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The Code

Programme Run: 3 x 60 minutes
Production: BBC
First Transmitted: 2011 HD available

Hidden in the world around us are mysterious symbols and bizarre numbers that hold the key to understanding the universe. What do these numbers and symbols mean, why are they here and what can we learn from them? Professor Marcus du Sautoy takes us on a gripping treasure hunt to uncover the codes in the world around us.

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Professor Marcus du Sautoy reveals a hidden numerical code that underpins all nature. A code that has the power to explain everything, from the numbers and shapes we see all around us to the rules that govern our own lives. In this first episode, Marcus reveals how significant numbers apear throughout the natural world. They’re part of a hidden mathematical world that contains the rules that govern everything on our planet and beyond.


Starting at the hexagonal columns of Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway, Marcus discovers the code underpinning the extraordinary order found in nature - from rock formations to honeycomb and from salt crystals to soap bubbles.

Marcus also reveals the mysterious code that governs the apparent randomness of mountains, clouds and trees and explores how this not only could be the key to Jackson Pollock’s success, but has also helped breathe life into hugely successful movie animations.


Marcus enters the strange world of what happens next. His odyssey starts with the lunar eclipse - once thought supernatural, now routinely predicted through the power of the code. But more intriguing is what the code can say about our future.

Along the path to enlightenment, Marcus overturns the lemming’s suicidal reputation, avoids being crushed to death, reveals how to catch a serial killer and discovers that the answer to life, the universe and everything isn’t 42 after all - it’s 1.15.


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