The non-science of Fringe: Subject 9

Fringe | Season 4 | Episode 4 | “Subject 9”

Who you gonna call?

Who you gonna call?

In a Fringe-y take on Ghost, Peter astral-projects himself to Olivia and then somehow makes it back to Earth-1. Apologies for the lack of blog activity recently; I hope to be able to get back to a regular weekly schedule before the year is out.

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

Random thoughts

Walter has a model of a fullerene on his desk, probably C60 or C70.

Astrid is using Walter’s Cold War-era Geiger counter again, which is presumably somehow superior to modern technology (perhaps it is particularly good at detecting radiation from Earth-2). A rad is an obsolete (everywhere except the USA) unit of absorbed radiation dose, or radiation absorbed per unit mass of exposed matter (the modern unit is the gray). However, not all radioactive materials are equal and it’s usually more useful to have units weight the radiation dose according to how much biological damage the radiation causes. For this we use the sievert (but Walter’s equipment would probably use the rem).

Would it really have been so hard to find Subject 9’s files? There were only 37 subjects (according to the conversation), and Walter and William wouldn’t have made it very far as scientists if they didn’t organise their records at least a little.

When Olivia shoots through the window to escape from the cafe, the entire pane of glass shatters. Innocent bystanders aside, would a handgun bullet really have this effect? I would have thought that it would either punch a small hole in the (presumably non-safety) glass, or break the window below the point of impact (rather than the entire pane).

Walter’s suggestion of using energy to neutralise other energy isn’t a bad one, though trying to focus interference on an astral projection might be a bridge too far.

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