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Take a mind-blowing journey through human history, told through six iconic objects that modern people take for granted, and see how science, invention and technology built on one another to change everything. These are the secrets of how we got to our modern world.

Wednesday at 10:00 PM on PBS
1 Season, 6 Episodes
April 17, 2019
Documentary & Biography
8.1/10
Cast: Jim Al-Khalili, Danielle George, Jim Meigs, Tiera Fletcher
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Breakthrough: The Ideas That Changed the World Full Episode Guide

  • 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.

  • The history of the rocket is examined, including its role as a weapon of war and use by astronauts.

  • The 9,000-year history of the car is explored, from its roots in dogsleds to Henry Ford's Model T.

  • Discover how robots were first conceptualized in ancient Rome and learn how their use has evolved.

  • Take to the sky with the dreamers whose work gave humans the ability to fly.

  • 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.

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Breakthrough: The Ideas That Changed the World is available to watch and stream on PBS. You can also buy, rent Breakthrough: The Ideas That Changed the World on demand at Amazon, PBS, Google Play, iTunes online.