Breakthrough: The Ideas that Changed the World

Breakthrough: The Ideas that Changed the World is a PBS documentary series that tells the story of humanity's ingenuity through six iconic inventions: the telescope, the airplane, the robot, the car, the rocket, and the smartphone. From Galileo to Edwin Hubble; from Leonardo da Vinci's "flying machines" to the modern commercial plane; from first-conceptualized one in ancient Rome to the Roomba; from its roots in dogsleds to Henry Ford's Model T, ... The series tells how humans invented those inventions and how they shaped our world.

Episode 1 - The Telescope

Episode 1 - The Telescope
Meet the brilliant minds throughout history, from Galileo to Edwin Hubble, responsible for creating the telescope. Today, their invention allows humanity to reach the furthest limits of seeing - 13 billion light-years out.

Episode 2 - The Airplane
Take to the sky with the dreamers whose work gave humans the ability to fly. From Leonardo da Vinci's "flying machines" to the modern commercial plane, without these inventions, we may have never left the ground.

Episode 3 - The Robot
Learn how robots were first conceptualized in ancient Rome, and see how their use has evolved over the centuries, from the calculator to the Roomba. Then, take a sneak peek at what future robots will be able to do.

Episode 4 - The Car
Go for a ride through the 9,000-year history of the car, from its roots in dogsleds to Henry Ford's affordable and assembly line-built Model T, and meet the scientists working on the next generation of self-driving automobiles.

Episode 5 - The Rocket
Learn the explosive history of the rocket, from its origin in ancient China, to its use as a weapon of war, to how adding hydrogen allowed it to carry astronauts all the way to the moon.

Episode 6 - The Smartphone
Dial in to the fascinating history of the smartphone, from its roots in Morse Code to 2007, when Apple unveiled the first-ever iPhone. Plus, see how the next generation of smartphones will allow us to communicate through them just by thinking.

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