Bad Science Movie Night Series Puts Sci-Fi Under the Microscope

Physics professor Tom Maccarone will analyze the film “Contact.”


A new film series hosted by Texas Tech University faculty members hopes to answer the question, is there any real science in science fiction?

As part of the Bad Science Movie Night series, Texas Tech experts will open showings of science fiction films at Alamo Drafthouse, 120 W. Loop 289, with an expert analysis of the movies: what they get right, what they get wrong, and if there’s any truth to the concept. The experts promise to explore the real science behind the movie without ruining it – unless the movie really has it coming.

At 7 p.m. Feb. 15, Tom Maccarone, an associate professor in the Department of Physics, will introduce the 1997 Carl Sagan movie “Contact.” The film centers around a scientist who, after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of intelligent aliens who send plans for a mysterious machine.

Maccarone’s discussion will touch on how radio astronomy is done, what cardinal sins the movie astronomers commit in the interest of drama, what signals from space have really turned out to be, and how likely it is we might one day make “contact.”

Reservations are not needed. Tickets are $3 each.

March’s film will be “Interstellar.”

Department of Physics

Department of Physics

The Department of Physics is active in a broad range of research and teaching activities designed to prepare undergraduates for challenging careers in science and technology. Graduates of the department have gone on to successful careers at universities, national laboratories, and in industry.

The department offers the Bachelor of Science degree in physics, and in cooperation with the College of Engineering, also offers courses leading to the Bachelor of Science in engineering physics.

Society of Physics Students at Texas Tech University
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