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Thread: The movie Interstellar made scientific history

  1. #31
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    Thanks for the link to the paper. Great read!!

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    According to section 3.4 of the paper, the fingerprint-like region Thorne alluded to turned out to be caused by a bug in the code.
    Yikes! I'm disappointed also by the artistic license imposed by the director. Reality is always the best art, why is that so hard to accept?

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Yikes! I'm disappointed also by the artistic license imposed by the director. Reality is always the best art, why is that so hard to accept?
    I never had high hopes, despite the hype. What hope I had was gone as soon as I saw the Gargantua stills. Although I was confident that Thorne would have produced a well-thought-out physics scenario, I was then equally confident that Nolan was going to have obscured it utterly in the final film.

    Grant Hutchison

  4. #34
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    At the end of the day though, the key element of the film is the audience's sense of reality, not what is actually true to the science. This is the essence of good science fiction. If the accurate image would look wrong to someone who doesn't understand the physics then the director is correct to select something not quite accurate, because science fiction is using science, it's not trying to teach science. it's the same with films computer games or whatever.... It's the sense of reality fro. The average audience, coupled with the overall cinematic effect which is most important in This context. Sure I agree nature is often stranger than fiction.

    Eta: I will raise warp drive for a second here. Should the director include time dilation? Answer I think not. The idea that in travelling at warp 9 would in fact just change the ships frame of reference and that ok you can get 100. Light Years in a few days, but you will be gone from earth for centuries is just useless to the story and would just seem unrealistic to the audience which is even more pertinent. The oddity to common Sense of Relativity such that you don't need to travel faster than light to actually travel effectively faster than light from the perspective of the observer in reference to the frame of reference of earth is just completely unbelievable unless you understand relativity in the first place.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2015-Feb-26 at 11:17 PM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    At the end of the day though, the key element of the film is the audience's sense of reality, not what is actually true to the science.
    But if they'd got the black hole depiction right, at least I would have had something interesting to watch to take my mind off the shambolic plot and terrible dialogue.
    I've never judged science fiction movies by the accuracy of their physics (which is just as well). But on this occasion a lot of hype was pumped out about how they were going to produce something realistic based on Kip Thorne's advice. And then they didn't deliver.
    I had the same reaction to Andy Weir's novel The Martian - much was promised about how uncompromisingly accurate the engineering was in that book, and yet I was hip-deep in howlers after a few pages. It wouldn't have been a big deal, if it hadn't been made a selling point.

    Grant Hutchison

  6. #36
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    Who knows if there would even be time dilation with warp drive, it's pretty much make-believe physics, so I'm fine with not having it like Star Trek doesn't. But if one is shooting for something closer to real physics, like actual GR solutions, then I do think the one thing Interstellar got right was including the gravitational time dilation (even if they exaggerated it for effect). If nothing else, Interstellar introduced the notion of "proper time" to the public, which is now an acceptable sci fi meme. But I wish they had gone whole-hog and introduced Doppler shifts also, while using as true of a solution for the visual effects as they could achieve. Gargantua is striking the way they did it, but a real solution would always be even better.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    But if they'd got the black hole depiction right, at least I would have had something interesting to watch to take my mind off the shambolic plot and terrible dialogue.
    I've never judged science fiction movies by the accuracy of their physics (which is just as well). But on this occasion a lot of hype was pumped out about how they were going to produce something realistic based on Kip Thorne's advice. And then they didn't deliver.
    I had the same reaction to Andy Weir's novel The Martian - much was promised about how uncompromisingly accurate the engineering was in that book, and yet I was hip-deep in howlers after a few pages. It wouldn't have been a big deal, if it hadn't been made a selling point.

    Grant Hutchison
    Fair enough, I agree they should be honest about it.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Who knows if there would even be time dilation with warp drive, it's pretty much make-believe physics, so I'm fine with not having it like Star Trek doesn't. But if one is shooting for something closer to real physics, like actual GR solutions, then I do think the one thing Interstellar got right was including the gravitational time dilation (even if they exaggerated it for effect). If nothing else, Interstellar introduced the notion of "proper time" to the public, which is now an acceptable sci fi meme. But I wish they had gone whole-hog and introduced Doppler shifts also, while using as true of a solution for the visual effects as they could achieve. Gargantua is striking the way they did it, but a real solution would always be even better.
    my argument here Ken is that Roddenberry took ideas from The theoretical physics of the time in using the concept of warping spacetime. whilst we can argue with the practicality and the subsequent theoretical description of how this would flood the ship with hawking radiation. The fact is the physics at the time backed up the idea that I'd you could warp space time relative to the ship as some kind of hyper particle I guess, one could travel that distance in that time. There is nothing in the laws of physics that forbids such (so long as you don't mind arriving dead ). However this would lead to massive time dilation in accordance with SR.

    By hyperparticle I refer to an idea that one is kind of taking a small section of warped space and time with you.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2015-Feb-26 at 11:30 PM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  9. #39
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    Aside, the fact that at just 1g one could reach andromeda and have stopped in 60 years still blows my mind. Equally that despite this more than 2.5 million. Years will have elapsed on earth.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    The fact is the physics at the time backed up the idea that I'd you could warp space time relative to the ship as some kind of hyper particle I guess, one could travel that distance in that time. There is nothing in the laws of physics that forbids such (so long as you don't mind arriving dead ). However this would lead to massive time dilation in accordance with SR.
    There isn't necessarily any time dilation, if you are just warping spacetime. The way Interstellar does it is to imagine a kind of tunnel through the "bulk" that connects points in spacetime. This is apparently a solution to GR if you have a stable negative energy substance that you can manipulate as needed, but that's pretty much make believe physics, because no such material is known. It is not necessary to "go fast", the trick is in building the tunnel. There's no need to change any frame, it's not even relativity really, it's just manipulation of the spacetime in a given frame to build such a tunnel. Like the rest of Interstellar, it's all science fiction, but it is a solution to GR equations.
    By hyperparticle I refer to an idea that one is kind of taking a small section of warped space and time with you.
    That's the "Albucierre drive" idea, but it's also science fiction. I don't mind complete science fiction, I think what separates Interstellar is that it actually does have one "true" physics lesson to impart-- the concepts of proper time and gravitational time dilation, which are well tested.

  11. #41
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    But surely any such tunnel would represent a significant warping of space time which would change the reference frame of the observer? This is a point thIt I thought at least was held about wormholes, either through SR or GR the basic principles add up.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2015-Feb-27 at 12:42 AM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    But surely any such tunnel would represent a significant warping of space time which would change the reference frame of the observer?
    The picture of a wormhole is a temporally persistent spatial structure, so the way the time would work at both ends just depends on the frames that anchor them. One could make them be the same frame and have no time dilation, and perhaps little time could play out within the wormhole itself. You could visit two distance places with synchronized time, and come back a normal time interval from when you left.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Feb-27 at 03:05 AM.

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