The Fabric of the Cosmos

The Fabric of the Cosmos

2011, Science  -   207 Comments
Ratings: 8.73/10 from 164 users.

The Fabric of the Cosmos, a four-hour series based on the book by renowned physicist and author Brian Greene, takes us to the frontiers of physics to see how scientists are piecing together the most complete picture yet of space, time, and the universe.

With each step, audiences will discover that just beneath the surface of our everyday experience lies a world we'd hardly recognize - a startling world far stranger and more wondrous than anyone expected.

Brian Greene is going to let you in on a secret: We've all been deceived. Our perceptions of time and space have led us astray.

Much of what we thought we knew about our universe - that the past has already happened and the future is yet to be, that space is just an empty void, that our universe is the only universe that exists - just might be wrong.

Interweaving provocative theories, experiments, and stories with crystal-clear explanations and imaginative metaphors like those that defined the groundbreaking and highly acclaimed series The Elegant Universe, The Fabric of the Cosmos aims to be the most compelling, visual, and comprehensive picture of modern physics ever seen on television.

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John Archer
6 years ago

So it's not Crimplene or Lycra then.

"Amazin'!" — Brian Cox

6 years ago

Lucky to be here.

7 years ago

Compressing the infinitesimal... Yeah... That's great, is this made possible by the same equation that brought us the period in history where time didn't exist? OK. That's how the world is flat these days.

Marquitos Llew
9 years ago

This is the dumbed down version of the cosmos. Some of this stuff is interesting but for me it's far too American. I understand that the point is to appeal to as many people as possible but this may as well be a children's program on theoretical physics at times.

9 years ago

"Life/Reality we know it may just be a projection of all the information/data residing on the event horizon...." mind-boggling!

Roamingredant .
9 years ago

I agree with Bruce. About 20 mins of interesting content padded out into an hour and dramatized for an impatient dumb audience.

bruce thomas
9 years ago

Remember it is just for TV entertainment for the masses. We expect extreme interesting everything, So they try to provide it. Complete factual science may seem slow and boring to many. If you want nothing but facts science you may not have as much fun with it yourself. I love all the ideas, even if I think some are crap. "The only dumb question...."

9 years ago

Pretty far fetched theories. Some that seem almost equal to supernatural in stature.
So this may be the right place to ask: Does the universe exist with no observer? Does the observer give it dimension?

9 years ago

This video quickly got off the topic concerning the actual nature
of space. Instead of talking about the factual fabric of the cosmos, it talked about Alice-in-Wonderland fantasies that have nothing to do with the real nature of space. However, the video is correct in one aspect, modern physicists and cosmologists have deceived us all. Brian Greene and his associates are fable salesmen; trying to convince people that the three-dimensional world we live in is really a two-dimensional holographic projection on the surface of a black hole. All the irrational scientists in this video also show up in many other videos spieling curved space-time conceptualizations and quantum mechanical notions as facts. They are like blind men looking at a photo of an elephant, then declaring themselves as experts on the subject. Society should be very skeptical of their elusive postulations. Frankly, their imaginations have gotten way out of hand.

So, what is the real nature of space... space is physical volume. We
see physical volume everywhere we look out, and everywhere we look in. Physical volume is the most abundant aspect composing the nature of the universe. We can factually prove that physical volume exists because we can see it, touch it, move through it, and measure it. Physical volume is an undisputable fact.

The nature of physical volume has three obvious spatial dimensions, height, width, and length; thus, volume is a spatial measurement. In all physical applications on Earth, physical volume is a geometric measurement deriving the quantity of a solid, liquid, or gas. In other words, volume is a product of substance, a measurement of something tangible, defined by shape and amount.

To put the nature of physical volume in a pure perspective, if we remove all matter and energy from the cosmos, then there is only pure physical volume remaining. The question becomes, what is the physical causation of this remaining volume. In order for physical volume to exist, it must have four fundamental components, three of spatial dimensions, and one of substantive causation. Obviously, physical volume has to exist first, for matter and energy to exist within and move through. Therefore, we can look at this remaining space as a proto-state, representing the fabric composing the cosmos, and call this state of ambient physical volume "Protospace."

So, what do we know for fact; we know that volume is a product of physical substance. We know that physical volume has four components that compose its existence. We know that physical volume is a homogeneous continuum, continuously existing between particles, planets, stars, and beyond galaxies. And, we know that physical volume had to exist before matter or energy could come into existence. Functionally, physical volume is the most elemental aspect of nature. The fact that physical volume exists, gives us enough information to decipher the totality of its nature. Where it comes from, how old it is, what it is made of, and how it formulates into the material universe we see today. The clue here is that substance causes volume, volume does not cause substance. Physical volume is the Rosetta stone of both the origin and formation composing the universe.

Unfortunately, orthodox physics and cosmology are not dealing with factual based science; they postulate irrational notions such as the big bang, curved space-time, elusive quantum constituencies, multiverse, and holographic conceptualizations. These concepts have no actual facts to support them. They are an abyss of fantasies, only supported by elaborate equations. Theorists forget that mathematics is only symbolic representation of values in an event that can apply to any concept whether it is real or not. Two angels plus two angels equals four angels; the math works, but does
not, and cannot, prove or predict angels exist. Science based on subjective equations is a fool's journey.

To understand what the fabric of space is really made of, you only need look at what you can factually see and measure. The answers are all there... they are hiding in plain sight waiting to be recognized.

9 years ago

I'l' tell you what space is. It's just that - space! A.k.a. "room" :-)

I think I'll have whatever hallusinogen it is those holographic nutters are having..

9 years ago

I've searched high and low for a reasonable explanation of the holographic principle but the literature is to stupid to explain it to me. This is all wrong. According to the comments below the only true source of modern science is the Quran. Therefore I'm gonna go look for a Quran. F**k you science.

Jane Wacky
10 years ago

This show is a load of hypothetical nonsense. It is not experimental, can never be verified. It is a way of fooling people into giving these cosmologists job security. They have never given any real benefit to humanity except wishful thinking. These programs should be banned!!

10 years ago

I would suggests another source of science, which came to us much earlier than what has been explained here about the expansion of the universe and basically the whole content. The Qur'an explains all this facts close to 1500 years ago, thus much earlier than Kepler, Einstein or any one else even had the idea to think about the nature of the space and black holes.

10 years ago


10 years ago

YO THIS WEBSITE IS F**KING GREAT. if you like this documentary you should check out WHAT THE BLEEP DO YOU KNOW, and reat the book THE POWER OF NOW BY ECHKART TOLLE. before watching this i knew the fundamentals of what space is but still really good film! Reality is not real, and no one sees it the same. we have five sensory organ which cant even percieve most of the stuff that is going on metaphysically. This movie just reaffirms my beleife in a creator. because time is all relative and our creator is outside of time. Some of these principles apply to god. But everyones defintion of god is different. Still great documentary

10 years ago

in my opinion, if this world is how we perceive as reality, then it is our reality. there's nothing too bothering to me.

10 years ago

this is so mind boggling. i can't quite wrap my mind around this, being able to be in the past present and future.

10 years ago

The hologram thing bothers me. So if we aren't the real deal here then why even bother? Sounds like something a child would wonder like "is this all just a dream"? Otherwise interesting material.

Aaron Rowe
10 years ago

Idk if any of you have seen Leonard Susskind's youtube cosmology lectures, but every time I hear the man talk now, I expect him to stop for a couple seconds and take a bite of cookie.

10 years ago

i would love to be able to watch this but simply cannot due to brian greens annoying, condescending voice. is it just me?? maybe i should try his books instead

11 years ago

i would love to be able to watch this but simply cannot due to the overly loud, constant and totally unnecessary background music..Why is it there????

Lee Vincent
11 years ago

It would be closer, the nearest Galaxy is Andromeda and it is heading for a collision course with the Milky Way. Although the Universe is expanding overall, the force of Gravity still pulls nearby glaxies together.

B T Carberry
11 years ago

can any body tell me if we see starlight from millions of years ago today. were are they know like the nearest galaxy we see the light from it is 2 million light year away is the galaxy still there or has it moved

11 years ago

Enjoyed every minute...furr sure we'll have a Q computer, if we don't destroy our environment and ourselves (all living things) before then... then, 'maybe' we get the computing brain we need to help with some of the big questions - how do we feed 10 Billion people, make peace, manage a fair political system/industrial complex, etc. As well as better predict the weather & help us build teleport machines (okay maybe humans will be hesitant at first)- just imagine teleports as transportation for cargo however, now were talkin about something useful. p.s. I am beginning to understand, probability & entanglement (i am likely delusional), however, no matter how many ways, my brain will not deal with the multi-verse - as science fiction, sure, as science fact-I need my mommy.... Who needs spook films when we've got theoretical physics :)

11 years ago

lol....Brian really likes bread loaf analogies, he explained M Theory's Branes as slices of bread as well in the "Elegant Universe" series

11 years ago

this moment never ends! There is only one moment! This one

11 years ago

Perhaps someone could explain the following to me.

Newton's idea of the "attraction" of objects to one another has been proven wrong and replaced by Einstein' s idea of warped space. In other words, the moon and earth are not attracted to one another; rather the moon travels in curved spaced around the earth.

Why, then, as in this documentary, do astronomers keep talking about the attraction of gravity? In this case they talk about having to invent dark energy to explain the faster and faster expansion of the universe, as common sense tells us gravity's attraction should slow it down.

Seems to me there might be no need for dark energy, because there is no gravitational force attracting objects to one another, just the curved space created around them.

Apologize if this is a stupid question; however, I am very much a layman but have wondering about this for quite some time.

11 years ago

Hi there I may be missing some point as im not a physisist or anything like that. Hendrick Kasimir's experiment with the 2 metal plates suggests to me more then what they let on. To have an effect on surfaces that small and to actually be mesureable. What happens when you scale that up to fit the empty space in between matter in space? Is that not a logical source for dark energy? He has the plates close enough to exclude some of the effect of empty space. So what he is showing is empty space's property of expansion. So i guess im just wondering why ive never heard of anyone making that connection?

11 years ago

Can anyone explain to me what they mean by disorder? I can't see how all things go from order to disorder, and the examples in the documentary with books and wine glasses are very naive. The pages are in order from OUR perspective, since numbers have meaning to us and they become scattered. Particles doesn't think that way. Think about the formation of crystals, the rise of synchronicity in nature, in ecosystems, self assembling materials, life, architecture. These are all examples of nature making orderly structures. Atoms can't know what they look like in our scale, they just react with their environment. Tell me how entropy works on the atomic scale, on the sub atomic scale - then I will listen. Any thoughts?

11 years ago

Thanks Kliment,one more. If our bodies could somehow withstand traveling the speed of light, would we be able to age slower than the population?

11 years ago

Dumb question. If the Earth moved faster, would we live longer?

11 years ago

good series .. fun to watch

I have a question... sorry it´s off topic but since this is one of the most recent docs I might get an answer from one of the brains :) ...
(Imagine this... just bare with me...)
Imagine you have a really large road, with a really large vehicle... and you accelerate it to a certain amount... then inside that vehicle you have another one and you accelerate it to the same amount has the previous one... so in fact the second vehicle has the double the amount of speed for an observer out side the system... right?! now imagine you repeat this process over and over... giving exactly the same amount of energy to accelerate the new vehicle that is always inside the previous one... wouldn't that take us to the speed of light without gaining infinite mass? since it's always a different vehicle with the same amount of energy relative to the previous vehicle... the sum of all velocities at some point should add up to the speed of light to someone sitting out side the system... theoretically of curse... I'm probably saying something stupid... but it puzzled me ... if anyone could give me an answer ... that would be awesome

John Purvis
11 years ago

The idea of a two dimensional reality at the surface of our universal sphere is incredibly significant. Pondering wave-particle duality and the infinite relevance of Pi, you begin to realize that anything (and everything) is possible.

John Purvis
11 years ago

The simplest comparison between Newton and quantum physics is in understanding that Newton reality assumes that if you have enough information about a particular event, (i.e. a baseball leaving a bat, the speed, the trajectory), you can predict the out come of that event, (i.e. point of impact).

Therefore, theoretically, if you had enough information of all events occurring in the Universe at any given moment, you should be able to predict the outcome of all events simultaneously, and in essence predict the future.

In a Newtonian world, all reality is therefore predestined, unfolding in a predictable manner, suggesting all of our fates are therefore predetermined regardless of how we behave.

The refreshing aspect of quantum theory is that by simply observing subatomic particles, we can alter their behavior. Heisenberg discovered that you can only detect the position or momentum of a subatomic particle, not both. Once you recognized one aspect, the other was lost through observation.

On the sub-atomic level, nothing is predetermined, eternal randomness leaves everything to chance. We aren't locked into a Newton blueprint of destiny after all.

Rather we are governed by alternative outcomes in every choice we make and therefore are truly the rulers of our own fate.

I don't believe that this was mentioned in the "Fabric of the Cosmos" series, but to me is one of the most relevant aspects of Quantum vs Newtonian theory.

11 years ago

I like the first episode, talking about the non-emptimess of space: fascinating stuff that I haven't seen in documentaries before. Almost as good as Jim Al-Khalili's stuff!

His Forever
11 years ago

Happy New Year Az, Iz, Razor, Epic, Vlatko, Biblelover, and Pysmythe! They're already setting off fireworks here! Gotta go ---- can't trade "real life" for this box all the time. Charles B.

11 years ago

If enough scientists of this world want multiverse, they will get multiverse and when they get that, they will still be looking for the container of it all. May be we live in a glass bowl, a sort of crystal ball filled with bubbling black champagne. It's encouraging to see that scientists are as crazy as they wish, can or allows us to do the same.
Will 2012 be exciting, existing or exiting....we shall live to see!
Happy New Year to all members of TDF and a special toast to Vlatko, Epicurus and Achems_Razor and to Brian Cox who is quite possibly the cutest of them all on a night with the stars.

Luckin Fefty
11 years ago

and wow - thanks for the tip on the brian cox vid... fantastic.. look up symphonyofscience we are all connected.

Luckin Fefty
11 years ago

disregard dmxi - I found tons of info already - wikipedia has a nice article on multiverse. guess I was just disappointed that effect of multiverse gravity wasn't mentioned in this doc, unless I missed it... seems to me that over time it could have been a catalyst for the big bang. I should stick with what we know, but questions lead to more knowledge no matter how silly they seem.

Luckin Fefty
11 years ago

@dmxi - pls post link - I've been wondering about this for quite some time.

Luckin Fefty
11 years ago

could dark energy simply be gravity from other universes (multiverse) pulling ours outwardly, rather than a force pushing from within ours?

Daniel Hammond
11 years ago

Only 2:00 (minutes) into this, but I suddenly wonder about the entire notion that everything rests inside Space; as if Space itself were like a box and Matter is something that is contained within it. What about the idea that the Matter is the Space? I guess i should finish the entire documentary first, but so far it's got me thinking.

11 years ago

I think if no religion had ever spoiled the mind of people through wars and division, we would all be spiritual scientists searching for the meaning of life.

11 years ago

I can predict the weather for the next 10 years = artificially cloudy

11 years ago

re: plates with an extremely narrow gap colliding... dark matter, the venturi effect
re: acceleration of universal expansion... electromagnetism trumps gravitational attraction
re: red shifts.... everything loses energy over time, one of our basic physical laws. light, however seems forbidden to decelerate. an object loses energy by decelerating, or by increasing period of vibration. a red shift is an increase in period of vibration in light
re: time, perception, and the unbreaking of wine glasses: if, as proposed by the learned folks featured in this segment, time is an entropic motion, then the perception of past, now, future is immutable, and inviolable.. our future is in a less entropic state until we enter, and disturb it, thus decreasing its "orderliness"... our past, having been disturbed both by our entry and exit , has decayed to a more entropic state than our now, and our entering it can only disturb it again, thus increasing entropy rather than the decrease that would be required to re-perceive the moment
re: string theory, the multiverse, and 10 to the 500th: the huge number of imperceptible potential variables of state for the 10 dimensional strings required by the theory can only be resolved by one of three conclusions. multiverse, got the concept, but the math is wayyy off, or, though there are 10 to the 500th potential variables, a far fewer number are actually viable particles(if a variant calls for one or more simultaneous opposite, or contadictory actions, then it probably could be potentially possible, but extremely unlikely, just as a single example). the only way to really find out i guess is to sift through a few millenia of equations, and see which set actually resolve themselves to our "reality", if any might be quicker to try and rework the initial variables, and find a theory that works within the framework of our 4 dimensional plane, which would pare down the list of potential variables quite markedly

(note:editted thoughout viewing as i finished episodes to allow for my short term memory

11 years ago

check out Prof Brian Cox: A Night With the Stars, bbc 2. very nice :)

11 years ago

Episode 4 – The Origin of the Universe and everything in it.

There used to be a fundamental believe that the universe was created in a Big Bang Event 14 billion years ago.

The reasoning for the Big Bang Theory came up when it was observed that distant galaxies had an increasing red shift value.

This observation was then interpreted as the galaxies moving apart at a faster and faster rate the farther away they were from Earth.

The natural conclusion from this observation was that if the arrow of time was reversed that all of the galaxies must have started from a single point in Space-Time. The time estimate for this event was 14 billion years ago.

The Earth is 4.5 billion years old.

The only problem with the Big Bang Theory is that the original galaxy red shift has been misinterpreted and misunderstood.

Astronomical observations from nearby galaxies have shown that they may contain 2 or more Red Shift values. This information has been conveniently been ignored so that the Big Bang Theory and constantly expanding universe theory holds up.

The problem is that the Big Bang Theory is incorrect and is NOT the origin of our universe.

Problems with the Big Bang Theory.

It has been suggested from the Red Shift evidence that the farther away a galaxy is from Earth the faster it is moving away in the expanding universe.

This universal expansion will never end.

So what happens when galaxy expansion reaches the speed of light?

The expansion of the universe theory breaks down right here.

The expansion of the universe theory however broke down as soon as multiple red shifts were found coming from the same galaxy. This meant that there was another explanation for the Red Shift.

Our universe is filled with hydrogen gas and other dust particles. The longer that light from a distant galaxy is travelling through space the more likely that the smaller wave lengths of light will be reflected away. This is called the Red Shift Sunset Theory.

Over a certain distance of interstellar space only the longer wavelengths of red light will be able to make it through without being reflected away. The more distant the galaxy the more red shifted the light. Meaning that only the longest wavelengths of red light can make it through.

In the case of a galaxy showing multiple red shifts, this is an indicator of various levels of dust and gas that the light has had to travel through. The more red shifted the light the more dust and gas that the light has to travel through.

The best example to see this in real life is to 1) View the sky on a sunny day at noon. It is blue. 2) View a sunny sky at sunset. The sun's rays are now shifted to the orange red because they have to pass through more atmosphere. The sky is NOT red due to the Earth accelerating away from the sun.

Therefore the universe is not expanding with regards to a Big Bang explosion.

Therefore our universe did not originate in a Big Bang explosion.

So where did all the matter in the universe come from?

The matter in our universe comes from the basic function of Space-Time.

The function of Space-Time is to provide a location for the creation matter from pure energy.

Space-Time is dynamically active EVERYWHERE with the creation and destruction of matter at the Quantum level. This is a proven fact of Quantum mechanics and Space-Time.

Matter is simply another form of bundled energy created at the quantum level.

Albert Einstein's equation E = mcc gives us a clue.

Where E = Energy, m = mass, c = speed of light.

At any given time matter is being created and destroyed at the Quantum level in Space-Time.

More matter is being created at the quantum level than is being destroyed at any given time.

The proof of this is our planet in our solar system powered by our sun that is part of our galaxy that is part of our local group of galaxies.

1. Matter is created out of empty space at the Quantum level of Space-Time. Particles are created that become electrons and neutrons that then combine to form hydrogen the basic element of the universe.

2. Hydrogen atoms accumulate through electrostatic forces into hydrogen clouds.

3. The mass of the hydrogen clouds then warp space, resulting in a hydrogen gas ball that under the extreme force of gravity or other compressive outside force then begins a process of nuclear fusion becoming a sun.

4. The life of the sun then produces the other atoms of the periodic table.

5. The universe can NEVER run out of hydrogen atoms to create hydrogen gas clouds to enable star creation, because the very nature of Space-Time is to create particles from pure energy at the Quantum level. Quantum energy particles with a mass dependent on the energy input at the quantum level.

The process of particle creation is occurring everywhere in Space-Time.

Electrostatic forces and gravitation determine the location of galaxies and galaxy groups throughout our universe.

It is therefore not surprising that there is a web of interconnectedness between galaxies and galaxy groups throughout the universe.

The very nature of Space-Time to create particles at the Quantum level from pure energy explains the existence of EVERYTHING we see in our universe without the need of a Big Bang Theory.

11 years ago

Episode 2 - Critical comment on the concept that the world around us moves from an organized state to a more disorganized state. This is the law of thermodynamics and it is fundamentally wrong.

The examples shown in the episode 2 are of pages of a book being scattered, an egg breaking and so forth.

However the exact opposite is true in our universe. Our universe moves continuously from a disorganized state to a more organized state.

How can I say this?

Because life would not exist on the planet Earth, in our solar system, in our galaxy in our local group of galaxies if the law of thermodynamics was true. Meaning it would be impossible for life to exist on the planet Earth, orbiting our sun, within our solar system, within our galaxy within our local group of galaxies if the true fundamental law of the universe was not to move from a disorganized state to a more organized state.

Real life observations of the universe moving from a disorganized state to a more organized state.

1. Space-Time transforms energy into particles with mass.
2. These particles become hydrogen atoms.
3. Hydrogen atoms condense into hydrogen clouds.
4. Hydrogen clouds become suns.
5. The fusion process in a sun creates the other elements of the periodic tables.
6. A sun goes super nova and in the process a new sun and planets are formed.
7. The newly created elements allow for the creation of life on a planet.
8. That life evolves to become more and more complicated.
9. That life transforms the elements around it into more complex structure and tools.
10. I am a human being the most advanced animal on the planet Earth, using a laptop computer to watch a program created by other human beings, stored on a hard drive and sent across the internet the most advanced communications network on the planet Earth.

Conclusion: The fundamental law of the universe is to move from a disorganized state to a more organized state. One only has to look around and realize that this is the case.

The universe DOES NOT as a fundamental rule move from a organized state to a disorganized state. If it did, hydrogen atoms would not be formed in Space-Time, hydrogen gas clouds would not be formed, suns would not be formed, other elements would not be formed, planets would not be formed, life could not exist and this program would NEVER have been created.

Therefore based on the evidence that surrounds all of us in every day life the fundamental law of the universe is to move from a disorganized state to an organized state.

11 years ago

@Epicurus...will certainly put his mark here.
Be back tomorrow.

11 years ago


wow, that's a lot of detail on entropy & thanks, but that wasn't really what i was getting at. simply put, whether the bias entropy places on how things 'tend' to go is all there is to the matter of time directionality. nature [as we experience it] occurs forward, the processes only have a phenomenological coherence forward. the prospect of a ball lifting off the ground, flying into a bat i'm unswinging backward which then accelerates into the pitcher's hand is beyond merely 'improbable'. such a prospect only has relevance in our universe as the inverse of the prospect we know.


you seem to be saying a new alternative universe is spinning off of every permutation not taken in the quantum space. which seems, if i understand the concept, a rather profligate use of universes. the past is not, as we experience it, perhaps as indefinite as the theory of quantum physics would imply, according to your remarks. if i have eggs for breakfast, that observation will be the same no matter who reliably observes the fact.

at any rate, for a cosmos with so many potential careening alternatives, ours seems to be tolerably consistent and isolate, however seemingly arbitrary.