Invisible Worlds
What Humans Cannot See with the Naked Eye



 
Invisible Worlds
What Humans Cannot See with the Naked Eye

 
Using state-of-the-art technologies, Richard Hammond goes beyond the limits of the naked eye and explores the hidden secrets of the invisible world around us.

Human vision is pretty miraculous, but our eyes aren’t quite as powerful as you might imagine. What we can see is stuff that reflects or emits light with wavelengths in a very narrow band (since you ask, from about 750 to 400 nanometres).

What we can’t see is the rest. That’s all matter that reflects or emits light over the other 99.99999999999% percent of the spectrum. In fact, we’re almost blind.



Richard Hammond journeys into the parallel universe that lies beyond the limits of the naked eye, in Richard Hammond's Invisible World, part of BBC One’s Science & Nature programming.

Using state-of-the-art imaging technologies, Richard discovers that it's as much the things we cannot see as those we can that shape our lives.


From spectacular natural phenomena such as vast, superfast lightning clusters, to one of the wonders of the living world – the hidden aerodynamics of bats – and our own technological achievements such as the awe-inspiring aerial work conducted on high-voltage power lines, Richard explores the hidden secrets of the invisible world around us.

Episode 1 - Episode one explores the world of ‘invisible light’ that surrounds us at all times.

The human eye is a remarkable piece of precision engineering, but it is also extremely limited.

Beyond the narrow range of light that makes up the familiar colours of the rainbow is a vast spectrum of light, entirely unseen.

But what if we could see beyond the narrow boundaries of our eyes and peer into this invisible realm?

Richard Hammond does just that, using groundbreaking new imaging technologies to take the viewer on a breathtaking journey of discovery beyond the visible spectrum, seeing the world, quite literally, in a whole new light.

From death-defying aerial repairmen in the United States using ultraviolet cameras to seek out an invisible force that lurks unseen on power lines, to German scientists unlocking the secrets of animal locomotion with the world's most powerful moving x-ray camera, to infrared cameras that can finally reveal the secrets within a humble beehive, he shows how new technologies are letting us see our world anew.

Episode 2 - In episode two, delve into the invisible world too quick for the human eye, with advances in imaging technology that can enhance human visual perception as never before.

Richard Hammond explores the extraordinary wonders of the world of detail hidden in the blink of an eye. The human eye takes about fifty milliseconds to blink. But it takes our brain around a hundred and fifty milliseconds to process what we see.

We're not aware of this time lag going on, but in those few milliseconds, there are extraordinary things happening that completely pass us by. But what if we could break through this speed limit? Bend and stretch time in ways never thought possible.

 
The human eye is an organ which reacts to light for several purposes. As a conscious sense organ, the eye allows vision.

Rod and cone cells in the retina allow conscious light perception and vision including color differentiation and the perception of depth. The human eye can distinguish about 10 million colors.


What new marvels would we see? Now, using the latest high-speed cameras, Richard takes us on a journey beyond our eye's limits, letting us see secrets hidden in every element of our planet. A world where thin air can shatter rock.

And water can tear through metal. A world where the fastest thing on earth lies right beneath our feet. And where a spectacular celestial display is finally captured, even though many have claimed it doesn't even exist.

Episode 3 - Finally, in episode three, explore the invisible world unfolding on too small a scale, or at too remote a distance, to be seen by the naked eye; an entirely microscopic realm – and a miniature world.


The human eye can see extraordinary detail, but the eye of a needle held at arm's length is pretty much at the limit of our vision.

Anything smaller is simply invisible, at least to the naked eye. But what if we could see this hidden world all around us in greater detail and magnification than ever before?

How different would our familiar surroundings then seem? Richard Hammond explores the astonishing miniature universe all around us, revealing that small is not only beautiful, it can also be very, very powerful.

From seeing the microscopic changes to ice crystals that can trigger an avalanche to watching in horror the invisible aftermath of a sneeze on a commuter train and learning how the surface of an ordinary-looking plant hides an astounding secret that will make walking on the moon safer, Richard harnesses cutting-edge technologies to transport the viewer into a spectacular micro realm.