NOVA: Hunting the Hidden Dimension


What do clouds, stalks of broccoli, and the rhythm of your heart have in common? Fractals – the irregular, repeating shapes that are found almost everywhere in nature, but whose governing principles were considered beyond the limits of our mathematical understanding well into the 20th century. But today, scientists, designers and inventors are using fractal geometry to make breakthroughs in fields ranging from wireless communications, to cancer research, to the search for solutions to global climate change.

Weaving together fresh reporting from the front lines of science with a mathematical detective story, NOVA’s Hunting the Hidden Dimension takes us into the mysterious realm inside our world that these maverick mathematicians endeavor to map, exploring the remarkable findings that are deepening our understanding of nature and inspiring a new wave of scientific innovation.

Hunting the Hidden Dimension is a co-production of Kikim Media and Quest Productions. It was produced and directed by Emmy and George Foster Peabody Award-winning filmmakers Michael Schwarz and Bill Jersey, co-produced by Edward Gray and edited by John Haptas.

The producers wish to acknowledge the contributions to the film of Dr. Wolfgang Beyer, who created 12 of the images of the Mandelbrot set which we used in the film. We apologize for inadvertently omitting Dr. Beyer’s credit from the film itself. Dr. Beyer’s images, which were created with the software program Ultra Fractal 3, can be found at Wikimedia. His homepage is Wikimedia fractal images courtesy of Dr. Wolfgang Beyer.

Hunting the Hidden Dimension was made possible by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and by NOVA.