What first appears to be a send-up of classic science fiction is in fact a thorough examination of the real-world science behind the sensationalism. In the pilot episode, the physics behind... See full summary »
What first appears to be a send-up of classic science fiction is in fact a thorough examination of the real-world science behind the sensationalism. In the pilot episode, the physics behind a hypothetical alien invasion are explained. With the help of scientists and engineers from NASA, JPL, the Department of Energy, the U.S. Army, a major special effects studio, and various universities, the Sci-Fi Science crew explores force fields, lasers, lightning guns, rail guns, extrasolar planets and other "science fiction" concepts that are in fact, quite real. A campy, animation-rich alien invasion of Los Angeles provides the jumping-off point for real science demonstrations. Written by
I love Sci Fi Science! I am a big space and science enthusiast as well as a fan of science fiction. Unfortunately in todays world there is a brick wall that separates the factions of both those things. Sci Fi Science: Physics of the Impossible is one show that thins the line between science fiction and real science, and that is a great thing.
When I first watched this show a few weeks ago, I was very skeptical. It seemed silly and unrealistic. Lasers on the Moon? Asteroids crashing into Mars to terraform the planet? As ridiculous as Michio Kaku's ideas sound at first, they are, in my opinion, very realistic as well as practical. Kaku is attempting to explain things scientifically that many other ignorant so called scientist seem to put off as being impossible. Isn't science supposed to be about making the impossible a reality? The main thing that turned me off of this show at first was the overall quality and narration. After recently watching Stephen Hawking's brilliant "Into the Universe" series, this show seemed to be lacking. It wasn't quite at the level Hawking's three part series was. But Stephen Hawking spent over two years editing and narrating three episodes of his show, so of course they are going to be of high quality. Kaku's show is more simplified and is geared towards being a weekly television show rather than a huge one time only deal show, so I lowered the bar for this show and embraced it for what it is. In the end, I found I actually enjoyed it!
Kaku's show seems to be more geared towards sci fi fans more than actual scientist, but that does not mean it is not worth checking out if you are a scientist or science enthusiast. How would you go about creating a society on Mars? What is the best way to protect Earth's ecosystem permanently from killer asteroids? Colonizing Mars and protecting Earth from killer asteroids are more than science fiction. They both could happen one day hundreds of years from now. I think it is nice to see a real scientist actually talk about real problems of the future and come up with a practical solution on how to solve them. For the skeptics, I will talk about one of Kaku's episodes and challenge it's ideas. Being a curious person and computer scientist myself, I challenged Kaku's theory on terraforming Mars. Kaku did an episode of Sci Fi Science where he talked about how we would be able to attach rockets to asteroids from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, slingshot them around Jupiter and send them hurling towards Mars. When the asteroids would impact, they would theoretically melt the polar ice caps on Mars and create a greenhouse effect on Mars to heat the entire planet. This would hypothetically make the planet suitable for life as well as protect it from the Sun's deadly radiation.
As much as I tried to challenge this asteroid concept, in the end, I couldn't find a better solution. There are variables involved. How would we attach rockets to massive asteroids? How would we navigating them back through the asteroid belt after sling shotting around Jupiter? How long would the process take? How long would Mars be hot for or how long would the effects last? As many questions as there are, the idea is practical and realistic. How else do you heat an entire planet? Mirrors reflecting light from the sun on the planet? Changing the albedo of the entire surface of the planet? The cost and ideas of those other theories are astronomical. Building guided missiles and sling shotting objects in space has been done before, so why can't that be applied to asteroids and Mars?
Have fun and watch this show, challenge Kaku's ideas and you will find that his show is not all just silly business for science fiction. It is real, practical science. Give this show a try. It may not be everyones flavor of science, but I like it more than the typical Discovery Channel type show.
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