Discovery Channel 100 Greatest Discoveries Astronomy Biology Chemistry

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    Discovery Channel 100 Greatest Discoveries Astronomy Biology Chemistry


    Discovery Channel 100 Greatest Discoveries Astronomy Biology Chemistry
    English | Avi | Dx50 | 1280x720 | 30fps | 16:9 | 4015kbps | Mp3 384kbps 48000hz | 4.10gb
    Genre: Documentary


    An excellent movie to watch prior or after the "Inconvenient Truth, An (2006)" and "Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006)". This film's major subject is life, its evolution and its extinction. A further moral issue is hidden within the context of this film, hence the reference to the two aforementioned documentary films which deal with, respectfully, global warming and a controversy of restricting evolutionary technologies such as the "electric car". This movies, however, has hidden themes which can be linked with our current north American standard of life, living off of oil, failing to meet important governmental protocols that could help save our entire planet.
    This movie attempts to explain our deep psychological questions such as, why we exist, why we try to stay alive and how we try to understand planets, other ecosystems, environment and species. From explaining the misconceived bacterial sludge to deep sea chemosynthesis, or from the theory of comets, volcanoes and an explosion bigger than all nuclear forces, this documentary, hosted by Bill Nye, is an important summary of popular and common science theories. TVO summarizes this episode as "Ten milestones that have helped to tell life's story…" In fact, on top of the already mentioned themes this discusses "Charles Walcott's analysis of the Burgess Shale; the Linnaean classification system; Darwin's theory of natural selection; Donald Johanson's "Lucy"; Mary Leakey's Laetoli footprints; and Michel Brunet's Toumai skull."


    1. The Planets Move (2000 B.C. – 500 B.C.)
    A thousand years of observations reveal that there are stars that move in the sky and follow patterns, showing that the Earth is part of a solar system of planets separate from the fixed stars.

    2. The Earth Moves (1543)
    Nicolaus Copernicus places the sun, not the Earth, at the center of the solar system.

    3. Planetary Orbits Are Elliptical (1605 – 1609)
    Johannes Kepler devises mathematical laws that successfully and accurately predict the motions of the planets in elliptical orbits.

    4. Jupiter Has Moons (1609 – 1612)
    Galileo Galilei discovers that Jupiter has moons like the Earth, proving that Copernicus, not Ptolemy, is right. Copernicus believes that Earth is not unique, but instead resembles the other planets, all of which orbit the sun.

    5. Halley's Comet Has a Predictable Orbit (1705 – 1758)
    Edmund Halley proves that comets orbit the sun like the planets and successfully predicts the return of Halley's Comet. He determines that comets seen in 1531 and 1607 are the same object following a 76-year orbit. Halley's prediction is proven in 1758 when the comet returns. Unfortunately, Halley had died in 1742, missing the momentous event.

    6. The Milky Way Is a Gigantic Disk of Stars (1780 – 1834)
    Telescope-maker William Herschel and his sister Carolyn map the entire sky and prove that our solar system resides in a gigantic disk of stars that bulges in the center called the Milky Way. Herschel's technique involves taking a sample count of stars in the field of view of his telescope. His final count shows more than 90,000 stars in 2,400 sample areas. Later studies confirm that our galaxy is disk-shaped, but find that the sun is not near the center and that the system is considerably larger than Herschel's estimation.

    7. General Relativity (1915 – 1919)
    Albert Einstein unveils his theory of general relativity in which he proposes that mass warps both time and space, therefore large masses can bend light. The theory is proven in 1919 by astronomers using a solar eclipse as a test.

    8. The Universe Is Expanding (1924 – 1929)
    Edwin Hubble determines the distance to many nearby galaxies and discovers that the farther they are from us, the faster they are flying away from us. His calculations prove that the universe is expanding.

    9. The Center of the Milky Way Emits Radio Waves (1932)
    Karl Jansky invents radio astronomy and discovers a strange radio-emitting object at the center of the Milky Way. Jansky was conducting experiments on radio wavelength interference for his employer, Bell Telephone Laboratories, when he detected three groups of static; local thunderstorms, distant thunderstorms and a steady hiss-type static. Jansky determines that the static is coming from an unknown source at the center of the Milky Way by its position in the sky.

    10. Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (1964)
    Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discover cosmic microwave background radiation, which they suspect is the afterglow of the big bang. Their measurements, combined with Edwin Hubble's earlier finding that the galaxies are rushing away, make a strong case for the big bang theory of the birth of the universe.

    11. Gamma-Ray Bursts (1969 – 1997)
    The two-decade-long mystery of gamma-ray bursts is solved by a host of sophisticated ground-based and orbiting telescopes. Gamma-ray bursts are short-lived bursts of gamma-ray photons, which are the most energetic form of light and are associated with nuclear blasts. At least some of the bursts have now been linked with distant supernovae — explosions marking the deaths of especially massive stars.

    12. Planets Around Other Stars (1995 – 2004)
    Astronomers find a host of extrasolar planets as a result of improved telescope technology and prove that other solar systems exist, although none as yet resembles our own. Astronomers are able to detect extrasolar planets by measuring gravitational influences on stars.

    13. The Universe Is Accelerating (1998 – 2000)
    Unexpectedly, astronomers find that instead of slowing down due to the pull of gravity, the expansion of the universe at great distances is accelerating. If these observations are correct and the trend continues, it will result in the inability to see other galaxies. A new theory of the end of the universe based on this finding has been called the "big rip."


    1. Microorganisms (1674)
    Microscope lens grinder Anton Van Leeuwenhoek accidentally discovers microorganisms in a drop of water. Using his own microscopes, he observes sperm, bacteria and red blood cells. His observations lay the foundation for the sciences of bacteriology and microbiology.

    2. The Cell Nucleus (1831)
    While studying an orchid, botanist Robert Brown identifies a structure within the cells that he terms the "nucleus."

    3. Archaea (1977)
    Carl Woese discovers bacteria are not the only simple-celled prokaryotes (unicellular organisms without a nucleus) on Earth. Many of the organisms classified in the new kingdom of Archaea are extremophiles. Some live at very high or low temperatures, others in highly saline, acidic or alkaline water. Some have been found in environments like marshland, sewage and soil. Archaea are usually harmless to other organisms and none are known to cause disease.

    4. Cell Division (1879)
    Walther Flemming carefully observes that animal cells divide in stages and calls the process mitosis. Eduard Strasburger independently identifies a similar process of cellular division in plant cells.

    5. Sex Cells (1884)
    August Weismann identifies that sex cells must have divided differently to end up with only half of a chromosomal set. This very special division of sex cells is called meiosis. Weismann's experiments with reproduction in jellyfish lead him to the conclusion that variations in offspring result from the union of a substance from the parents. He refers to this substance as "germ plasm."

    6. Cell Differentiation (late 19th century)
    Several scientists participate in the discovery of cell differentiation, eventually leading to the isolation of human embryonic stem cells. During differentiation, a cell turns into one of the many cell types that make up the body, such as a lung, skin or muscle cell. Certain genes are activated and others are inactivated, so the cell develops structures to perform a specific function. Cells that are not yet differentiated and have the potential to become any type of cell are called stem cells.

    7. Mitochondria (late 19th century to the present)
    Scientists discover mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell. These small structures within animal cells are responsible for metabolism and convert food into chemicals that cells can use. Originally thought to be part of the cell, scientists now believe they are specialized bacteria with their own DNA.

    8. The Krebs Cycle (1937)
    Hans Krebs identifies the many steps the cell takes to convert sugars, fats and proteins into energy. Also known as the citric acid cycle, it is a series of chemical reactions using oxygen as part of cellular respiration. The cycle contributes to the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins into carbon dioxide and water.

    9. Neurotransmission (late 19th to early 20th century)
    Scientists discover neurotransmitters and how they tell the body what to do by passing signals from one nerve cell to another via chemical substances or electrical signals.

    10. Hormones (1903)
    William H. Bayliss and Ernest H. Starling give hormones their name and reveal their role as chemical messengers. The team specifically describes secretin, a substance released into the blood from the duodenum (between the stomach and small intestine) that stimulates secretion of pancreatic digestive juice into the intestine.

    11. Photosynthesis (1770s)
    Jan Ingenhousz discovers that plants react to sunlight differently than shade. The underpinnings of the understanding of photosynthesis are born. Photosynthesis is a process in which plants, algae and certain bacteria convert the energy of light into chemical energy. In plants, leaves take in carbon dioxide and roots absorb water. Sunlight runs a reaction that yields glucose (food for the plant) and oxygen (a waste product released into the environment). Nearly all living things on Earth are ultimately dependent on this process.

    12. Ecosystem (1935)
    Arthur George Tansley coins the term ecosystem and single-handedly bridges the biology in ecology with the physics, chemistry and other fields of science that describe the environment. An ecosystem is defined as a dynamic and complex whole that functions as an ecological unit.

    13. Tropical Biodiversity (15th century to the present)
    On sailing expeditions around the world, early European explorers notice that the tropics host a much greater variety of species. Answering why this is the case allows today's scientists to help protect life on Earth.


    1. Oxygen (1770s)
    Joseph Priestley discovers oxygen; later, Antoine Lavoisier clarifies the nature of elements. Priestley produces oxygen in experiments and describes its role in combustion and respiration. Then, by dissolving fixed air in water, he invents carbonated water. Priestley, oblivious to the importance of his discovery, calls the new gas "dephlogisticated air." Lavoisier gives oxygen its name and correctly describes its role in combustion. Lavoisier then works with others to devise a chemical nomenclature, which serves as the basis of the modern system.

    2. Atomic Theory (1808)
    John Dalton provides a way of linking invisible atoms to measurable quantities like the volume of a gas or mass of a mineral. His atomic theory states that elements consist of tiny particles called atoms. Thus, a pure element consists of identical atoms, all with the same mass, and compounds consist of atoms of different elements combined together.

    3. Atoms Combine Into Molecules (1811 onward)
    Italian chemist Amedeo Avogadro finds that the atoms in elements combine to form molecules. Avogadro proposes that equal volumes of gases under equal conditions of temperature and pressure contain equal numbers of molecules.

    4. Synthesis of Urea (1828)
    Friedrich Woehler accidentally synthesizes urea from inorganic materials, proving that substances made by living things can be reproduced with nonliving substances. Until 1828, it was believed that organic substances could only form with the help of the "vital force" present in animals and plants.

    5. Chemical Structure (1850s)
    Friedrich Kekule figures out the chemical structure of benzene, bringing the study of molecular structure to the forefront of chemistry. He writes that after years of studying the nature of carbon-carbon bonds, he came up with the ring shape of the benzene molecule after dreaming of a snake seizing its own tail. The unusual structure solves the problem of how carbon atoms can bond with up to four other atoms at the same time.

    6. Periodic Table of the Elements (1860s – 1870s)
    Dmitry Mendeleyev realizes that if all of the 63 known elements are arranged in order of increasing atomic weight, their properties are repeated according to certain periodic cycles. He formulates the periodic table of the elements and predicts the existence of elements that have not yet been discovered. Three of those elements are found during his lifetime: gallium, scandium and germanium.

    7. Electricity Transforms Chemicals (1807 – 1810)
    Humphry Davy finds that electricity transforms chemicals. He uses an electric pile (an early battery) to separate salts by a process now known as electrolysis. With many batteries he is able to separate elemental potassium and sodium in calcium, strontium, barium and magnesium.

    8. The Electron (1897)
    J.J. Thomson discovers that the negatively charged particles emitted by cathode ray tubes are smaller than atoms and part of all atoms. He calls these particles, now known as electrons, "corpuscles."

    9. Electrons for Chemical Bonds (1913 onward)
    Niels Bohr publishes his model of atomic structure in which electrons travel in specific orbits around the nucleus, and the chemical properties of an element are largely determined by the number of electrons in its atoms' outer orbits. This paves the way to an understanding of how electrons are involved in chemical bonding.

    10. Atoms Have Signatures of Light (1850s)
    Gustav Kirchhoff and Robert Bunsen find that each element absorbs or emits light at specific wavelengths, producing specific spectra.

    11. Radioactivity (1890s – 1900s)
    Marie and Pierre Curie discover and isolate radioactive materials. After chemically extracting uranium from uranium ore, Marie notes the residual material is more "active" than the pure uranium. She concludes that the ore contains, in addition to uranium, new elements that are also radioactive. This leads to the discovery of the elements polonium and radium.

    12. Plastics (1869 and 1900s)
    John Wesley Hyatt formulates celluloid plastic for use as a substitute for ivory in the manufacture of billiard balls. Celluloid is the first important synthetic plastic and is used as a substitute for expensive substances such as ivory, amber, horn and tortoiseshell. Later, Leo Baekeland invents hardened plastics, specifically Bakelite, a synthetic substitute for the shellac used in electronic insulation.

    13. Fullerenes (1985)
    Robert Curl, Harold Kroto and Rick Smalley discover an entirely new class of carbon compound with a cage-like structure. This leads to the discovery of similar tube-like carbon structures. Collectively, the compounds come to be called buckminsterfullerenes, or fullerenes. The molecules are composed entirely of carbon and take the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, tube or ring. Named for Richard Buckminster Fuller, the architect who created the geodesic dome, they are sometimes called "buckyballs" or "buckytubes."


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