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Quantum Mechanics is a difficult discipline to get one’s head around. It is a science that can seem counterintuitive to the way we process information in our normal daily lives.
As such, during the development of the screenplay, Writer-Director Kenneth Mader reached out to an old friend and physics major David Abramson for consultation and advice on the accuracy of the science in the script. His notes led to discussions about the particle pair phenomenon and negation in the quantum realm, which could be viewed in a narrative sense as a metaphor for death and rebirth, and letting go of the past, yet learning from it.
This resulted in a re-thinking of film’s ending to help bring it more in line with particle pair physics and the duality paradox of time travel. Cassie’s encounters with her Doppelgänger and their escalating physical breakdown is tied directly to the concept that identical matter cannot share the same time and space without destroying each other. This leads to the climax of the film as well as the coda scene, which brings us back to a kind of ‘re-booted’ reality, albeit one in which the events of the story indeed have an impact on the new timeline. Something that is always challenging to achieve in a time travel story, since if one solves the central problem and goes back to the beginning, then it could be argued that the journey we were just on never happened. So the reality of science and the particle pair phenomenon helped us solve that narrative paradox.
For a bit of a primer on the science behind Displacement (‘Primer’ pun intended lol), and a couple of interesting articles, check out these links:
- – Introduction to quantum mechanics (Wikipedia)
- – Quantum mechanics (Wikipedia)
- – Time travel simulation resolves grandfather paradox (Scientific American)
- – Time travel has been simulated by Australian physicists (Science Alert)
- – Wormhole Time Travel: Cambridge Physicist Proposes Possibility Of Sending Messages Through Time (Huffington Post, UK)
- – New Quantum Theory Could Explain the Flow of Time (Wired)
And here are some other cool time travel/quantum physics films we love that also served as inspiration for this movie:
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