The Day The Universe Changed (1985)

Episode 3. Point of View: Scientific Imagination in the Renaissance (2/6)

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Video Description

According to 14th century European thinking, Jerusalem was the center of the Universe. The study of optics led to the discovery of perspective geometry and the ability to accurately measure distances. The concept of perception changed everything, from art and Architecture, to mapping and exploration. Shows the startling changes that grew out of the study of Arab optics. From the discovery of perspective geometry came new painting and architecture, the ability to measure at a distance and to map the world, and the confidence that allowed Columbus to cross the Atlantic. Above all the new knowledge led to a new individualism.

1. fall of Byzantine Empire
2. Chrisalorus's mission to the Pope to prevent fall of Constantinople
3. teaching Greek classics to the Italians at Florence
4. tour of Greece - Claudius Ptolemy
5. Medici double entry bookkeeping
6. study of Italian heritage
7. desire to imitate Roman architecture
8. need for mathematics
9. Ptolemy's coordinates
10. Idea that Japan ... (read more)

Documentary Description

The Day the Universe Changed (subtitled "A Personal View by James Burke") is a British documentary television series produced by and starring science historian James Burke, originally broadcast in 1985. It was released in DVD form in 2009. A companion book of the same title, also written by Burke, was published the same year, presenting the same general premise of the television series in expanded detail. A revised edition subsequently appeared in 1995.

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 ci... (read more)

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