Even though San Diego Comic-Con explicitly celebrates the popular arts, I’ve always found that science fits right in. The Venn diagram of science enthusiasts and comic book nerds has circles overlapping more than you’d think. That’s why NASA packs the halls whenever it does a panel, and why every year Nerdist puts on a science panel exploring your favorite fandoms.
This year at Conival, we had the pleasure of talking about Star Trek—warp drives and transporters and replicators, oh my!—with a stacked panel of science experts. Astrophysicist Katie Mack explained how to destroy a planet with a tiny black hole (or not). Quantum physicist Spiros Michalakis told us the proper way to transport a person. Physicist and YouTuber Dianna Cowern reverse engineered Klingon cloaking tech, and Chief Making Officer Adam Savage listed all the things a replicator could fix in society.
Above, Savage links science and science fiction beautifully, and below Michalakis (the guy who made sure all the quantum mechanics were correct in Ant-Man) outlines how to actually transport a person.
Michalakis also points out that transporting can lead to some pretty weird cloning situations.
How do you making a cloaking device? Use a material that bends light instead of reflecting it:
Could the “red matter” from the first Star Trek reboot really destroy a planet? Not so fast, says Dr. Mack:
And why do you need warp drive anyway? So that everyone you love in the universe doesn’t die of old age:
Finally, Savage finds the connection between replicators on Federation star ships and the utopian society that Star Trek is famous for:
What do you think? Aren’t science and fiction like peanut butter and jelly when you have a bunch of scientists and nerds discussing them? What other aspects of Star Trek could use an explanation? Let us know in the comments below.