The Physics of the Cult Movie Interstellar

Mar 14, 2023 - 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Campus, Hewlett Teaching Center, 201

Kip Thorne (Caltech) In Person

Christopher Nolan’s cult science fiction film Interstellar (2014) sprang from a treatment co-authored by physicist Kip Thorne, and so had real science — both firm and speculative — embedded in it from the outset.  The film’s venue is what Thorne calls “The Warped Side of our Universe”:  objects and phenomena made, at least in part, from warped spacetime, such as black holes, wormholes, spacetime singularities, time travel, gravitational waves, gravitational lensing, gravitational slingshots, solitary ocean waves driven by tidal gravitational forces, and braneworlds (general relativity in five macroscopic spacetime dimensions).  In this colloquium, Thorne (who was Interstellar’s executive producer and science advisor)  will discuss the science and scientific speculations underlying the movie, its visual effects, and connections to contemporary physics issues.

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