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Interstellar: Sparking your interest in science

InterstellarDo you like watching movies? I guess, we all love to watch movies. However our interests may vary. Some may like romantic movies, some fictional and some non-fictional ones. But why do we watch them? For some of us they are stress buster, some of us watch it because of our favorite movie stars; some watch it for fun and some of them try to understand and relate these movie stories to their real life. There are different forms of movies that are directed. Some are comedy (directed for entertaining us); romantic (add a dose of emotions) or thriller (for those who love the suspense); but there is another genre of movies called ‘Educational Movies’.

These ‘Educational Movies’ have stories and a particular message is conveyed at the end; which can be anything. The messages can be in form of satire, emotions or knowledge that will help broaden our mind’s horizon.

I have heard many people say that when you are studying or a student who is aspiring for IIT (IIT JEE); should not be watching movies and only concentrating on their studies. And my question is WHY NOT? I do not ask the students to skip their studies or miss their preparation sessions for watching movies; nor do I ask them to watch every Tom, Dick and Harry movie. I ask them to go and watch some selected movies that have great story line and which conveys a message. Movies like ‘Interstellar’; that have ample to teach you and are worth a watch. After all, all work and no play make Jack a dull boy!

The reason why I specially mentioned movie ‘Interstellar’ is that not only it is a good movie with a great plot; but also it inspires us to come up with out of the box solutions for all our problems and imply them on daily basis. Before I start listing out my reasons for watching, let me give you a snapshot of what this movie is all about!


StoryLineThe movie opens with a situation where all the crops and people are dying, there is hunger, large dust storms are sweeping, level of oxygen decreases and level of nitrogen is increasing. There is a threat of suffocation and more deaths due to it.

A local farmer, Cooper is trying to make a living. He lives with his father-in-law and his children. He is former engineer and a pilot; discovers that his mentor at NASA is fighting the race of time to discover a new planet that can support life. Cooper embarks a new journey through warmhole (theoretically, something that can shorten the massive distance of spacetime) to another galaxy. He and his crew try to follow the footsteps of previous mission that might help them in identifying the planets that might sustain humanity. He does find such a place (probably known as Endurance) where he finds that aliens are future humans and they have come up a space that allows him to communicate with his mentor. He asks him to evacuate earth and save the humanity.

The main ingredients of this movie are lots of crazy science and the scientific phenomena such as WARMHOLES, RELATIVITY, SPACE TIME AND GRAVITIONAL FORCES that have been showcased in this movie. It educates on different aspects of Quantum Physics’. Nolan, the director of this movie has closely worked with Kip Throne (theoretical therapist who is famous for making astrophysical predictions for relativity) and the result is, much of the science is accurate. However, there are some parts that are non-fictional; yet they are successful in sparking interests to learn science. Apart from science, it does contribute in clearing varied mathematical concepts too. Not to a great extent as science, but in small portion. Every IIT aspirant should watch this movie for the following reasons:

Think out of Box

Think out of boxAs per the story, Cooper is trying to save his family from dying. To do so, he comes up with varied concepts that help him to save his family and the humanity.In the same manner, we should think out of the box solutions for our situations. Try to find out solutions and never give up.

Motivates to learn science

The fictions, graphics and the animation used; inspires us to learn and understand science.This favors those who aspiring to be an IIT; as quantum physics is one of their major subject; and if you cultivate interest in science, then there is nothing that can stop you from being successful.

Relates to different scientific concepts

This is one of the MAJOR and most important reasons for watching this movie. It relates to and teaches new concepts of science. Following are the terms and terminologies used in the movie:

Black Holes:

Black holeThe story relies on time distention; which means time passes at diverse rates for different characters. To make this look more scientific; the concept of massive black hole called ‘Gargantua’ is added. This blackhole spins at speed of light and has an extremely dense, huge and compact star at the center. This compact star is known as ‘Neutron’ star. They are condensed in nature and produce spinning black holes. They are known for wrapping the space around them in a different manner as compared to immobile black holes.

 Nolan has used lots of imaginations. He toyed with the idea that the universe functions in five dimensions instead of four dimensions; with gravity at the center. This helps in increasing imagination and applying varied theories to existing scientific concepts; to be able to come up with a new invention. 

Artificial Gravity

Artificial gravityWe humans are accustomed of living on earth and can thrive under specific gravitational conditions. But when in space; our muscles tend to degrade. To overcome this problem; scientisits are trying to come up with a solution to apply artificial gravity in the spacecraft. There are different ways and designs that scientists are working on.

Gravitational Time Expansion

Gravitational Time Expansion’ is that can been witnessed on earth.

By Gravitational Time Expansion we mean that the time travels at different rate for different people. This means that when you are in strong gravitational environment time runs slower as compared for those who are in weaker gravitational environment.

The Tesseract

The TesseractThe tesseract is a four dimensional analog of cube. This means that the cube consist of six squares; the tesseract has eight cubical cells. The one created in the movie is complex than the original one. But, it has been designed beautifully and is enthralling.

Makes it easy

Makes it easyNot only these concepts will help in topping your university; but are also of great help when you wish to invent something new. The graphical representations of these complex issues; makes it more easy for you understand them.

The way these concepts have been represented, no one can raise any question related to their authentication. They have led to various new researches and there are different programs that are run by varied educational institutions that help you in understanding these concepts in great detail. Using this know how; you can come up with interesting inventions. Not only this will help you in getting practical knowledge, but also lay a strong foundation for your concepts.

Statuary Warning: This movie is a MUST WATCH for those who are sci-fi buff (like me) and love to play with scientific concepts. Those who are not interested in watching science or do not like it; should also watch it.  You never know; you might fall in love with science and its vivid and amusing concepts.

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