The Day the Universe Changed is a ten-part documentary television series presented by science historian James Burke. The series tells a series of stories of how specific scientific and technological advances have shaped the Western way of life.
The series posits that when one's view of the universe changes, the universe itself effectively changes. The series' primary focus is on the effect of advances in science and technology on western philosophy. The title comes from the philosophical idea that the universe essentially only exists as you perceive it through what you know; therefore, if you change your perception of the universe with new knowledge, you have essentially changed the universe itself.
To illustrate this concept, James Burke tells the various stories of important scientific discoveries and technological advances and how they fundamentally altered how western civilization perceives the world. The series runs in roughly chronological order, from around the beginning of the Middle Ages to the present.