Technology

The dumbing down of BBC4

I have never really got my head around quantum mechanics. I can follow the parallels and analogies right up to the point where serious mathematical expertise is required.

So I sat down with some interest to watch BBC4’s Atom program this evening. I was looking forward to find out quite what the Dirac equation is all about. But just as we got to it, the show put the equation up on screen and the presenter said:

Don’t try to understand it. Just look at it and marvel.

Boo! I want to understand! That’s what the BBC is for! Especially BBC4! Give me understanding!

Whatever next? Will they do a show on Shakespeare and just show us the cover of one of his plays, saying “Don’t try to read or watch it. Just look at it and marvel instead”?

0 responses to “The dumbing down of BBC4”

  1. I saw the first two in the Atom series, and it has been much better than most BBC science output. The presenter has actually tried to explain some difficult ideas.Anyway you should try Penrose’s “The Road to Reality”, humbly subtitled “A complete guide to the laws of the universe”. Should only take a few years to read.

  2. I saw the first two in the Atom series, and it has been much better than most BBC science output. The presenter has actually tried to explain some difficult ideas.Anyway you should try Penrose’s “The Road to Reality”, humbly subtitled “A complete guide to the laws of the universe”. Should only take a few years to read.

  3. I thought it was actually pretty well done. Trying to get your hear round the concepts of quantum mechanics in less than an hour is difficult enough, let alone explaining the mathematics behind it.Where do you start? What level of mathematical understanding do you assume the viewer has?I agree, it wasn’t a highly detailed mathematical programme, but then it was still head and shoulders above the rest of the dross that passes for TV at the moment.

  4. I thought it was actually pretty well done. Trying to get your hear round the concepts of quantum mechanics in less than an hour is difficult enough, let alone explaining the mathematics behind it.Where do you start? What level of mathematical understanding do you assume the viewer has?I agree, it wasn’t a highly detailed mathematical programme, but then it was still head and shoulders above the rest of the dross that passes for TV at the moment.

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