Science in 'The Three Body Problem' on Netflix

Science in 'The Three Body Problem' on Netflix

Spoilers ahead: major plot points from 3 body problems It is discussed here.

The hit Netflix series 3 body problems It derives its name from a real scientific phenomenon in physics: chaotic orbits in a three-body system, where predicting future motions becomes complicated. This forms the premise of the show, as it explores a system where the unpredictable paths of three stars cause alternating “stable” and “chaotic” periods, leading to the destruction of the alien planet San Te.

However, according to cosmologist Jacques Delabroy, while such a system is interesting, most triple star systems, such as Alpha Centauri, are stable. A truly chaotic system would likely quickly eject any planets into space or pull them into a star.

The show also expands scientific facts with concepts like quantum entanglement and sophons – proton-sized supercomputers.

Although quantum entanglement is a well-known phenomenon, it cannot transmit information as described in the series. Likewise, sophons, as they have been described, challenge the current understanding of physics by operating in unrevealed extra dimensions, which are actually tiny.

Furthermore, siphons would disintegrate upon entering the Earth's atmosphere, contradicting their proposed durability and function. While these concepts add drama, they fall far short of scientific plausibility.

Despite the scientific exaggerations, Delabroy appreciates the show's creativity. It serves as a starting point for audiences to question the boundaries of science and fiction, making it a thought-provoking mix of fact and fiction.

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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