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Highest content of real physics Stargate/Star trek/Star wars

  1. Mar 7, 2016 #1
    People, and lots of documentaries, keep going on about how Star trek predicted this and that... Then Star wars is again supplied by a huge never ending bandwagon of fans without any real reason... Saber made of light that stops mid air, really?
    What about Stargate SG1? I think it's very underrated and truly overlooked and I think it's actually got the most amount of real physics of these 3 shows. Don't you think it trumps the other two for actual real math and physics content?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2016 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    I like SG but I don't think it has the most physics. I think Star Trek is the winner there. For invention ideas:
    - diagnostic bed
    - the tablet device the captain wrote on
    - the desktop computer in his room with a siri-like voice
    - flip-topcomunicator
    - phaser
    - tricorder
    - the warp drive idea

    From those inventions came:
    - several diagnostic bed designs
    - android and ipad device
    - desktop computers
    - flip-phones and smart phones with some features of the tricorder and siri
    - lasers for phasers
    - the alcubierre warp drive idea

    To be fair while Star Trek had a flip-top communicator it didn't have a dialing mechanism instead you casked Uhura to patch you thru to someone (reminscent to the old ATT operators and their patch boards).

    Some of the tricorder features are still beyond our reach but can be simulated via internet access. (some planets still lack access)

    We have handheld lasers but not with the punch of a phaser.


    and from these inventions you can see the physics and engineering ideas that were imagined into existence.
  4. Mar 7, 2016 #3
    But at the time of writing Star trek, all those things had nothing to do with real physics at that point in time... While Stargate has a lot to do with real physics at the point in time of writing.
  5. Mar 7, 2016 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    I guess I don't see your point. Star Trek actually predicted some trends or at least made them known to future scientists and engineers who then actually created these wonders.

    Star Gate on the other hand has the worm hole and occasionally a black hole that interferes with the wormhole. The alien tech is just that alien its not related to any known physics. Basically there's nothing in Star Gate that predicts something that we have now because of it and thats why I liked Star Trek as a kid. It was the dream of a utopian future where people traveled the stars and the problems of Earth were mostly solved with everyone looking to extend civilization to the galaxy with the attendant friction between races and worlds.
  6. Mar 8, 2016 #5

    Jonathan Scott

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    Gold Member

    The Stargate series tried hard to use "plausible-sounding" scientific ideas from the science fiction point of view. However, they completely broke my "suspension of disbelief" when they started using the "body-swap" communication device.
  7. Mar 8, 2016 #6


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    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    I have a movie set prop from the original Stargate (The original movie, not any of the series) hanging in my hallway/stairwell. Here's a photo:

  8. Mar 8, 2016 #7


    Staff: Mentor

    Personally, I would have preferred the Star Gate itself.
  9. Mar 8, 2016 #8


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    What, the giant spinning ring that sends you hundreds or thousands of light-years was more believable?:biggrin:

    Just leave room for the unstable vortex to form...
  10. Mar 8, 2016 #9


    Staff: Mentor

    I feel it would add a watery ambiance to the room and provide for ample air conditioning too. I could tell my unwelcome guest s to go touch the simulated water and poof they're off to another party without a phone to dial home.
  11. Mar 10, 2016 #10
    light sabres do not actually have blades of light rather energy and the energy is kept short by a form of gravity-well that is designed to pull in only one direction (not sure whether or not that would work in real life either but still)
  12. Mar 10, 2016 #11


    Staff: Mentor

    I've not heard of the gravity well idea which doesn't sound even remotely likely even in a fictional universe. I have heard of using a controlled plasma blade as a viable engineering solution provided we solve many technical issues like a compact power pack.

    Wikipedia has some commentary on Light Saber physics:


  13. Mar 10, 2016 #12
    You should try to separate the technological "predictions" from the math and physics. There's simply been a lot more time for people to invent ways to make the tech from ST real. (On top of it being longer running, with more technologies, considering the franchises as wholes.) I think in the near term SG will surpass ST for realized technologies: mostly because it was set in the present day (near past, now) and contains a lot of low hanging fruit like memory-shape metal and VR.

    In SG, the episode where they meet Thor for the first time, there's a brief discussion regarding pi. That's the extent of my memory of real math from the series. I don't know how much real math was discussed in ST. There is plenty of imaginary math in both, and not the real kind of imaginary. As far as SW goes, for an astromech, R2D2 is really bad at calculating odds.

    Physics is where I think SG outshines the others. Mostly because it tended to deal with real phenomena (i.e. nuclear reactions, gravity, supernovae, blackholes), with a generous helping of artistic license, of course.

    These are my thoughts. And now, at least for a little while, they have become yours.
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