actually figure out,”.

Democritus postulated that all matter was made up of combinations of atoms in a large number of configurations.

Tyson explains the basic atomic structure of protons, neutrons, and electrons, and the process of nuclear fusion that occurs in most stars that can overcome the electrostatic forces that normally keeps atoms from touching each other.

He explains how subterranean water pool facilities lined with special detectors like the Super-Kamiokande are used to detect neutrinos.

Super-Kamiokande Detector

Neutrinos from supernova SN 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud were detected three hours before the photons of light from the explosion were observed due to the neutrinos’ ability to pass through matter of the dying sun.

Supernova SN 1987A