Christopher Nolan’s science fiction film Interstellar was released on Friday. But the interesting thing is that the movie is reportedly based on real scientific data. According to recent reports, the special effects artists have designed the effects with the help of physicist Kip Thorne, an expert on black holes and wormholes.
The spaceship Endurance is heading towards Gargantua, the fictional supermassive black hole with a mass 100 million times that of the Sun. Gargantua rotates at an astounding 99.8 percent of the speed of light and lies 10 billion light-years from Earth and is orbited by several planets. Accretion disc of the black hole has dust and gas with the temperature equal to surface of the sun. Gargantua’s planets obtain light and heat from the disc.
In 2006, Thorne and Lynda Obst, a longtime friend and film producer, wrote an eight-page teaser for a film that was inspired from the astrophysics of black holes, wormholes, and time dilation. Steven Spielberg was soon on board to direct. Jonathan Nolan, who wrote films such as The Prestigeand The Dark Knight Rises with his director brother Christopher, was working on the screenplay. Six years later, however, Spielberg dropped out and was replaced by Christopher Nolan, director of the three Dark Knight movies and Inception.
What can’t be disputed about Interstellar is that it brings up heavy subjects that are normally only bandied about in classrooms, or on PBS: wormholes, the theory of relativity, gravitational anomalies, ecological Armageddon and how far a truck can drive on a flat tire. It also features Einstein’s equations that state time passes slower in higher gravity fields. So, in a planet that orbits close to a black hole, a clock ticks much slower than on a spaceship orbiting farther away.
Earth’s three-dimensional universe is considered as a flat membrane floating in a four-dimensional void called the Bulk. The presence of mass in the universe changes the flat membrane. The story of the film showed that enough mass at a point could lead to a singularity. Planets or other objects that try to approach the singularity go through an event horizon from which it is not possible for them to return. If two singularities somehow emerge, a wormhole tunnel can be formed. The film has shown a wormhole, which is about 1.24 miles in diameter and 10 billion light-years from earth.
The National Academy of Sciences wants to develop full cooperation between scientists and the entertainment industry to find ways to bring accurate science and technological knowledge to the public.