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NOVA - The Elegant Universe
NOVA - The Elegant Universe
Actors: Michael Duff, Brian Greene, Michael B. Green, Walter Lewin, Joseph Lykken
Directors: Joseph McMaster, Julia Cort
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
NR     2004     3hr 0min

One of the most ambitious and exciting scientific theories ever posed?one that may be the long-sought "Theory of Everything"?gets a masterful and lavishly animated explanation that will excite scientists and non-scientists...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Michael Duff, Brian Greene, Michael B. Green, Walter Lewin, Joseph Lykken
Directors: Joseph McMaster, Julia Cort
Creators: Brian Greene, Joseph McMaster, Julia Cort, Andrea Cross, David Hickman
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Educational, Science & Technology
Studio: WGBH Boston
Format: DVD - Color,Letterboxed - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 01/20/2004
Original Release Date: 10/28/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 10/28/2003
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 3hr 0min
Screens: Color,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Beyond is NOT A NEW PROGRAM but the sames as the first one j
Cyborgx | Bangkok Thailand | 02/28/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"As a warning to other potential purchasers, please note that this is not a new program "Beyond" the original "The Elegant Universe" but just a repackaging with 2 other programs.

I thought the first DVD was great, and was just about to purchase this one because it sounded like a new program continuing where the first left off, but in fact it is EXACTLY the same program! I got the details from and here they are :-

THE ELEGANT UNIVERSE AND BEYOND is a compliation of three different NOVA programs that have already aired. They are listed below with synopses on each one:

1) The Elegant Universe (WG36779)
Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory Join host Brian Greene, professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University and the best-selling author of The Elegant Universe, for an in-depth exploration of the groundbreaking new string theory that will excite scientists and non-scientists alike. If string theory proves correct, the universe we see obscures a reality that is far richer and more complex than anyone ever imagined--a universe with numerous hidden dimensions, a universe in which the fabric of space can rip and tear, a universe that may be but one of many parallel universes

2) Einstein's Big Idea (WG38889)
Everyone's heard of it, but what does E=mc2 really mean? With brilliant period recreations, discover how an obscure patent clerk, Albert Einstein, came up with his shattering 1905 discovery that the realms of matter and energy are inescapably linked. Starring Aidan McArdle (Ella
Enchanted) as Einstein, and Shirley Henderson (Bridget Jones's Diary) as Einstein's first wife, Mileva Maric.

3) Einstein Revealed (WG26479)
Journey into the mind of a genius in this penetrating profile of the world's most renowned physicist, who contributed more than any other to our modern vision of physical reality. Andrew Sachs (Fawlty Towers) stars as Albert Einstein.

I Hope this helps prevent anyone wasting their money buying the same program twice."
Viewed from the right perspective, it's very good
Scott Burton | Los Angeles, CA USA | 03/05/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Anyone accustomed to the sober atmosphere of science writing will be rather shocked by Nova's treatment of "The Elegant Universe". Zany examples, intentional facetiousness and dazzling imagery a serious science discussion does not make. However if you're familiar with Brian Greene's writing style you'll immediately recognize that tounge-in-cheek is par for the course. Greene's book is at once an intellectual excercise and a lightweight science review, and for that we are all grateful: much of the 19th & 20th century science leading up to the 'discovery' of the String Theories is poorly understood by educated Americans (most definitely including me), and the brushing-up is well deserved. And while some equations are included and some (light) mathematical work required, for the most part Greene realizes that most people will require some help visualizing those things which can never be visualized; quantum mechanics, strings, 11 dimensions. Which is why it should not come as a suprise to many familiar with his books that the Nova treatment is so lighthearted, or contains so many simplistic visual examples again and again. This new math is inaccesible to most and challenging to the rest, so the eye candy is warranted. And what eye candy! The visual elements, while at times capricious and overwhelming, are expertly done and do serve to provide further understanding of the subject. The visual effects team at Edgeworx has provided entertaining, educational visual material that should hold up to scrutiny over time. Greene himself is generally an engaging host. While he has but one on-camera trick (pause, put hands together, glance at floor, then BANG back at the camera), he works it, all the while clearly explaining the subject.One last thing that can be said about Nova's "The Elegant Universe" is that it is =responsible=. There is a large cast of scientists, mathematicians and others on both sides of String Theory. It is continually brought into question as untested, untestable, and possibly dead wrong. The closest to proselytizing that anyone does is to explain that Quantum Physics, the set of mathematical ideas that give extremely good approximations of what happens to sub-atomic particles, has never made an incorrect prediction. Not so with String Theory; no one is willing to say, on-camera, that String Theory is the truth, and in so doing, the piece retains a certain respectful distance from the subject.Nova's "The Elegant Universe" is up-to-date, expertly made and provides a reasonably accessible overview of the various ideas known as String Theory as to be approrpriate for an audience of any age. I would like to live in the alternate universe in which "Stephen Hawking's Universe" and "Nova - The Elegant Universe" were shown back-to-back to school-age children as a comprehensive introduction to modern cosmological science."
Good, but not Great
Vincenzo | 01/14/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I was excited to see these programs put out by NOVA, and I have always thought highly of the television program. However, I did not actually learn a whole lot from these specific episodes. While being a show on String Theory, the program beat around the bush about explaining how String Theory works. While covering Newton, Einstein, and Bohr, the NOVA never made a real attempt to explain their theories, but rather gave extremely vague understandings of everything.No I do not believe that "The Elegant Universe" should delve on hairy mathematics, but it should answer "whys" and "hows" rather than just simply tell us that there are strings in subatomic atoms. Instead, it wasted so much time repeating things over and over like "people who believed in more dimensions a long time ago would have been labeled 'crackpots' but now String Theory demands it" or "if you can't test something then it's runs the risk of being philosophy." While those are interesting points, they are repeated in these documentarys over and over by the same people with computer graphics running all over the screen, never really doing a great job explaining any these claims.I think this would actually be pretty good for anyone who has little knowledge on physics, but definitely not for anyone who is at least familiar with what String Theory is."
High Quality CG Animation realizes String Theory to Everyone
Otto Yuen | Toronto, ON Canada | 03/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was struggling whether I should spend $35Cdn (I bought this from on this 'String Theory' that I have no clue of what it is but only aware of the interesting sound of 'Theory of Everything'. I was also worrying my limited education background and brain capacity for such complex concept. I took the risk and completed my order. Two days later, I got my dvd delivered to my door, couldn't stand finishing my dinner, I opened it and watched it right away.The first 3 minutes was the trailer/intro of this 3 hours DVD. It really drew my attention with interesting topics and high quality special effects & CG animation. I knew my $35Cdn was very well spent. The first hour talked about the ground concepts of basic forces: Gravity & Quantum Mechanics. Don't worry, you don't need a science or physic degree to understand these concepts. The beauty of this DVD is that it uses various scenarios, via pictures, animiation, & special effects to depict the complex concepts to you in a very simple & understandable way. Trust me, even your grade 6 children are able to comprehend the elegant universe theory from this DVD. The first hour was focusing on these basic forces, what Albert Einstein wanted to do with unification, and what the problems were. The second hour talked about how the String theory evolve and help to solve the puzzle of Einstein's unification problem. And the last hour will take the String theory to realize the possiblilities of 11th dimensions, the impacts to our world, and the future of this 'Theory of everything'. If you still find difficulties to understand those concepts, don't worry, you will find lots of interactive education materials from the second DVD. There's an initeresting demo let you to build from 1 dimensional line to a 4-dimensional hypercube visually. I absolutely found those extra goodies were very helpful.The only picky thing I disliked was there're quite lengthy advertisings at the beginning of each episode. However, you can always skip it using fast forward. Honestly, this is a true FIVE STARS DVD. It's entertaining, it's simple, visual, excellent three hours programme. You and your kids will sure benefit from this amazing 'Theory of Elegant Universe' --- String."