What first appears to be a send-up of classic science fiction is in fact a thorough examination of the real-world science behind the sensationalism. In the pilot episode, the physics behind a hypothetical alien invasion are explained. With the help of scientists and engineers from NASA, JPL, the Department of Energy, the U.S. Army, a major special effects studio, and various universities, the Sci-Fi Science crew explores force fields, lasers, lightning guns, rail guns, extrasolar planets and other "science fiction" concepts that are in fact, quite real. A campy, animation-rich alien invasion of Los Angeles provides the jumping-off point for real science demonstrations.
Runtime: 30 minutes
Sci-Fi Science: Physics of the Impossible - Technobabble - Netflix
Technobabble (a portmanteau of technology and babble), also called technospeak, is a form of jargon that consists of buzzwords, esoteric language, specialized technical terms, or technical slang that is impossible to understand for the listener. Various fields of practice and industry have their own specialized vocabularies, or jargon, that allow those educated within that industry to concisely convey ideas that may be confusing, misleading, or nonsensical to an outside listener. The difference between technobabble and jargon lies with the intent of the user and the audience: a dishonest person might use overly technical (and often meaningless) language to overwhelm and confuse the audience, masking their dishonesty, while a fiction writer might use it to cover plot holes or to invoke suspension of disbelief of story elements that defy current understandings of science and technology. Use of jargon within technical circles and with no intent to obfuscate is not usually included in the definition of technobabble.
Sci-Fi Science: Physics of the Impossible - Common uses - Netflix
Authors and others who wish to convey a feeling of technical sophistication may write or talk in technobabble. They may use jargon without considering what it actually means to give an impression that they know things that their readers or listeners do not. However, if the jargon is decoded, it becomes apparent that the originator does not really understand what has been said or is deliberately being unclear. When used in this way, technobabble is considered pretentious and often unacceptable. If done carelessly, even novice listeners can often detect subtle signs of dishonesty and insincerity. Technobabble's principal use in most science fiction, in particular more hard science fiction, is to conceal the true (impossible) nature of materials, technologies, or devices mentioned in the story, often because of a violation of the laws of physics as currently understood. As reality and somewhat serious projections about the future are important in hard sci-fi, technobabble can give the impression of new discoveries rendering our current understanding of how the universe works “wrong”. For example, despite the implications of the Special Theory of Relativity on faster than light travel, it can be done via wormholes—technobabble provides an “enabling device” to provide the impression that this current understanding was “limited” or “flawed” without actually having to explain how or why. Technobabble also occurs in soft science fiction, although here it is frequently just a throw-away part of the world and not dwelt on. Soft sci-fi generally prefers unobtainium or handwavium to technobabble, as it is less taxing on the reader and fits with the setting of telling a story in a sci-fi setting as opposed to telling a story about partially fictional science.