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Dangerous Knowledge

All Episodes

  • Ended
  • BBC
  • 2007-01-08T10:30:00+10:30
  • 90 mins
  • 3 hours, 0 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • Documentary
In this one-off documentary, David Malone looks at four brilliant mathematicians - Georg Cantor, Ludwig Boltzmann, Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing - whose genius has profoundly affected us, but which tragically drove them insane and eventually led to them all committing suicide.

4 episodes

Special 1 Part 1

  • no air date — 90 mins

Special 2 Part 2

  • no air date — 90 mins

1x01 God's Messenger

  • Series Premiere

    2007-08-08T08:30:00+09:30 — 90 mins

The film begins with Georg Cantor, the great mathematician whose work proved to be the foundation for much of the 20th-century mathematics. He believed he was God's messenger and was eventually driven insane trying to prove his theories of infinity. Ludwig Boltzmann's struggle to prove the existence of atoms and probability eventually drove him to suicide.

1x02 The Enigma

  • 2007-08-08T08:30:00+09:30 — 90 mins

Kurt Gödel, the introverted confidant of Einstein, proved that there would always be problems which were outside human logic. His life ended in a sanatorium where he starved himself to death. Finally, Alan Turing, the great Bletchley Park code breaker, father of computer science and homosexual, died trying to prove that some things are fundamentally unprovable.