Christopher Nolan”s latest epic, Interstellar, recently hit theaters. So far, it is being lauded by moviegoers and critics alike. The space traveling journey takes audiences through wormholes, other galaxies, and explores scientific theories that didn”t exist in movies before. You can learn a lot from this movie, and these are the lessons I took from my viewings.
Warning: Slight spoilers ahead.
1. I know nothing about science.
I graduated from a respectable university with a degree in Communication and Social Psychology. My job is writing posts for this fine website. Whenever I encounter complex scientific theories, equations, or practices, they blow my mind. Even when the movie tries to simplify these complex theories, I still don”t understand them. It made me feel pretty stupid.
2. I don”t want to be around for the end of the world.
I guess this kind of goes without saying, but I used to be genuinely interested. I used to think that whatever happens years in the future would be interesting. After seeing the apocalypse laid out in front of me, I am no longer interested in knowing and I hope that I am not around for it.
3. Space travel is frightening.
Throughout the movie, the things that could go wrong in space are terrifying. One of the characters even explains that only a couple inches of spaceship separates him from millions of miles of nothingness. Just thinking about the vast universe made me feel incredibly small and scared.
4. I can still get emotional during a movie.
Yeah, I said it. Several parts of this movie that get me emotional. Not only is it a great science-fiction movie, but it is the tale of a father and his family, space exploration, the survival of the human race, and even romance. There are some emotionally compelling plot devices, and I must say, Christopher Nolan, you got me. I haven”t cried in a movie since The Lion King, but I found myself choking up at several different parts of this movie.
5. I could never be an astronaut.
Many children wish to be an astronaut. Sure, it sounds cool when you”re a kid. As an adult watching scientifically accurate movies like Interstellar, I would never want to subject myself to that. I”d get motion sickness and end up vomiting in my helmet. This sounds like torture, and I could never do it. You have my respect, astronauts. Kudos, dudes.
6. Time dilation.
One of the major premises at the crux of the movie”s plot is the theory of time dilation. The astronauts in the movie age much slower than their counterparts on Earth, owing to the effects of time dilation. This is something theorized by Albert Einstein. It dictates that as people travel nearer to the speed of light, time goes slower, something that was experimentally proven on Earth. While the people on Earth would age at a rapid pace, you could not age at all.
The theory behind wormholes in physics is astounding. Upon first explanation in the film, I didn”t quite understand it, so I went to the Internet to do some Googling. If you imagine the universe is a flat sheet of paper, you could travel between two points by moving in a straight line. If you bend the paper so that the points touch through it and then make a hole, you can reach that point quicker. Wormholes theoretically exist, but nobody knows how they could be held open so that someone could travel through it. It is unlikely they could exist naturally in the universe. It would take a huge mass, like a Neutron star, to create a bend in time to push into “the bulk” and meet up another such tunnel on the other side. So far, nothing shows any signs of doing this.
8. The universe is a big place.
I live in New York City. It is a big city and traveling is a hassle. However, the island of Manhattan is only around 2 miles wide. The universe is INFINITELY larger than that. The craziest part is that scientists who know way more about this kind of stuff than you or I ever could don”t know how big it is. They can theorize about it all they want, but they still don”t exactly know.
9. There are a ton of weird scientific theories.
Spaghettification is an actual term in science. There is also a theory known as “The Theory of Everything.” How come I never learned about these things when I was in high school, or even college level physics? That would have gotten me more interested in the sciences. I just learned Newton”s laws and was on my way. This movie got me more engaged in science and scientific theories than ever before.
10. There is a lot scientists don”t understand about outer space.
We don”t know if we are alone in the universe, if anything can create worm holes, what would happen if you got near a black hole, and so on. There are many things that humans can never or will never be able to experience that it will almost certainly forever remain a mystery to us. Hopefully we develop advanced technologies in the future where we can finally understand these things. Until then, we will probably all end up dying without knowing what going through outer space would be like. That”s kind of a bummer, but also kind of a relief. We won”t have to deal with such a high pressure situation.
There is a lot to learn and theorize about outer space, and we should keep pushing our knowledge forward and explore. Seeing this movie made my thirst for knowledge grow, and it also entertained the hell out of me. Hopefully you will come away with the same wonderment from the film.