The Physics of the Movie “Interstellar”

A summary of the physics of the new movie Interstellar on LinkedIn:  Interstellar link

Never say never. Though it sure seems that interstellar travel is extremely unlikely. For Alcubierre warp drive, one needs stupendous amounts of “negative energy”. Although it exists according to Quantum Mechanics — it is found in quantum vacuum energy — no one knows how to access it, let alone in great quantities. Nonetheless, warp drive is under study at NASA. See .

As to wormholes, although allowed by the mathematics of general relativity, no one knows if they really exist. Plus quantum issues say its throat would be almost instantly pinched off by EM and vacuum energy. Thorne proposes using negative energy to keep the throat open, but this again requires tremendous amounts of negative energy. And quantum mechanics says this “exotic matter” must be extremely narrow and lasts only for the briefest of times.

Highly improbable to say the least. But wonderful to imagine.

(I will be giving talks on all this at the San Francisco Star Trek convention on Dec. 13 and 14. If you are in the area, come join the fun.)