Director Christopher Nolan released his movie, Interstellar, about a year ago, and almost everyone expected a story line that was similar to Gravity except with a few tweaks here and there. It’ll be another space thing – that’s probably what the general audience thought, and rightfully so, since Interstellar revolves around the search for another planet that can sustain life in a time when drought and famine are ravaging Earth. Yet, with its roots in actual scientific research, the movie presents ideas and technology that could be most certainly beneficial for the future of mankind.
The first idea is the concept of wormholes in space. Although this phenomenon is not observable per say, it is a developing theory in the scientific world that can serve as a crucial foundation for space travel. Essentially, a wormhole is the bending of space that connects a black hole, which only sucks objects in, with a white hole, which only spits objects out. Thus, if an object were to travel through a wormhole, it would emerge in a location that would constitute of millions of miles in linear distance. If wormholes really do exist, then humans can travel to different solar systems in a short amount of time and maybe even encounter other forms of life. If we can do what Cooper did, we can open up a wide range of possibilities for the coming decades.
Another very interesting idea is the fifth dimension. Right now, we live in a three dimensional world, and therefore, we’re only capable of seeing the three dimensions: a line, a plane, and space. We recognize objects with length, width, and depth, but we can’t see past that. Yet, when Cooper lands in the fifth dimensional space, he is able to see one more dimension: time. He sees the infinite string of events that result from one moment and is able to go back and forth through the different frames of time. By stepping out of the third dimension, Cooper becomes a fourth dimensional being and can thus be considered to be in the fifth dimension. The idea of being able to see the progression of time and influence it as well, otherwise known as time travel, is a concept that humans have been exploring for years through books and movies that depict time machines. And now, with the same idea portrayed in space, Interstellar highlights the possibility of beings existing in the fifth dimension – and maybe, one day, we can join them.
So, you see, Interstellar is more than just a “space thing” – it delves into superior technology and well-constructed theories about outer space, like the construction of Gargantua and its enormous waves. Not only does it explore the theoretical, but also the emotional by displaying the side effects that this kind of exploration has on family and friends. The slowing of time for Cooper and his crew may have stalled the formation of their wrinkles, but it also took away years and years of time that they could’ve spent with their children as they grew up.
So, what would it be: humanity or family? Interstellar poses this thought-provoking question and many more, bringing up issues that all of us will most likely have to answer in the future.