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GENIUS BY STEPHEN HAWKING: Can We Time Travel? (New Series Premiere)

Stephen Hawking, theoretical physicist
Courtesy of Bigger Bang
Stephen Hawking, theoretical physicist

Airs Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Stephen Hawking appearing on a billboard in Times Square as part of Demo 1. The volunteers are given a set of numbers which are coordinates, they had to work this out in order to get to a party invitation on time. This challenge looks at the difference between 3 dimensions and 4 dimensions and how we think about them.
Courtesy of Freya Williams / Bigger Bang Communications
Stephen Hawking appearing on a billboard in Times Square as part of Demo 1. The volunteers are given a set of numbers which are coordinates, they had to work this out in order to get to a party invitation on time. This challenge looks at the difference between 3 dimensions and 4 dimensions and how we think about them.
Norman, Paul and Marisol stood in front of the Deloreans with their dopplegangers used in Demo 3. The dopplegangers were used to help visualize the idea of creating a copy of yourself should you travel back in time.
Courtesy of Freya Williams / Bigger Bang Communications
Norman, Paul and Marisol stood in front of the Deloreans with their dopplegangers used in Demo 3. The dopplegangers were used to help visualize the idea of creating a copy of yourself should you travel back in time.
Marisol, Norman and Paul on top of Mount Lemmon observatory. This is as part of the final Demo where they have used atomic clocks to see the affects of gravity on time.
Courtesy of Freya Williams / Bigger Bang Communications
Marisol, Norman and Paul on top of Mount Lemmon observatory. This is as part of the final Demo where they have used atomic clocks to see the affects of gravity on time.

In each of six episodes, renowned scientist Stephen Hawking presents three ordinary people with a series of physical and mental challenges to show them how to think like a genius. GENIUS BY STEPHEN HAWKING will air on PBS Wednesdays, May 18-June 1, 2016.

“Do you need to be a genius to answer the big questions?” said Prof. Stephen Hawking. “I’m very pleased to be back on the air for PBS and National Geographic International with GENIUS – a project that furthers my lifelong aim to bring science to the public. It’s a fun show that tries to find out if ordinary people are smart enough to think like the greatest minds who ever lived. Being an optimist, I think they will.”

Through the use of large-scale experiments and remarkable demonstrations, the program decodes the mysteries of evolutionary biology, astrophysics and quantum mechanics, solving questions like “Why am I here?,” “Are we alone?” and “Can we travel through time?” Each episode features three people with curious minds who must use their own intellect to learn what humanity’s most notable thinkers have discovered about the greatest scientific mysteries over the centuries.

GENIUS takes its participants (and viewers at home) back in time – to ancient Greece, where Eratosthenes calculated the Earth’s circumference – and to more recent history and such thinkers as Edward Hubble, who uncovered and established the distances between our planet and the vast galaxies throughout the universe.

Episode 1: “Can We Time Travel?” airs Wednesday, May 18 at 9 p.m. - Join Stephen Hawking as he challenges three ordinary people to determine if time travel is possible. The fascinating journey of discovery features DeLoreans, atomic clocks, a giant black hole and a large swath of New York City.

Stephen Hawking is on Facebook.

GENIUS BY STEPHEN HAWKING is produced by Bigger Bang, which also produced the science films “Hubble’s Cosmic Journey” and “Mission Pluto” for PBS and National Geographic Channels International. Bigger Bang’s Ben Bowie and Iain Riddick serve as the series’ executive producers.