Science of TRON

Caltech physicist Sean Carroll (far left) explains the science of TRON: Legacy.Twenty-eight years after the release of the originalTRON film, the sequel, TRON: Legacy, is stunning audiences with cutting-edge visual effects, heart-racing action and a mesmerizing story. But audiences are also being stunned by another element in the film: science.

“Obviously the concept as a whole is a little fantastical. But it was important to me, and producer Sean Bailey and our other producer Jeff Silver that we have some sort of strong science foundation at key moments in the film,” explained TRON: Legacy director Joe Kosinski.

Science: The Musical!

Have you seen it? Okay, there’s no such show called “Science: The Musical.” Not yet, anyway. But writing, performing, and recording songs about science isn’t as uncommon as it sounds. Actually, we’re willing to bet you’ve heard more than a few—though you may not have realized it.

One science tune is currently being heard every week by several million people: “The History of Everything,” also known as the theme song for the hit television show The Big Bang Theory. The song, penned and performed by the Barenaked Ladies, details the entire history of universe in 1 minute, 46 seconds. If you think that’s brief, the theme song is an even briefer 32 seconds. “The creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady were big fans of the band and they called,” remembers Barenaked Ladies’ singer/guitarist Ed Robertson.

Scientist, Engineer, Celebrity: The STEM Stars of Hollywood

It wasn’t his music—nor an unusual hobby—that brought Brian May, lead guitarist for the iconic rock band Queen, to the attention of The Science & Entertainment Exchange. Before he became known for “We Are the Champions” or “We Will Rock You,” May studied astrophysics at Imperial College in London.

Success in the world of rock music meant that May had to put his passion for science on hold. But in 2007, he returned to academia, earning a PhD complete with a dissertation bearing the title, “A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud.” He also wrote a book, Bang! The Complete History of the Universe, and became a frequent guest on the popular BBC astronomy program “The Sky at Night.”