Fiction To Reality

For avid fans of Star Wars, Tatooine is a familiar name; being home to Luke Skywalker. The planet of Tatooine, in Star Wars, orbits twin stars (suns) called Tatoo I and Tatoo II. This is significant because of the newly discovered planet, Kepler-16b, which shares Tatooine’s main characteristics; it orbits too suns. This is of interest to me and  I would like to examine how science fiction and other literature have translated to scientific realities over the years, such as this, and see their accuracy in predicting its nature.

 Antimatter Storage

Have you read Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons book or watched the movie, in which symbologist Robert Langdon tries to stop a legendary secret society Illuminati from destroying Vatican City with the newly discovered power of antimatter stored in a canister? Just last year scientists and C.E.R.N. (also another parallel to the book) have managed to capture and store antihydrogen.

PDA or Pocket Computer

In 1974, when most computers were large enough to fill whole rooms, Larry Niven envisioned a pocket-sized version in The Mote in Gods Eye. The pocket computers are mostly used for mathematical calculations and note taking, but with their communication functions, Niven might as well be describing a Blackberry or an iPhone. [1]

Space travel

Jules Verne published “From the Earth to the Moon” in 1865. In 1901, H.G. Wells’ “The First Men in the Moon” was published, and the two inspired the first science fiction film, Georges Melies’ “A Trip to the Moon.”

In the 14-minute film, made in 1902, six astronomers build a bullet-shaped ship and shoot themselves to the moon — out of a cannon. In the film the moon watches the ship approach, hitting it straight in the eye. [1]

Submarine

Submarines have been around since the Civil War and have even used in combat. However, it wasn’t until Jules Verne published his classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in 1870 that engineers began to envision more advanced submersibles that could probe even deeper into the ocean. [1]

 Computerized Language Translation (Hitchhikers Guide)

Babel Fish wasn’t just a random name AltaVista came up with for their web translation software. This was actually an alien species from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy that could translate any language after being put into a person’s ear. [1]

Cell Phones

When the first flip phones were produced, many people commented that they looked like the communicators in Star Trek. That’s no coincidence. Martin Cooper, the inventor of the first handheld mobile phone, has credited Captain Kirk’s nifty gadget with inspiring the whole concept of the portable phone. [1]

.: SOS Science Club MMXI :.

Sources

[1] :  http://blog.reflexstock.com/2009/12/15-inventions-inspired-by-science-fiction/

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