Friday, August 10, 2007

Science Live

A friend recently sent me a link to an animation about Black Holes. For the most part, it’s pretty good textbook stuff. The description of the event horizon is a little weak. The reason it's called the "event" horizon is because it's the point where time, relative to surrounding space, starts to warp. Their description doesn't really emphasize that enough. I suspect that the "point of no return" is actually a bit farther out than the event horizon itself.

I’m not sure how many scientists take the wormhole theory seriously. I suspect most agree that we probably couldn't construct a ship strong enough to withstand the gravitational forces involved, rendering the idea useless even if it were true. But hey, it's a flashy idea, and someone took the time to make the math work, so why not play with it?

What I really do like here is the use of simple, episodic animations to teach science, and this is a pretty good example. It’s short, fun to look at, and presents one concept in a neat little package. I’m also encouraged by the increasing popularity of films, long and short, that teach various concepts of science. I'm guessing we're a long way from seeing "The Evolution Story" in claymation on Winter Solstice Eve, it’s still pretty cool.