Exploring Science Through Science Fiction

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Springer Science & Business Media, Oct 23, 2013 - Science - 241 pages
The material in this book forms the basis of an interdisciplinary, college-level course, which uses science fiction film as a vehicle for exploring science concepts. Unlike traditional introductory-level courses, the science content is arranged according to major themes in science fiction, with a deliberate progression from the highly objective and discipline-specific (e.g. Reference Frames; Physics of Space Travel and Time Travel) to the very multi-disciplinary and thought-provoking (e.g. Human Teleportation; Science and Society). Over 100 references to science fiction films and television episodes are included, spanning more than 100 years of cinematic history. Some of these are conducive to calculations (solutions included).

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Ah, E.E. "Doc" Smith's coruscating beams of force ... he introduced these early on, and then every couple of chapters would want to up the ante, so would have to try and outdo his earlier description ... Read full review


Introduction Discerning the Real the Possible and the Impossible
What Is the Nature of Space and Time?
What Is the Universe Made of?
Can a Machine Become SelfAware?
Are We Alone in the Universe?
What Does It Mean to Be Human?
How Do We Solve Our Problems
What Lies Ahead?
Catalog of Movies Cited
Television Series Episodes Cited
Youtube Videos Cited
Solutions to Estimation Problems
Author Biography

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About the author (2013)

Barry Luokkala is a teaching professor and director of undergraduate laboratories in the department of physics at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his BS and MS degrees in physics at the University of Pittsburgh, where he did experimental research in the physics and chemistry of the ionosphere. He received his PhD in experimental condensed matter physics at Carnegie Mellon University. He has also served as program director for the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the sciences and has been a science consultant for the Sloan Foundation Screenplay Competition in Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama.