Having ticked off our own little corner of the universe in his critically acclaimed Wonders of the Solar System, Dr Brian Cox is set to return to BBC1 with his follow up, Wonders of the Universe. The former keyboarder for Dare and D:Ream is now firmly focused on his particle physicist credentials, which will be tested to the extremes of space in Wonders of the Universe.
Travelling to the outer reaches of earth to bring to life the physical laws that govern the universe, including light, energy, matter, gravity and time. With stern competition already released in the form of Stephen Hawking’s Universe, it will be interesting to see how much Dr. Cox (har) can add to the popular investigation of the final frontier. Just as Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene explains the fundamentals of human evolution, Brian Cox goes above and beyond to explain the evolution of the cosmos and the landscape that has provided the conditions that make evolution a possibility.
Wonders of the Universe started filming on May 11th 2010 and was screened on BBC 2 on Sunday 16th March 2011, taking Cox from Hunter Jets, to desert landscapes and mountain lakes in a bid to make the universe simple enough for non-particle physicist minds to understand.
Pulling off some of the brilliance of Wonders of the Solar System, like the Asian total eclipse scenes and his investigation of the potential for life on Jupiter’s moon Europa, Wonders of the Universe looks amazing. While there hasn’t been any reference to his work with the Large Hadron Collider’s ATLAS experiment, which will hopefully give us a new model of particle physics for higher energy particles, there has been more than enough to enlighten as well as confuse. For example, it’s easy to get your head around the concept of certain atoms only being possible thanks to the super abundance of heat and pressure in massive stars. However, it’s much less simplistic to fathom the concept of the visible universe being smaller than a grain of sand just microseconds after the big bang took us from a singularity to everything around us in a frighteningly short amount of time.