Nov 22, 2014
Posted by Otto E. Rössler in category: cosmology
The movie is grandiose and beautifully done. Especially the young girl at the outset is an incredibly strong real-life personality. The movie brings together the issue of planetary survival – under the onslaught of a never explained progressive lethal scourge – with the redeeming power of black holes used as a vehicle to reach a distant twin earth to be colonized by a select few.
The scenario is ingenious because the two topics – planetary survival and black holes – are intertwined on our own planet as well. The movie therefore functions much like a nightly dream which reshuffles some elements of the daylight reality to enable the sleep to go on while still remaining decipherable after waking up. The current terrestrial situation is not at all unrelated – with black holes figuring decisively in it as well.
In this optically and acoustically overwhelming immersion, for the first time in history the basic effect which a black hole exerts on its vicinity is made palpable. The viewer becomes an eyewitness to the emotional ordeal gone through by the protagonist (a trained jet pilot originally) when he suddenly realizes what it means that he and his buddy are by a technical problem forced to stay for a few more minutes fairly deep down in the gravitational funnel of a giant black hole: That this means that decades will pass by on the outside during those very minutes – so his young daughter whom he so much longs to see again will afterwards be older than he is now. And indeed, when he returns at the end of the movie, she is lying on her death bed in old age, with all her descendants assembled around her.
The movie thereby makes “gravitational time dilation” a palpable experience on the viewer’s own body and mind. And it does the same thing to the specialists’ minds, so I am sure. Textbook knowledge can never replace being made an eyewitness in person. You are now able to realize yourself what happens if you get even closer to the surface (or “horizon” as my friend Wolfgang Rindler named it) of a black hole. The answer is that you will in the limit of going down to the horizon itself be faced with an infinitely old universe on your return.