This page is part of the website

Mathematics Goes to the Movies

by Burkard Polster and Marty Ross


The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Good blackboard in Prof. Barnardt’s office. Klatu leaves mathematical visiting card.

same blackboard with more math added to it.
BARNARD: You wrote this?
KLATU: It was a clumsy way to introduce myself. But I understand you are a difficult man to see. I thought you’d have the solution by this time.
BARNARD: Not yet. That’s why I wanted to see you.
KLATU: All you have to do now is to substitute this expression at this point.
BARNARD: Yes, that will reproduce the first-order term. But what about the effect on the other terms?
KLATU: Almost negligible. With variation of parameters, this is the answer.
BARNARD: How can you be so sure? Have you tested this theory?
KLATU: I find it works well enough to get me from one planet to another.

Klatu, helps Bobby with his maths homework
KLATU: All you have to remember is first find the common denominator, and then divide
BOBBY to his mother:
BOBBY: He’s my best friend, and he is awfully good in arithmetic. He even helps Prof. Barnardt with his arithmetic.
Mom: Did you really go to see Prof. Barnhardt?
BOBBY: Sure we did. He wasn’t there, but we went to see him and Mr Carpenter (Klatu poses as Mr Carpenter) showed him how to do his arithmetic.