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Science of Interstellar

  1. Jan 29, 2015 #1


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    (Please feel free to move if I've picked the wrong forum.)

    I bought and started reading Kip Thorne's book.

    Chapter 1 is all about the people who met to bring the film and book into being.
    Chapter 2 is the beginning of the discussion of science.

    On page 1 (one) of this first (first) science chapter, Kip tells us that "...the universe was born in a gigantic explosion...."

    An explosion.


    Should I bother to read on?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2015 #2
    I would ignore the "explosion" mistake/oversimplification and carry on. I'm quite curious as to how he justifies:

    1. The planet on the edge of the black hole event horizon having tidal waves although it should be tidally locked.
    2. The same planet retains an atmosphere and liquid water eventhough this environment should be bathed in Xrays at millions Kelvin.

    I get that if the black hole is about 10^8 solar masses Kerr black hole you can have a planet that's close enough to experience the extreme time dilation shown in the film and at the same time have a stable orbit (orbits beyond the ISCO) and not being tidally disrupted. However, I'm puzzled as to why it's not tidally locked and how it retains an atmosphere and liquid water in this extremely hot environment.
  4. Jan 29, 2015 #3
    I would read on, at least a little while longer. This could just be pandering, as it might turn off some readers (and be a bit boring) to go through why the big bang isn't an explosion, plus its not catchy.

    If he continues to make mistakes like this, it shouldn't take too long to find out.
  5. Jan 30, 2015 #4


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    I haven't read The Science of Interstellar, but I have read one or two other books* by Kip Thorne, which were worth reading.

    He is a famed and accomplished physicist. So there's that. I'd give him the benefit of the doubt. [Edit: In terms of continuing the book. Not necessarily the "explosion" part.]

    *(Now I can't find the book or books. 'Probably around here somewhere. I couldn't have hallucinated reading a Kip Thorne book, could I? Hmm.)
  6. Feb 2, 2015 #5


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    The book is written for a lay audience so I think it's fine to use. It might not be precisely correct but it's close enough for a popular understanding.
  7. Feb 4, 2015 #6
    After watching the film, coming from a science idiot (me), they brushed too much under the carpet with the 4th and 5th dimension, time distortion angle.

    If everyone on Earth was facing imminent doom, NASA wouldn't have had the time to discover how to make a wormhole in the first place, let alone make one that points to a galaxy that might have habitable planets. They'd have to make it there first before time was rendered irreverent.
  8. Feb 4, 2015 #7


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    Yes, they had to. They had a lot to cover, and did not pander to the audience.

    I think there's a misunderstanding here. NASA did not make the wormhole, and certainly not in the present day of the movie. The wormhole was made by what seemed to be mysterious, powerful entities (which we know are actually humans, from way far in the future).

    And I think you mean irrelevant. ;)
  9. Feb 4, 2015 #8
    (which we know are actually humans, from way far in the future)

    There can't be any humans from way far in the future as life on Earth was facing extinction at the said present time. Now we are floating around in the obscure ideology of made up, alternative dimensions. The film can't make sense. One can only enjoy it if they entertain this silliness.

    You'll survive after falling into a black hole (if you eject from your ship that's being shredded by space debris) and it lets you see the people you love awhile being able to interact with them from past events? Apparently it then sends you safely home.

    How cheesy and nauseating.
  10. Feb 4, 2015 #9


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    That's your assertion. OK, you don't agree with the film.

    Most people who object to the film have been coming up with fairly well-crafted objections that are challenging to refute.

    OK. You thought it was silly and cheesy. Noted. Not much more to say really.
  11. Feb 4, 2015 #10


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    We've had way too many threads explaining how bad the movie is. This is about the book. Please only post about the book.
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