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23 December 2009

The science behind 2012

There are no other apocalyptic movie that is more epic than 2012. All the scenes are so meticulously done by computer software that gives the viewer nothing else but the sense of awe - on how things breaks.

In the movie, we see buildings crashing down with people hanging on their dear lives on it. We see volcano explode, huge tidal waves, blasting, ripping and quenching the continent into smitherines. All these exaggerated actions, according to the movie, start from the simple alignment of celestial bodies (planets) somehow causing the sun to produce stronger solar flares and release matter interacting particles called neutrinos that boils the innards of our planet.

I think there is A LOT to say about the physics and the mechanisms behind this movie.

First of all, I do not think the world is going to end in 2012 simply because of the planetary alignments. Once, I was watching this X-file episode, it was a story about the planets align in a cross and earth is in the centre of the cross. Who ever that's born on that day will possess the powers of the cosmos because the planets "aligned" the power on you.

Think again. Our perception of the cross is all human's story. We have a history and a book that describes the cross as a holy thing thus we see planets align together as something big. But the fact is, whatever the planetary formation is, it will not do anything to anyone on earth. It's all just in our mind - anthropic.

The planets will move in their respective orbits according to the laws of nature and every now and then the planets can form any shape.

You want triangle? or square? or cross? or simply a straight line? You get those every once in a while. Because planets move in their orbits in different speed due to their mass and distance from the sun.


I think the movie went too over explaining why the earth is behaving badly and stuff. In essence, I don't think it's necessary to introduce science into the plot. It misleads people if it is done wrongly.

In the movie, Satnam (the Indian scientist) explains to Adrian that the sun is releasing a type of particles called neutrinos that interacts with anything causing water in the neutrino detector to boil hence the earth behaving badly.

I remember myself saying "impossible" in the movie before Adrian says so. My friend Alex just stared at me.. =(

Neutrinos do NOT interact with matter. At least not in THAT manner. Because they are electrically neutral (carry no charge) , they are almost massless, travels almost at the speed of light and they are able to pass through ordinary matter almost undisturbed and are thus extremely difficult to detect.

In fact, for every single second, there are 50 trillions (50,000,000,000,000) neutrinos passing through us and we won't even feel it!

*I'll explain more about these ghostly particles later if it did not fry peoples brain now.*

Anyway, here's another logic block.

If the neutrinos in the movie interacts with the water and cause it to boil and cause the earth to experience such effects.................

Shouldn't the cast (the people) in that movie be boiled to their death by their own blood?

1 comment:

Alpha Tango Six Niner said...

Huhhh..neutrino's still the mysterious particle ever..and the hardest to detect... @.@