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Mathematics Goes to the Movies

by Burkard Polster and Marty Ross


Supernova (2001)

Lots going on with dimensions. First there is a dimension drive that allows people move rapidly from one place in space to another. Then there is a bomb made from ninth-dimensional material.

COMPUTER (SWEETIE): My analysis of cards played shows a 77% chance of you losing this hand, Benjamin.
NICK (copilot): I don’t want to complain, but five miles of fibre optics sort of spoils the spirit of competition, don't you think, Sweetie? Gin.
BENJAMIN (computer guy): When I reprogrammed her for this tour, I tried to put some human traits into her personality profile.
I sort of wanted them to find out because it'd really piss them off. But if they ever do, I'm dead. I'm assuming you're not gonna turn me in...
NICK: You don't know me well enough to make that assumption. Your deal.
SWEETIE: My analysis of Copilot Vanzant's vital signs suggests a very high probability that he will turn you in, Benjamin.
NICK: I'm not gonna turn you in.

Dimension drive first time in action (pretty nonsensical)

Tetrahedron on screen

Analysis of the bomb
Fantastic growing hypercube (only up to 7 dimensions)
SWEETIE: I've updated my analysis of the unknown object. Computing atomic mass to quantum weight suggests the presence of extra-dimensional isotopic matter.
KAELA (medical officer): Extra-dimensional?
SWEETIE: Yes. The isotopic matter appears to be ninth-dimensional in nature.
KAELA: Define ninth-dimensional matter.
SWEETIE: While mathematics can demonstrate the existence of this matter, I'm afraid human language lacks any vocabulary to describe it.
KAELA: The object is made of this extra-dimensional material?
SWEETIE: No. The object is a three-dimensional shell encasing the ninth-dimensional matter.
KAELA: What's the function of the container?|
SWEETIE: Dispersal of contents.
KAELA: Specify type of dispersal.
SWEETIE: Omni-directional.
KAELA: Describe effect of ninth-dimensional material upon a third-dimensional universe? SWEETIE: Spontaneous creation of new three-dimensional matter.
KAELA:It's a bomb.

Dodecahedron representing shuttle spinning out of control. In red Infinite loop.

Spinning cube representing another shuttle. Similar to dodecahedron and tetrahedron.

NICK: Ninth-dimensional isotopic matter with an exponential expansion capability?

SWEETIE: A ninth-dimensional reaction would spread in all directions in the universe. The resulting supernova would likely reach Earth in 51 years. It could either destroy life on Earth or enable humankind to achieve a new level of existence. There's just the one DSU left, so I'm staying and you're going