We’ve all watched the scene. Maybe it’s the scientist character trying to provide a huge dollop of exposition to the rest of the team, maybe it’s in a montage as the cast grope towards the breakthrough that will drive Act II.
Whatever it is, it features a blackboard / whiteboard / cave wall covered in equations that supposedly relate to the situation at hand. Some shows—such as Numb3rs—really try to match what’s on the board to the plot. Others just pick science equations at random, or delegate a junior props guy to scribble a grab-bag of greek letters and math symbols on the board. But can people really tell the difference? What follows are some equations (and hints) that relate to classic science-fiction scenarios — see if you can identify them. Answers and explanations tomorrow.