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This is Absolute Genius.
So sit down, buckle up and get ready for take-off!
Each show we'll introduce you to a different genius.
An amazing person who had a genius idea which shaped the world.
And they will inspire us
to come up with our own genius idea at the end of each show.
But will it be any good?
Will it be any good? It'll be...
BOTH: Absolute Genius!
And on today's show a master of gravity,
who changed the way we see the universe.
Get ready to feel the full force of his genius!
Three, two, one, lift-off!
Today we're going to introduce you
to one of the greatest scientists ever to live.
A genius who helped uncover the invisible force that controls
not only how everything in the world moves, but everything in the universe!
-From this bouncing ball.
-To the stars and moon in the sky.
Ladies and gents, we give you the man who discovered
how gravity works, Sir Isaac Newton!
Oh, get me down.
All right, then.
There you are... Gravity.
Inspired by Newton we're going to be coming up with our own genius idea
later on in the show.
'When we attempt to defy gravity!'
But first, let's find out a bit more about him.
'We've come to Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire
'where our genius grew up, and made some of his greatest discoveries.'
Do you reckon he ever fell down these stairs?
What, gravity, yeah.
'Newton was born in 1643, when the laws of nature,
'and the universe were a big mystery.
'It was the early days of modern science.'
-Wow, so this is his actual bedroom.
Look at the state of his bed!
-Apparently he was a very messy person.
Obviously, in his work life he was an absolute genius.
And talking of his work, this is where he would have done most of it.
Just literally a wooden table and a wooden stool.
-Yeah, no television, no computer...
But maybe that's why he was such a genius and he worked so well,
because there were literally no distractions around here whatsoever.
All he could do was just sit here, discover and create.
And be a genius.
'Newton made many advances in our understanding of the universe,
'maths and physics.
'But it was here, where he begun to make his ground-breaking discoveries
And it all started under this very apple tree in Isaac Newton's garden
and with this apple, well not this apple,
the original's a bit mouldy by now, but with an apple. Watch this.
Did that give you any genius thoughts?
Well, it did for Isaac, because he started thinking,
"Why did the apple go downwards, instead of upwards, or sideways?"
He started to think there was some invisible force
that was pulling the apple, and everything else, towards the ground.
This force was gravity.
All of that from an apple.
'Newton's genius idea was in understanding how gravity works.
'He realised it's a pulling force, that makes apples fall to the ground
'and stops people floating off into the sky!
'And he discovered gravity's force even tugs on the moon,
'keeping it orbiting the Earth.
To understand more about how gravity works
we've been joined by a Genius Helper...
Marty Jopson, a scientist and EGGS-pert on Newton!
-How are you doing, all right?
-Pleased to meet you.
-Why are you in Newton's kitchen with loads of eggs?
Well, we have a little EGGS-periment.
I like your "yolk".
We're going to do an experiment with two eggs,
one that's an egg and one that's an eggshell.
-We need to blow the egg.
-There you go. You take one of those.
-I haven't done this for a while.
Take an egg, have an egg and then you pierce in like that.
-Straight in, like that.
-Then do it on the other side, like that.
Then you need to stir the egg on the inside, like that.
Stir, stir, stir...
Now I'm sure this experiment...
I've got three holes!
It's fine, it's fine.
I think me bottom hole's not big enough.
-It had to happen to one of us, didn't it?
-What a mess!
You great muppet!
-What a mess! Now Marty, whilst we're busy doing this...
..What kind of a guy was he?
I think he was a grumpy, unpleasant sort of chap.
He fell out with loads of people in his life.
Loads of people who were other scientists,
he had these huge rows with them, all by letter.
But then he was really, really famous.
He was a huge celebrity by then.
He was the man, everyone wanted to know him
and they would all come and visit him. "Oh, it's Mr Newton,
-"oh, oh, oh, oh." He was a genius.
So, if we do the experiment, we take these two things,
one's an egg, one's an eggshell and we drop 'em from a height.
Which one's going to land first?
It's obvious the heavier one with the egg inside.
-I mean, if we weigh them you'll be able to see.
That's an eggshell and that's an egg.
-Conclusive, when you look at it like that, it's a bit obvious.
So very simple, all we need to do is do the experiment.
-You take them.
-One there and one there.
We're going to drop them from upstairs?
Yeah, from the top floor window.
Go on, then. Right.
OK, Marty, Dick's up there, we're down here.
-What's going to happen now?
-He's going to drop the eggs
and we're going to record it on this super high-speed camera,
so we can see exactly when they land.
My money's on the really full one.
There's going to be a considerable distance, there's got to be.
-That's what you say...
ALL: Three, two, one. Go!
'Don't go chucking eggs around at home. They make a stinking mess!'
Let's have a look.
It looked like they landed pretty much at the same time.
A fifth of a second difference, something like that.
-Why does that happen?
-Newton said that gravity pulls on everything
and means that everything gets faster and faster at the same rate
as it falls to the Earth. It means it always lands at the same time.
It doesn't matter how big, how fat or how thin you are,
you'll land at the same time if you're dropped from the same height.
-And this was part of his genius?
-This was his genius, yes.
'And here are some more EGGS-cellent facts about gravity!
'The Genius Top Five!
'At five, if you stood on Mars,
'you'd weigh a lot less than you do on Earth.
'That's because your weight is based on the force of gravity's pull
'and Mars has less gravity than Earth.'
'At four, black holes are points in space where gravity
'is so strong, if anything gets too close it's sucked in, even light!
'Yep. That's where the name comes from.
'Three! Jedward have gravity defying hair!
'We're joking. That's just silly!
'At two, Earth's gravity is so strong, rockets need to travel
'at about 25,000 miles an hour to escape it and enter space.
'And at one, baraphobics are people with a fear of gravity,
'including the worry it might suddenly fail
'and they'll go floating off.'
Oi! Come back here!
'We've seen a cracking display of Newton's law of gravity,
'but how does gravity affect us?'
'We need our Genius scientist, Fran.
-'Fran explains things in ways even
'Best of all, she loves a good experiment
'and she's guaranteed to pop up round the corner
'just when you need her most.'
We've been learning about gravity,
but we want to know how gravity affects us as people.
-First of all, right, step on these scales, Dom.
It's not too bad, what is it, around 70 kilograms?
Around 75 kilograms. Yeah, yeah, let's say that.
-He has had too many dirty kebabs.
You have eaten a bit too much, but that's OK.
Why do you think it is that you weigh 75 kilograms?
What is it, it's got to be a bit of muscle. A bit of...
A bit of that!
A lot of that and some heavy bones.
Well, it is, it's all of those things,
because the reason you weigh 75 kilograms is gravity
is pulling on all that stuff that you're made of,
including your brains, your bones, your muscles
and it's pulling you down with a force
that's equivalent to the weight of 75 kilograms.
So, it's not kebabs, right? That is gravity that's making me that heavy.
Yeah, but the kebabs have a little bit to do with it as well.
I haven't got time to be going on a diet, or anything like that.
-Is there any way, by science, you can make me lighter?
Right, here on earth, gravity is what it is.
We can't really change it.
But what we can do is, there is another way to change your weight,
by changing, like, the push and pulls on your body.
-That's called G-force.
I'm going to show you this,
but for this we've got to go and play in the playground.
We'll get you fit, your favourite.
So, here I have got Mr Newton.
-Of course, it looks just like him.
How dare you!
-He's going to be, sort of, like our test pilot, let's say.
We can see how much he weighs on these scales.
He weighs about 500 grams, doesn't he?
We've got a little camera here that will be looking at his weight.
What we're going to do to Mr Newton is speed him up
and slow him down and that will subject him to
different pushes and pulls and it should change his weight.
-Well, I need one of you to get on the swing.
-You like swings?
-You like swings.
-We always fight over who's going to go on the swing.
You are more swing size.
OK, hold him, but just at the middle there.
-We are going to be watching his weight.
And, you will speed up and slow down
and when you do that his weight should change.
-All right, here we go.
Can you go a bit faster.
-He's getting heavier. Is that right?
He should be getting heavier when you speed up.
-When you slow down, he should get a bit lighter.
-He's going up to about 800 grams.
-No, more - 1,000 grams.
And the higher I go, the more...
Argh! BREAKING GLASS
'We're going to attempt to defy gravity in our own genius challenge.
'But first we want to experience some proper G-force.
'So one of us is about to go on this, the human centrifuge!'
-What is this?
-What is that?
-That is bizarre, isn't it?
This looks horrific!
'A human centrifuge is used to test the effect of G-force on the body,
'the kind of G-force experienced by jet pilots.
'To explain how it works it's G-force genius Alec Stevenson.'
You're inside the pod, it starts up, it starts spinning around.
What actually physically and mentally happens to you
when you're inside?
OK, you start spinning around and gradually you are going
to feel yourself weigh more. So if you try and move your arms up,
you'll feel at 2 or 3G, they weigh two or three times
as much as they weighed before.
It's difficult to move up and move your hands up.
You'll also feel that your face and your skin will start to drag down,
as it weighs more under G.
-Sounds quite uncomfortable, doesn't it?
-You get a floppy face?
A big floppy face, yeah. Which of you two are going on?
Well, I don't know.
Obviously, it's not something that we're going to choose to go in.
They tend to say people who are shorter have a bit of an advantage.
There's less of a distance to go from the heart to the head.
-How does that work?
-There you go.
-Hang on a minute, say why?
There's less distance for the heart to pump blood to your head.
It needs to get from here to here.
The shorter the distance between that, the more advantage you've got.
You're little, small. He said it. It's better.
'Jet pilots can experience up to 9G.
'It makes their bodies feel incredibly heavy,
'with the blood inside pulled downwards.
'Some people experience blackouts, or G-LOC.
'That's G-Induced Loss of Consciousness.
'There's no telling how Dom will react,
'so he's starting off slowly.
'And keeping a close eye on him will be medical expert Des Connelly...'
-You look quite nervous now, to be honest.
-I've never actually seen you look so nervous.
-I hate it.
I've got to say this is a horrific environment to be in.
-I bet you really enjoy it.
-Oh, yeah, I'll really enjoy it(!)
Sick bag, just in case.
Ready to go.
-Here we go.
2.6G, 30 seconds.
It's suddenly just going to kick in.
Here we go.
I want out!
He didn't like that.
Are you all right?
It didn't look like he enjoyed that at all.
Literally, as soon as we started going,
I started going like that.
We'd barely started.
We got up to about 1.2G.
His face went a funny colour. He looked a bit odd.
I don't know if he enjoyed it at all. I've known him many years,
I've never seen him look like that before.
I tell you what, supposing we just go for 2G?
If I'm going to be honest, I can't bear it.
I'm going to give it one more shot.
I know what's going to happen,
it's going to be the same result, but let's do it one more time.
OK, Dom, we're ready to go.
Here we go again.
4.3 to second, stand by.
This time they're starting out a lot slower, so he gets used to it
and suddenly it'll start getting a bit quicker.
This is 1G.
I'll call out each 0.1 of a G as we go up.
Going to 1.2 now.
He looks a bit more comfortable this time.
And that's 2G.
My arms, I can barely lift them up.
-Look, I don't know if you can see at home...
-We can see.
..But my teeth feel like they're being pulled out.
Look at his face!
I've survived 2G.
But can I go up to 2.6 G?
The kind of G-force you might feel
just for a split second on a rollercoaster ride.
But I'll be subjected to it for a full 15 seconds.
I'm here now, I might as well try it,
I know this is where some people go into G-LOC, they pass out, um...
-So we'll see what happens.
-Go on, Dom!
'At 2.6G, the centrifuge will make Dom weigh
'around two-and-a-half times his normal weight.'
I can feel myself getting really heavy.
I'm really fighting not backing out now.
-I can barely lift my hands....
-That's 2.6G there.
My cheeks are really coming down now. I'm blacking out.
I can't explain that. It feels like this bag
is made out of solid metal.
It's actually not very comfortable to watch
cos his face is going a different shape.
'He's done it!
'Dom's made it up to 2.6G in the human centrifuge!'
Going down now.
-Happy with that?
Yeah. I've experienced it. It was a...
..very interesting experience actually, I've got to say.
And I'm glad I did it. I don't think I want to do it again.
There you go. he doesn't want to do it ever again. But he made 2.6G!
We've seen how Newton discovered how gravity works.
We've learned how speeding up or slowing down changes your weight.
'And we've seen G force make Dom go very heavy!
'Now we're ready to take on gravity itself. It's the Genius Idea.'
Inspired by Newton's genius
we've come up with our own Genius Challenge.
Yeah, you see, we are going to defy gravity
in what is quite cosily known as the Wall Of Death.
It's quite frankly nuts and this is what it's all about.
Riding the Wall Of Death is a daredevil stunt
that dates back to the early 1900s.
It involves motorcyclists defying gravity
by riding around circular, vertical walls.
'And as I braved the human centrifuge,
'it's only fair that Dick gets a go.'
Our Genius Idea is to beat gravity by whizzing round the Wall Of Death!
Our challenge - Dick will sit on a motorbike
going so fast it sticks to the walls, defying the force of gravity.
Our problem - if we're wrong, Dick can come crashing down
to earth with a bang!
But before we do our challenge we've got to learn
how the bike will stay on the wall.
So we're off to Cambridge University, where Newton studied.
University? I love university! Home of students!
And our next Genius helper,
engineering expert Dr Hugh Hunt.
Righty-ho, Dick, Dom, this is where it is. It's a turntable.
I want to show you what force it is
-that's pushing you out onto the Wall Of Death.
I want you guys to sit down on here near the edge. You both can do it.
-You've got to see it to believe it.
-This is bringing back
bad memories for me. I'd rather he just does it.
All right. I'm going to get you spinning up...
About time I did something really, isn't it?
..And it's just like what it's going to be like for you
-on that Wall Of Death, that force pushing you outwards.
I can feel it a bit. I'm holding myself in really tight.
This is getting harder. Argh!
-We nearly had a bit of an issue. How did that feel?
Could you control it?
I was holding the position for as long as I could and then in the end
you can't control it, because that force just pushes you back.
In my case, it makes you fall off the turntable.
The force pushes you out and that force pushing you out
is holding your bike onto the wall.
-Right. Got you.
-That's what it's all about.
And there was no way of forcing that the other way.
So the bike will never come off the wall...
-..with that force behind it.
So the bike's pushed outwards by a force.
But it needs something else to help it stick to the wall and defy gravity.
As Dom is about to demonstrate.
Right, why do we need water on this freezing cold day outside?
You need friction for your Wall Of Death to hold you up,
-to stop you falling down.
-Put that glass of water on my tray here.
Now, friction, see if I tip this at an angle,
it doesn't slide because of friction.
That friction's quite important when we're going around...
-It's not much friction though.
-You don't need much.
-You don't need much.
-Hang on a minute, what's he doing now?
-The guy's a lunatic!
-I know! That's the idea!
-Here he goes.
-Look at it!
-It's staying on. Stuck!
Totally stuck to it.
That is mad.
-Dom, have a go.
-Yeah. Have a go?
You've got to keep steadily increasing speed,
nothing sudden, but just steadily...
He is definitely not a scientist.
This is all going to go wrong any minute now.
Watch out. What about round my head?
'Friction is helping hold the water in place.
'Even Hugh can't shift it!
'And that same friction should help Dick's bike tyres stick to the wall.'
This whole thing started with Newton here hundreds of years ago.
Newton's room's over there.
And Newton, he kind of figured all this stuff about moving in a circle,
all the forces - gravity, friction.
If only Newton knew what was going to be happening tomorrow,
he'd be so proud of you.
-You'd best go and get yourself sorted for it.
-Go on! Get ready!
See you, man.
'Dry run over, it's time for the real thing.
'Six metres high.
'Completely vertical walls, And no crash mat at the bottom!'
I'm glad I did the centrifuge and not this.
We need to ask some questions about this
before I go anywhere near that bike.
And the first one will be, "Have there actually been any deaths?"
And here's the man with the answers.
Wall Of Death master and Genius Helper Ken Fox.
Hi, Ken. Why's it called the Wall Of Death?
Has anyone actually died in here?
In this wall, not on this wall, they haven't.
But they have on other walls. Inherently, yes there is a danger.
If you fall and crash and the bike lands on you,
-you're going to get hurt.
So you've got to do everything to prevent that from happening.
I suppose the dangers are reduced by the fact
that science is on your side.
But then you've got many things going against you.
You've got punctures, chains breaking.
You've got more negatives than you have positives.
Let me get this straight. If the bike breaks down on the wall,
there's only one way it will go and that's down.
Well, no, not always. Sometimes they go up and then down.
Sometimes they go forward and then down.
-But the final result is down, yeah.
'While Dick psyches himself up,
'here's a not so clever way to try and defy gravity.'
It's The Not So Genius Idea.
In 1982 a man called Larry Walters tied over 40 helium balloons
to a garden chair.
He was lifted almost 5,000 metres - so high he couldn't get down!
After hours of floating he finally managed to pop some balloons,
crashing back down to earth on a power line.
Lucky he didn't get hurt!
A not so genius way of defying gravity!
And now, for my attempt.
Put your hat on. Look, you've even got Special Cam.
-Special Cam is so we can see
his terrified face the whole way through it.
How are we going to do this? Where am I going?
You're going to sit here, put your bottom there,
and your legs down there, and put your hands just there.
That looks comfy, don't it(!)
Where's your seatbelt?
-You're just going to fall off.
-Looks like I'm going to.
Feels like I'm going to already.
How's it going to feel going round this ramp?
You'll be sweating, panicking, you won't get your breath.
You'll probably feel a bit faint and dizzy.
-Apart from that, all right!
-Brilliant(!) Come on then.
'Ken doesn't have to wear a helmet,
'because he needs to be able to see in all directions.
'This is not something to attempt at home.'
'First, some gentle laps around the bottom.
'Just to get him in the mood.'
Lean back to me.
-He's not happy.
-He's not at all happy.
I'll tell you now, he's not looking happy at all.
I know his face and it's not a good one.
Don't try and get off.
-Right. You all right?
The main thing about it is
that you feel like you're falling that way.
You can tell if it got faster, it would get worse.
-How much faster is it going to go on the real thing?
ENGINE REVS Oh!
'Warm up over. It's time for the Genius Idea.
'Dick will now defy gravity by riding the Wall Of Death.'
Lean to me a little bit.
Lean back to me.
'We're off the ground! Just.'
That's enough! I want to come down now!
'Before we go any higher, I need to stop.'
There you go.
Why are you taking it off?
I'm done. We're not doing it again.
-I'm really not doing it again.
-Just have a little breather.
I can understand why you're having a break.
When I did the centrifuge I'd have a break and then I went back on.
No, I can't do it. What are we going to do?
-That's it. That's the end then.
You are such an absolute wuss!
See what you think first. Don't just go straight up there.
'Ladies and gentlemen, using what Newton taught us about forces,
'I will now attempt to beat gravity.
'But will I be able to go higher than Dick?
'We're picking up speed
'Moving off the floor.
I can't watch.
'This is unreal. I'm defying gravity!'
'The bike's being pushed out to the wall,
'and friction's helping the tyres stick. This really is Genius!'
I don't know how you did that. Now do you know what I mean?
-You know what I mean?
-Nah! It was like riding a bike!
We've learned about gravity,
and Newton's genius discoveries about how it works.
We've seen how forces can affect the human body - my human body!
And using Newton's genius,
we've defied gravity on the Wall Of Death.
-Well, Dom has!
All of this because of one man.
Isaac Newton, sir, you are an absolute genius.
Why, thank you.
It went right through me!
-Don't wobble it!
-I'm not doing anything!
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