The non-science of Fringe: White Tulip

Fringe : Season 2 : Episode 18 : “White Tulip”

Somebody interrupts Peter's presentation.

Somebody interrupts Peter's presentation.

For me, this was easily the most enjoyable episode of Fringe to date – you would have had me at “Peter Weller” and “time travel”, but there was actually an engaging plot as well. The science (such as it was) consisted mostly of theoretical physics, most likely jargon-filled gibberish.

This episode is debunked at Polite Dissent, and you can read more about it at Fox, IMDb and the A.V. Club.

Random thoughts

ATP (adenosine triphosphate)

ATP (adenosine triphosphate)

We know that electricity can be transmitted without wirelessly, but chemical energy stored in cells? Humans get their energy from ATP, which releases energy as heat when is converted to ADP.

A Faraday mesh (usually called a Faraday cage) is an enclosure made of conducting material used to block electric fields and electromagnetic radiation. If the time traveller needs to be protected from radiation (or needs to contain some kind of electric field), then a conducting suit (made of aluminium foil, perhaps) would work just was well.

Time travel shows up sooner or later in most sci-fi shows, and now Fringe has its own interpretation. The characters tick all the theoretical physics boxes, mentioning subatomic particles, the theory of relativity, tachyons (hypothetical faster-than-light particles) and wormholes (hypothetical warped spacetime), but stop short of coming up with something really plausible.

When Alistair goes back to the more-distant past, why does he extract all the energy from hundreds of square metres of grass but not from the hot air balloon full of hot air and burning gas?


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