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Colour - The Spectrum of Science
We take colour for granted. We have to, because otherwise we’d be entirely distracted by it.
But once in a while it’s rewarding to pause and look a bit closer, just to see what those colours are telling us. And then we can go back to taking it for granted, but our world is richer because now we know the stories hidden in the code.The colours that we see are only a fraction of what's out there.
Beyond the rainbow there are colours invisible to our eyes.The colours we see are far more complex and fascinating than they appear. In this series, Dr Helen Czerski uncovers what colour is, how it works, and how it has written the story of our planet.
This series explains how each of these colours occurs, unlocking the mysteries of nature and the forces that underpin the Universe itself. More than any other planet, the Earth is awash with colour. With its flowers, oceans, rainbows and vast array of animal life, our planet stands out from the blackness of space as a multi-coloured jewel. Our eyes allow us to experience colour as an explosion of vibrant wonder.
In Search of Colour examines the science behind this miracle of nature, and travels across the world to discover what makes our planet’s palette unique.To investigate the essence of sunlight Helen travels to California to visit the largest solar telescope in the world.
Helen discovers how the most vivid blue ( Lapis Lazuli ) is formed from sulfur atoms deep within the Earth’s crust and why the presence of red ochre is a key sign of life. In gold, she discovers why this most precious of metals shouldn’t even exist on the surface of the planet.
The raw, early Earth had plenty of colour, but that was nothing compared with what was going to come next. That canvas was about to be painted with a vast new palette - and the source of those colours was life. Green is the colour of the natural world and yet it's the one colour that plants have evolved not to use.
Dr Czerski explores colour subjectivity by trying on a dress that recently divided the internet — to some it appeared blue and black, to others white and gold. It's a perfect fit. It's also a neat analogy of how people can have opposing views but both swear blind that their perspective is correct.The series ends with some amazing imaging techniques that show our bodies in a whole new light.
We can't see in ultra violet, but many animals can.
With the discovery of x-rays we could look inside ourselves in ways that previously had only been possible after death. Today those same x-rays allow us to examine life at the atomic level, helping to develop new drugs and better materials.
...Ultimately, by harnessing all the colours there are, researchers are beginning to image the human body as never before, revealing new ways to treat disease.
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