true nature of the smallest elements that make up our
universe - the atoms, photons and electrons - has long
mystified and tormented our greatest scientists.
they ruled by order or by mere chance? The
answer could reshape our perception of reality.
field of science is known as quantum mechanics, and it
was major point of debate between acclaimed scientists
Albert Einstein and
the probing documentary 'Einstein's Nightmare',
theoretical physicist and author Professor Jim
Al-Khalili attempts to settle their dispute once and for
At the heart of the debate is the question as to whether
reality as we know it exists when we're not observing
it. Bohr believed that the smallest matter consists only
of probabilities and contradictions, and its true
reality cannot be fully known or measured.
devotee of definitive statistical science, Einstein
argued otherwise. The notion that nature was merely a
game of chance ran counter to Einstein's core beliefs.
Adding fuel to the fire of their debate, Bohr's ideas
also contradicted Einstein's groundbreaking theory of
relativity because it speculated that these
unpredictable sub-atomic particles could move faster
than the speed of light.
This debate has raged on in the many decades since
Einstein and Bohr made their professional disagreements
Professor Al-Khalili sets out to resolve this quandary
As his jumping-off point, he calls upon
two key ideas related to quantum mechanics - the
Bell's inequality - to properly produce his
His tests involve deep dives into light, color and
temperature. He uses coins, cards and other props to
illustrate specific lessons.
Viewers will be anxious to learn which side of the
debate Al-Khalili falls upon in the end, even if they
continue to find the concept of quantum mechanics
Unlike many other dense science-based documentaries,
Einstein's Nightmare doesn't play like a boring
classroom lecture; it has a real vision for unique and
an ambitious undertaking, and it does a masterful job of
communicating complex scientific theory through a series
of experiments that are easy to understand and fun to