Anything that can go wrong, can or will go wrong.
This is how Wikipedia quotes Murphy’s Law. But Christopher Nolan gave a new perspective to this epigram. A father who has devoted his life to science desparately trying to explain Murphy’s law in a positive way to his kid daughter gives us a whole new meaning to the adage. Cooper, played by Matthew Mccgonaghey restates the law to his daughter which goes as ‘Whatever can happen, can or will happen’. Little did he imagine about what might happen to the future of string theory.
Time travel is not new to us. The anime Stein’s Gate gave bizarre meaning of time travel. It was a little hard to believe, yes. But we do not see ourselves building a time machine in the foreseeable future. Time travel machines, teleporting machines are some of the areas in quantum physics which need utmost understanding of string theory. Even Dr. Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory (TBBT) was not able to prove it theoretically.
The episode ’43 Peculiarity’, Season six of TBBT shows a hypothetic situation where Dr. Sheldon Cooper discovering a portal to communicate with other species of different dimensions. What do we understand by dimensions? Where have they erupted from? Evolution is the answer. We are in a stage where we have evolved from single celled organisms living in single dimension space to multi celled organisms living in a three dimensional space. Only evolution can introduce us to four or five dimensional spaces.
If the three distance axis x,y and z are cover up three dimensions of a space, what could probably be a fourth dimension if there was one? Vivid scientific imagination tells us that if we do evolve to experience 4D space, variables such a time could be one of the dimensions. To explain this in a simpler way, we can move forward/backward, to the left/to the right or up/down (if not for gravity) in a three dimensional space we now live in. now if there was a fourth dimension such as time, i.e., if we lived in a room in which time was contained, we will be able to move forward and backwards in time, and eventually end up having an infinite space time. This is basically what we fantasize as time travel, walking up and down the time corridor as we please.
Instead of building a farfetched machine to achieve time travel, Chris Nolan has gone to explore the infinite probabilities present in the unexplored areas of space. Black holes, worm hoes take us into a totally new dimension of infinity. I was under the impression that infinity could only be experienced through dreams. Nolan has proved me wrong.
Matthew Mccgonaghey, once quoted in the TV Show True Detective ‘Time is a flat circle’.
Till date, I have had debates in my head on what that phrase meant. I still haven’t reached a conclusion. Thought time was going in circles along the circumference of a circle, and that whatever has a beginning must eventually end. But Interstellar showed me that time was not going in circles. Time was a flat circle indeed but just the path traced by the radius of a circle. It was the whole area of a circle. Time is the circle. Maybe it meant what goes in has to come out at the other end, I have no idea. But it is worth pondering about.
Let’s assume we did cross the time barrier and go on to a new dimension, what would drive us to evolve? Emotions. Something which automatically controlled probes lack. A human touch is needed in such cases because what drives us is the fear of death, fear of losing someone, fear of extinction of the human race. It is total fiction to actually communicate with others through time travel. But maybe, will it be possible through human emotions? Some things are a bit more than science. And such things are meant to be ‘not understood’.
This is what a 169 minute movie, a journey through a wormhole, has done to me. A philanthropic attempt to save the world using quantum physics sums up the movie.
Simple epigram, quantum physics, evolution, science fiction, time travel, infinity, time, philosophy of time, emotions. All of these were portrayed flawlessly in a single movie. There could have been other films with such deep thoughts, but no other movie could have had a better outreach to common man like Nolan’s Interstellar. To a number of sleepless nights pondering over this film’s inner meanings, ‘Do not go gently into that good night’