Wednesday, 3 June 2015

The Relatively bad science of Interstellar


I tried to enjoy Interstellar - it looked great - but so much of it was either wrong or simply impossible.  I feel the need to point out some of the mistakes....

1. Wormholes don't let you go into higher dimensions.  They involve curvature of space and time.  When you pass into a wormhole, just as if you pass into a black hole, the space and time around you seem completely normal to you, because they are.  That's why Relativity is called Relativity - relative to you, space and time are normal.  You don't transition into a fifth dimension, you carry on through three dimensional space and time.

2. Gravity does not have the ability to break free of time.  Gravity is very tightly connected to space and time.

3. Higher dimensional beings don't have any more ability to break free of time than we do.  They would still need to somehow invent a time machine.

4. There is no way a planet could exist that close to a black hole.  Radiation from the accretion disk (the material spiralling in to the black hole) would both knock it out of orbit and blast it to bits.

5. If there was a planet that close to a black hole, with that kind of time dilation, you would need engines of phenomenal power to get to it, as maneuvering that close to a black hole's event horizon would be extremely hard.

6. If there was a planet that close to a black hole getting off that planet and away from the black hole would need vast amounts of energy, as it would be equivalent to having to approach the speed of light.

7. If there was a planet that close to a black hole it would be close to impossible to see because the light reflected from it would be red-shifted by gravity.

That will do for now!

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