Jonathan Edwards Looks Into

Jonathan Edwards presents a series exploring how science both shapes and explains our world.

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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0101Traffic20060112

Have you ever been on a motorway and the traffic grinds to a halt for no obvious reason? It's maddening when it happens, but if we could only see the wider picture, we might then realise that individual drivers are part of a larger mass that behaves according to complex physical laws.

Jonathan Edwards sets out to discover the physical laws that govern traffic flow.

0102Memory20060119

Jonathan Edwards looks into memory.

Jonathan has always found it easier to remember numbers than names.

Was this something he was born with, or has it come about through practice? Or is it a bit of both?

Jonathan's astounding triple jump in 1995 owed a lot to the precision of his run-up.

Looking back, he wonders if there's any connection between a mathematical brain and his athletic success.

Jonathan discusses this with sports psychologists, but will they be able to give him any definitive answers?

0103 LASTSports Fabrics20060126

Not so long ago, athletes competed in cotton vests and baggy shorts.

But in today's competitive climate, where winning margins are often measured in hundredths of a second, athletes look to hi-tech sports fabrics for sporting advantage.

Sports clothes are now marketed to the public at large, and science has become a major selling point.

Jonathan discusses some of the new textiles with scientists and manufacturers.

Breathable fabrics might allow sweat to escape and at the same time keep the rain out, but will they help us perform any better?

0201Beauty20070314

What makes someone or something beautiful and why does beauty move us? Is it an instinctive reaction or can we objectify beauty and define it, as some have tried to do, in terms of geometry and mathematics? Jonathan visits the National Gallery in London and talks to aestheticists and psychologists about a concept which proves extraordinarily difficult to pin down.

020220070321

He talks to heptathlete Kelly Sotherton and UK Athletics Performance Director Dave Collins about the importance of mental preparation.

Jonathan's athletics career is over, but he enjoys a round of golf.

When a sports psychologist at Sheffield Hallam University puts him into a trance, will his putting show any improvement?

0203 LAST20070328

This programme looks into Artificial Intelligence and what it may offer in the future.

Jonathan visits the Department of Informatics at Edinburgh University for a crash course in AI.

After seeing a range of applications, he emerges with renewed respect for the human body, a biological machine that frequently gets taken for granted.