Image from Star Wars as Millenium Falcon jumps to light speed
Image from Star Wars as Millenium Falcon jumps to light speed

Cosmic Queries: Science Fiction

Image Credit: © LucasFilm Limited

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About This Episode

Science Fiction meets science fact in this episode of StarTalk Radio, and, not surprisingly, the facts win. Join astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Eugene Mirman as they explore force fields, transporter beams, lightsabers and Dyson spheres. You’ll find out why rotation is a more efficient way to generate gravity on a spaceship than magnetism, and why controlled gravity and anti-matter reactions are unlikely methods of propulsion based on the laws of physics. Time travel is on the table, too, from the mechanics of tachyon fields and the Flux Capacitor to Star Trek’s warp drive and faster-than-light travel in Star Wars. Neil ponders whether time is static, as in 12 Monkeys and The Time Machine, or malleable, as in Back To The Future. Neil and Eugene discuss Sliders’ depiction of parallel universes and whether mathematical equations can predict the future like in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Cosmic Queries: Science Fiction.

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