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Movie Night With a Physicist

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Physics comes up in movies a lot, and as quite a difficult subject it is fun to see how physics is interpreted through the lens of cinema. Sometimes they get it very right and sometimes they get it very wrong! A friend of mine who is really into movies picked out a bunch of clips for me to interrogate. Some movies I had seen before, and others I hadn't. See how Hollywood does with some hardcore physics! I have posters available to buy here: https://www.redbubble.com/people/dominicwalliman I have also made versions available for educational use which you can find here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ Also, if you enjoyed this video, you will probably like my Professor Astro Cat science books, available in all good books shops world in over 24 languages! http://profastrocat.com Thanks so much to my supporters on Patreon. If you enjoy my videos and would like to help me make more this is the best way and I appreciate it very much. https://www.patreon.com/domainofscience Find me on twitter, instagram, and my website: http://dominicwalliman.com https://twitter.com/DominicWalliman https://www.instagram.com/dominicwalliman https://www.facebook.com/domainofscience https://www.patreon.com/domainofscience
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Text Comments (4916)
Domain of Science (1 year ago)
Lots of comments about Interstellar: They travel through a wormhole not a black hole. My response: They are the same thing. What!? Yeah. In the model of wormholes that I'm familiar with, the mouth at each end of the wormhole is a black hole. This was why I was using the two terms interchangeably. Here is a nice description: https://www.sciencenews.org/blog/context/wormhole-black-hole-quantum-entanglement But perhaps Christopher Nolan was not thinking about a wormhole with black holes at either end, but another kind of 'gentler' wormhole. In that case, yeah it makes sense that you can see a projection of the stars and galaxies from the other side of wormhole on the face of this side. That's cool.
Justa Fool (2 hours ago)
You are good at repeating the currently approved narrative, unfortunately, some of the theories are just wrong. Einstein's for example, all wrong. Particle Physics... its fantasy, and cosmology, all science fiction based on stupid concepts, otherwise your physics is good.
Darrin Nunyah (7 hours ago)
I am an astonomer and I cant even watch most of these movies. LoL.
BLAIR M Schirmer (3 days ago)
2:45 - *Wrong again, sadly.* Figure her likely acceleration, then using the background she visibly decelerates to 0 fps over the distance of about one of the floors behind her, or 10 to 12 feet. Imagine being in an elevator dropping 300 feet, then stopping in, say, 11 feet. The effect on the body would be awful. Can we say this early that you simply don't understand your own field--not even the basics?
BLAIR M Schirmer (3 days ago)
0:45 - Here's the math, at https://physics.info/qfd/practice.shtml
BLAIR M Schirmer (3 days ago)
0:45 - *Wrong:* "The solar neutrino flux for us on Earth is about 65 billion neutrinos, passing through just one square centimeter of area on earth, every second," or 6.5 times your assertion. Wow--you screwed up the first question.
tweeotch (15 minutes ago)
You are TOO smart for YouTube. Hahaha!
benjigirl1971 (1 hour ago)
Oof he is so incredibly sexy 😳. Wow....
utapleon (3 hours ago)
I am a physicist, and you are tn AnD - go figure FakE 0 solve thatl.
just me (5 hours ago)
Jurassic Park is the only movie where I wanted no one to survive.
Edward Nelson (6 hours ago)
Physics isn't just a good idea, it's the law.
Big AL (7 hours ago)
This was a neato video
cold45acp (7 hours ago)
His mustasch...
Owen Oulton (7 hours ago)
Um, excuse me? In astronomic terms, Vega is quite close - only 25 light years. It's not way across the galaxy by any means, the galaxy being a disc 100,000 light years across.
danimalplanimal (8 hours ago)
I don't need a PhD in Physics to see how bullshit movies these days are
manintheplutoid (8 hours ago)
Ok after posting I read Domain of Science's posting. Got it. Thanks. (disregard posting as for some reason I cannot edit out.)
manintheplutoid (8 hours ago)
8:29 This moment in Interstellar was actually them approaching the wormhole and the galaxies the physicist in the box up there thought were "reflections" were intended to show what was on the other end of the wormhole I believe. Just for accuracy. The visual may still be incorrect but I wish we could hear his analysis based on that. He's cool so far...
Leonard Chornomaz (9 hours ago)
I found this video to be entertaining, informative and totally enjoyable.
Tracey Woolridge (9 hours ago)
Oh dear giddy aunt the nu-thingamagig hurts going throw the gaps of my body. Ouchie. JK. I like this series.
Ojama Black (10 hours ago)
The guy in Jurassic Park was just trying to get some ass. He could care less about physics at that time.
Dawnlighter (10 hours ago)
PhD in Physics. OK. Which field of Physics? Theoretical? Quantum? What? Physics is a rather large field of study this day and age...
Aljosa Petkovic (10 hours ago)
Gravity is Magnetic we just didn't figure it out fully yet. There is only one force, the EM force and all life is based upon it. The Strong and Weak forces are manifested in the macro and the micro. Prove me wrong :)
Alan Hardcastle (10 hours ago)
now that we know gravity is a wave wormholes will probably be solved...
chariel 1 (10 hours ago)
New fave!
VR (11 hours ago)
14:28 to 14:47 lol
JustABill02 (12 hours ago)
So, how about applying conserving momentum with those rail guns. Guy shoots gun, gun recoils slightly, projectile loses some momentum to the air, projectile hits target, sending him flying backwards at high speed.
Jeremiah Thorpe (13 hours ago)
you must be a pleasure to watch movies with!!! lol
Alexandre Borges (13 hours ago)
In man of steel, Lois lane is not falling with earth's gravitational force alone, there's also the gravitational pull of the black hole in the opposite direction, so she's not accelerating towards him, which is more realistic.
Michael Stevenson (13 hours ago)
You lie a lot
Edwin van den Akker (13 hours ago)
12:01 I would really love to have more people like you helping out screenplay writers. Now *that* would make great movies!
MrNotadream (14 hours ago)
15:51 not going to comment on the fact that an X-ray powerful enough to X-ray an entire building in multiple depths in one go, is also probably going to melt the people your looking at inside out?
MrNotadream (14 hours ago)
I keep a doomsday machine linked to my car battery. 1) It's a good movie story. 2) It keeps me from *EVER* leaving the inside cabin light on and forgetting it. ...I have nightmares about leaving glove box light on.
MrNotadream (14 hours ago)
When comedy cartoons are scientifically accurate. But movies about space are laughably moronic. Then holly wood wonders why it's dying.
MrNotadream (14 hours ago)
"Black holes are *black*" Woo yaa repersent! "They are amazingly destructive and destroy everything they come into contact with." Yo dats whack, dat doods raycist!
VR (11 hours ago)
must be renamed - must be renamed - must be renamed - must be renamed No, I am not a robot. I am an AI :) :D
David Houghton (14 hours ago)
I’m still trying to figure out how Hollywood’s lead bullets “spark” no matter how they hit any object including wood, Last time I checked lead is pretty damn soft.
Richard Kev (14 hours ago)
I can easily ignore bad science in a good movie. But bad science in a bad movie only makes it worse. Example: The Core. Bad movie. Terrible script. Worse science. At one point, they were traveling in an impossible drilling machine, heading for the earth’s core. They were hundreds (thousands?) of miles down, when the machine died...so they got out in some kind of space suit to fix it...as though any suit put around a human body could withstand the pressure at that depth.
Chas Lewis (17 hours ago)
Painting the side of an asteroid is not an exciting idea? Bruh, "I need the best and fearless graffiti crew we can find." The rest of the movie would be like the replacements, where they go around finding retired artists and some dude who's on death row because he did too much graffiti.
Infinite Monkeys (10 hours ago)
Im sold
rikkierikkie (17 hours ago)
Why should i take your word for everything?
Steve Selinsky (18 hours ago)
love your comment about "love" being ruined by a physical explanation...(ie: a kiss is so much more than a "biological reaction"...)...really liked this vid- nice to see your reactions to the accuracy of the physics in movies, and how movies have to change some of that to appeal to people...i heard that most of the dinosaurs in "Jurassic Park", for instance, were part of the the Cretaceous period- but, "Cretaceous Park" just doesn't sound as good as a title for the book, or the movie...
Mike Petersen (19 hours ago)
Vega is NOT "on the other side of the galaxy." It is a mere 25 light years from Earth. The galaxy is 100,000 light years in diameter. I am not impressed, sir.
xaero5150 (19 hours ago)
A couple of things. First, the "x-ray" scope was likely not x-ray based, but radio frequency based, being interpolated by a computer into a targetable image. 800mhz will go right through concrete walls, but reflect when it hits certain things. The higher the frequency, the less material it will penetrate. Fire a broad spectrum of frequencies, listen for the rebounds, and calculate relative density based on what you get back across the frequency spectrum, then feed all the data into a computer and have it work out the finer details based on the basic assumptions of material science. Would that work? Yes. Are there still problems? Yep. The device would only work if the output was very wide, or if the aspect was dead on, as if it was at an angle there would be no reflection to capture. Next, you used rail gun when you meant to say coil gun, or Gauss gun. A rail gun accelerates a projectile using 2 rails and a differential current between them. A coil gun uses magnetic fields to accelerate the projectile. Coil guns are better, but harder to make. At least on a large scale, with proper acceleration. Next, the idea in Armageddon was not to blow up the asteroid, and allow the pieces to impact the earth, but to split the asteroid and allow the two halves to fly past the planet, allowing only tiny pieces of debris to impact. This was a sound plan. A nuclear weapon, detonated inside of an asteroid at a natural fault, would split the asteroid, and propel the two halves outward. This would rely on a few pieces of luck. For example, the asteroid could not be spinning(or you would have to take into account that spin), or else if the weapon detonated when the asteroid was out of position relative to the planet, it would accelerate half of it towards the earth, and the other half away from the earth. At the size of half of Texas would still be an extinction level event. Additionally, you would need to know where the natural fissures and structure of the asteroid was the weakest. Again, if you try to snap it down the middle to deflect the two halves, and there is a stress fracture that is weaker in a different direction, you could easily see the above outcome.
MrZetor (21 hours ago)
@1:56 Your blood would NOT boil as long as there was blood pressure, i.e., your heart was beating!
Treknology (23 hours ago)
The ultimate solution for any problem is to "reverse the polarity of the neutron flow."
Barrens chat (1 day ago)
google red mercury
Barrens chat (1 day ago)
I had the Black Hole on record as a child
Ben Booth (1 day ago)
Chaos Theory: A small change in the input equals a large change in the output. In Jeffs case the small change in the input is a slight difference in the position of the water droplet on the knuckle. This causes the droplet to move in an entirely different direction. I would say that it is in fact a good description.
g mun22 (1 day ago)
Einstein: "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
Ben Booth (1 day ago)
The biggest load of bs I've come across recently was in Star Trek: Discovery Season 2. Apparently there are these beacons which are scattered around the galaxy that give off red light yet somehow Star Fleet are able to see them in real time, not delayed by about 50,000 years.
marc burgener (1 day ago)
my dad mastered in physics, He's super annoying to watch movies with. Bless his heart.
James Watson (1 day ago)
One physics error in movies that's helping to get people killed is when a 250 lb man is seen flying backward upon being punched by a 120 lb woman, while she is unfazed. This helps to get people killed because it is part of a campaign to convince the general public that, in general, women can be as good at fighting men as men can be.
James Watson (1 day ago)
One physics error in movies that's helping to get people killed is when a 250 lb man is seen flying backward upon being punched by a 120 lb woman, while she is unfazed. This helps to get people killed because it is part of a campaign to convince the general public that, in general, women can be as good at fighting men as men can be.
Damaged262 (1 day ago)
Wonkie ?Still, rock it out and thank you!
H Xen (1 day ago)
Hmm... Wonder how Dominic would evaluate the realism of Wile E. Coyote when he falls off a cliff but only after realizing he's accidentally ran off it. I think it might be a real phenomena that has not been potentially considered by physicists and involves a phenomena I called Perception-initiated Consequential Reaction. Basically, in essence, to summarize, a tree falling in a forest alone has no one to hear it fall, ergo, it makes no sound, ergo it does not bother to fall until someone is around to perceive it fall. It is logically consistent and semantically recursively self-contained. Wile might have been ahead of his time.
Mmm Mmm (1 day ago)
Yes, but how do f'in magnets work.
zardox78 (1 day ago)
15:50 Rail gun or not, bullets don't make people fly backwards when they get hit by them. Especially not 30 feet like that. They go through you, they don't bring you along with them. They covered that one on Myth-Busters. Even the 12 gauge buckshot would barely make the pig carcass (hanging from a rope) swing like a quarter of an inch, and that was the best result.
James Watson (1 day ago)
That's like when leftists show a 250 lb man flying backward upon being punched by a 120 lb woman, while she is unfazed.
David Robinson (1 day ago)
If you nuke the asteroid it'll blow up into tiny pieces and those pieces would just burn up entering the Earth's atmosphere.
Femi Mark (1 day ago)
Not how it will happen, many of the pieces will still be huge
coweatsman (1 day ago)
Depressurization of the helmet looks like the result Mythbusters got when testing a failed diving suit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEY3fN4N3D8
Buckhorn Cortez (1 day ago)
Not a word on the Infinite Improbability Drive so there's no more, "tedious mucking about in hyperspace"?
Chris H (1 day ago)
I'd sit beside you in the cinema even if you were eating Doritos.. and I let you hold my hand.. Mr. Dreamy Green Eyes Science dude. x
Rob Chilton (1 day ago)
8:53 that's not the black hole... that was the apperture of the Wormhole they use to travel to Gargantua, the black hole in the film that they had a whole team of scientists figure out how to accurately depict. It was black, and bent light around it so you can see the ecretion disc appear to go over the top.
lonetrader1 (1 day ago)
Thanks for all the future nightmares........
Paolo G (1 day ago)
Not to mention the impact of a bullet launching a human body 10 metres backwards. I think the folded paper example of a wormhole's topology was originally done by a physicist - it's not Hollywood's invention. In space vehicles you also want to avoid loose ants.
Mishn0 (1 day ago)
Don't worry about Hollyweird's retarded stereotyping of the military. Pretty much every military officer higher than Major has an advanced degree in some field of science or engineering. Especially those that hold some sort of technical responsibility.
CanadianLoki76 (1 day ago)
No the blood will NOT "boil", it's an enclosed system.
Edward Graves (1 day ago)
I love how understated his reactions are 😂
uruk (1 day ago)
4:00: I don't know what's going on, but it might happen fast, if you've been discussing the greater context quite a bit beforehand, and Will comes up with a simplification that just makes him go "oh, why didn't I think of that!".
☼ this is awesome. nice format shift. just found. & gr8 hk. do more. you good.
dMb (1 day ago)
One bomb idea for an asteroid that can work is to detonate a bomb just below the surface so that when it detonates, it ejects material such the intact bulk of the asteroid changes course. Potentially, the ejected material could be a problem, but that's much smaller and probably a non-issue, and all of that material would have an even greater difference in trajectory than the large, intact remainder of the asteroid, meaning it should miss by even more.
anticarrrot (1 day ago)
Um... Did he just claim that gravitational lensing doesn't happen near black holes? Because I'm pretty sure that's what we're seeing, not some kind of mirror effect. From memory the images of the black hole were also all generated from real world maths. So...?
2335467 (1 day ago)
Dom, it's a movie, lighten up.
Michael Edwards (1 day ago)
He is using things mentioned in the big bang theory and guessing on a lot of things. A physicist isn't a mind reader and can't speak for everyone. That's YouTube for you though.
Duch Ziemi (1 day ago)
So looking from 5 or higher dimension in to 4 dimension is like fall out of bounds in game?
Insane Troll (1 day ago)
How is Vega on the other side of the galaxy??? It is only 25 light years away. You do know how big the galaxy is don't you?
SP 12 (2 days ago)
If 2001 put him to sleep, the lord of the rings movies would put him in a coma...
cameron Gibbs (2 days ago)
youtube search ben afleck behind the scenes of armageddon so funny
DaSnipy (2 days ago)
Physics tends to be quite a difficult subject ...... .......please dont say that :( .. Physics ....IS IS :) ... thats Physics :D ...
Fed up with Fed (2 days ago)
Ok but do you know how to make an interesting video?...Uh no...you don't!
Luke Beauchamp (2 days ago)
The size of Texas? Is the asteroid Ceres?
Luke Beauchamp (2 days ago)
They have reflective X-ray devices on airports. The sensor and the emitter are on the same side. Yes I realise this couldn't used to snipe people.
byron2521 (2 days ago)
The worst sci-fi movie on not getting any science at all right has got to be the movie Armageddon.
Barry Foster (1 day ago)
Sunshine (2007)?
Miguel DeMartin (2 days ago)
Good and bad science in movies is shuffled together and dealt out across multiple universes.
Dr. M. H. (2 days ago)
Bummer. I thought it was movie night with psychics!
John Stover (2 days ago)
You are hereby forbidden ever again to watch "2001".
Andy Machala (2 days ago)
Actually they consulted with people like Kip Thorne and others to calculate what a black hole would look like.
Matt Tillman (2 days ago)
This video was SO MUCH FUN!! Thanks for posting it.
Frank Taylor (2 days ago)
That was very entertaining. I have the same issues watching movies. Transformers made my brain sick. 😂 That Fast and Furious stuff is the worst. 😆
steven McMahon (2 days ago)
Vega is NOT on the other side of the galaxy, it's 26 light years away, very bright in summer sky, part of "summer triangle. Also, they immediately got confirmation from another telescope, in the Southern Hemisphere I think. At first they didn't believe it, because Vega is so close.
Benton Marcum (2 days ago)
17:56 Texas is bigger than your country.
medfizdude (2 days ago)
My family doesn't allow me to talk during or immediately after films. We physicist can be real party poopers.
spankywzl (2 days ago)
I, too, have fallen asleep on two separate occasions trying to watch 2001: A Space Odyssey. Subscribed!
50srefugee (2 days ago)
Navigating through higher dimensions by "the power of love". Cloying cliche though it is, I actually don't have much trouble with that. I'm thinking of it as a kind of bias in a neural network--because that's exactly what it is--that allows the father (Cooper) to respond more or less unconsciously to influences he associates with his daughter(Murphy). The word "power" is misleading, because of course power has to do with energy, and is not a good metaphor to use when dealing with information.
50srefugee (2 days ago)
Ah, yes, the origami wormhole. First ran across that when I read A Wrinkle In Time back in the early sixties. It was widely known in literary circles, outside the usual SF ghetto, and I have to wonder if that influence explains why the explanation is so well known.
pqsnet (2 days ago)
LOL! So far, 1.2k voting didnt pass Primary School.... And or they didnt understand the Physic-joke-puns....
Ed G Power (3 days ago)
Thankfully I don't go to Hollywood for science, just 'story telling'.
Steve Kirkham (3 days ago)
Prediction: If you watch Armageddon, you will be throwing heavy objects at the screen. Certainly by the time the two space shuttles are swooping and weaving through the debris field. They're flying as if they're acrobatic planes at an airshow. If you have a firearm, you will be shooting the screen as Mir is spun on it's axis to make it easier to dock with. And the flimsy docking tunnel is able to hold the shuttle by the front. You will scream when you see the spin induced artificial gravity is down the axis of rotation. Do NOT watch it with impressionable children in earshot, or you'll be teaching them four letter words.
Steve Kirkham (3 days ago)
If a spacesuit helmet was loose and the suit was pressurized, it would instantly blow off the suit like a cork in Satan's farting backside. No human could hope to hold it on. I'm only partway through the video, I can't wait for the movie Armageddon's turn. They claimed NASA helped them with the physics. NASA should sue for libel.
Matrim Cauthon (3 days ago)
Interstellar: the worm hole didn't reflect. You could see through to the other side. At the end, when they do go into a black hole, it's just black.
kristian murphy (3 days ago)
Wouldn't the nuclear option work because the fragments would burn up!
CO Jones (22 hours ago)
Billions of tons of any material "burning up" in the atmosphere would be....not good. Imagine a giant superheated sandblaster shooting trillions of sand sized particles at a planet. Basically lava raining down over the whole planet. Just the radiated heat from the superheated plasma alone would be enough to cook the entire planet even if nothing struck the Earth's surface. Read a story once where humans destroyed the mean aliens by filling giant cargo ship containers full of ordinary sand and launching them at the planet. They broke up at a certain distance from the planet and millions of tons of sand shotgunned the planet and caused a huge wavefront of fire that swept the planet clean. IIRC it was one of the Heritage Trilogy by Ian Douglas.
EnjoyCocaColaLight (3 days ago)
18:30 The explanation in the movie was that all the small pieces would burn up in the atmosphere, whereas it would've been too big for that to happen if they didn't blow it up.
jfree1998 (3 days ago)
Lol the love thing was so dang cheesey
P Clark (3 days ago)
Did anyone else turn this off after he said he hadn’t seen Armageddon!??? That’s one of the best films ever to watch while you’re drunk
Timoteo Frascaroli (3 days ago)
The black hole in interstellar is not reflecting, rather showing what is on the other side (with the assumptions they make that it is the same as a wormhole)
Kris Anticknap (3 days ago)
Now I want to explain wormholes to people using a pencil and a piece of paper without the slightest concern about facts.
randyp070129 (4 days ago)
I miss Carl Sagan. Some people should never die.
Waerloga (4 days ago)
Physics: If it's based on the Big Bang cosmology that was invented by a priest and his pope then it not science but religion and therefore obviously wrong. There are no black holes or wormholes. Time travel is impossible and the univers is electric and not run by your little christian deity, fool. You can cry like a baby about your god is 'real' and yet all the others are fake, all except whatever one you happen to believe in, regardless of what particular cult you were brought up into. If your answer to everything is "because God" this is not science.

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