Physics in Movies Gets A Poor Grade

In space no one can hear you scream, but that doesn’t keep film directors from having a dramatic “whoosh” on the soundtrack whenever a spaceship flies by or breaks up. Now the excellent Intuitor educational website catalogs these and other movie science blunders in the Movie Physics Ratings database. Great discussions of flashing bullets, exploding cars, machine guns with endless clips of bullets, crashing thru windows and the resulting falls to the ground, visible laser beams and too-audible sounds. In general sci-fi movies take terrible liberties with the science they show; the most accurate movies reviewed were the political drama Seven Years in Tibet and the Tom Hanks gangster movie The Road to Perdition.

One thought on “Physics in Movies Gets A Poor Grade”

  1. I’ve never had any problem with this.  I just consider it to be incidental music.  This solves all problems, and makes those who criticise look a bit stupid.

    As for lasers – well, clearly most of the time they’re not actually lasers, but some sort of ion beam which excites nearby molecules, causing the to emit light.  This can clearly be shown in the opening scenes in Star Wars, where the explosions do not sync up with the time the laser hits the ship.  

Comments are closed.