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Just wondering if equations used as props in SG1, atlantis and most recently Universe are just random and cool looking, or real/meaningful and cool looking.

Most recent episode of Stargate Universe S02E04 has a "corridor of equations" where dr nick Rush is trying to decipher something. Has anyone familiar with the show got an opinion on this?

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Do you have a link/image? –  Aryabhata Oct 27 '10 at 6:01
I was trying to find a decent one, I might have to do a screengrab when I get home. –  Anonymous Type Oct 27 '10 at 6:02
I could be wrong, but this question may not be received very well on this site. At the very least, you should include specific equations that you are curious about (I understand that your question is about these types of shows in general, but this makes for a "bad" question.) See here for more on what questions are considered appropriate for this site –  jericson Oct 27 '10 at 6:08
I know the equation you are talking about (the one Chloe solved). From what I remember it was a simple integral (I didn't pay too close attention so it may have been improperly written) that any 1st year calculus student can solve. –  crasic Oct 27 '10 at 6:39
@Anonymous Type: there's nothing wrong with asking about a piece of mathematics you saw somewhere. But I hope you can understand that since you didn't provide the actual piece of mathematics, you are forcing anyone who wants to answer the question to actually find it themselves. That's a lot to ask of strangers on the internet! If you actually want your question to be answered, it should be as self-contained as possible. –  Qiaochu Yuan Oct 27 '10 at 21:51

3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

I can't believe this question is not closed.

As near as I can tell, Chloe solved the problem which has stymied Dr. Rush by successfully integrating a constant. Apparently Rush's expertise in ancient technology does not cover first year calculus.



Update: Actually, looking over it, I might be mistaken. I interpreted the question as $-\int_0^t g \sin \gamma dt$ and Chloe's answer as $-\ddot{r} t \sin \gamma$, which is integrating a constant and making a gratuitous substitution of $\ddot{r}$ for $g$. I can't make any sense at all of the middle line in Chloe's answer.

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nice work, thanks Alex. –  Anonymous Type Oct 28 '10 at 2:50

Awww, if you want screenshots of my Crazy Hall, all you have to do is ask! Yes, it's all legit math, and all internally consistant throughout the seasons. The core science is usually from peer-reviewed publications, just blended together in ways that don't typically make sense in the Real World (when would you ever feed the energy of a solar flare into a black hole, except with Stargate?)

I frequently use the established alien alphabets for variables, making it a bit more squiggle-loving, and anything that's going to be completed-by-an-actor is always simplified down to "write the last 1-3 characters," with the assumption that we're catching them at the end of a big scribble-fest. Thus, it wasn't really "Chloe knows how to integrate & Rush doesn't," as it was, "Chloe has thought of a new approach to this problem that Rush didn't." Each character has different and distinct handwriting associated with them (usually based off writing samples from the actor), but admittedly that'd almost impossible to spot in the fuzzy darkness that is Destiny's hallways.

For SGU specifically, the Crazy Hall evolved over time based on what the crew had encountered. For example, when going through the "How do we collect Lt. Scott from that shuttlecraft before we jump?!", an entire wall on orbital dynamics, with particular focus on energy needs for intersecting orbits, got added in.

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thanks @spaceMika really good post. –  Anonymous Type Jan 7 '13 at 0:21

...lots of the math on Destiny's wall (as Mika McKinnon describes them) are just guesses about energy inflow and outflow...particle densities...space-time configurations inside either a wormhole spacetime..or related space-times (accretion disk anomalous events,.. solar flare events..etc). In the original pilot episode "Air Part 1" you see the REAL equations for a 'traversable wormhole'..Morris - Thorne or one of the later followup papers..at arxiv.org there are several..just enter "traversable wormhole". Mika then stated on her consultants blog (you can email her about this by the way)..she just sort of dumped everything she could think the scientists on Destiny might need to look into. One interesting set of equations was in the episode "Human" where Dr. Rush has outlines of Shor's theorems on the University's chalkboard..and some of Weyl's group theory polynomials (squiggly stuff with the powers and subscripts).. on his whiteboard at home. Any of this actually valid? Well yes and no...to give Mika credit..she sort of 'skips around "subspace equations"' by discussing the Weyl stuff in Dr. Rush's comments on "codes and projections of wormhole power" in both "Human" and "Air part 1". The implication is that Destiny's FTL drive might be 'similar to Star Treks'.(which is a running joke since the entire series has references to other Sci-Fi Tv and movies...startrek starwars..etc.).. but that their FTL drive doesn't seem to need antimatter likes Trek's does..just lots of good solar protons and related solar ejecta.

Glad they never told actor Robert Carlyle about those "Weyl squiggles" (zeta and eta symbols for differential form geometries)..he might have had to explain them to Hoda and kathy Lee...on the Today Show...those ladies get tipsy enough to jump on anything. WW

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