I was only recently introduced to the 1989 hit TV series Quantum Leap. In fact, I’d never seen an episode until about a month ago when I was struggling to come up with a topic for the letter “Q”. When my mom mentioned that the show was one of my aunt’s favorites, I immediately looked it up on Netflix Instant. It wound up being a lot of fun.
The show follows Dr. Sam Beckett, a physicist from the future who becomes lost in the past after a time travel experiment goes awry. He “leaps” from person to person, temporarily taking their place as he rights old wrongs with the help of his friend Al.
But how does this work? Sam theorized that life is like a piece of rope, with one end representing a person’s birth, and the other their death. If you tie the two ends together, they form a loop – a time loop. By balling the loop up in the palm of your hand, different “periods” of your life (aka. sections of the string) start to intersect, allowing you to leap across time almost instantly. And that’s what Sam does, with the use of his Quantum Accelerator. Through this machine he’s able to jump to any time period within his own lifespan.
What struck me most about this explanation of “quantum leaping” was how much it reminded me of the Tesseract from one of my favorite books of all time – Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.
If you think about it, this is pretty advanced stuff for such a young audience. And while I've never been much of a physics buff, it's pretty interesting to partake in some of the science behind Science Fiction. Perhaps that's one of the reasons that Quantum Leap was voted a cult favorite.
Though there are a few plot holes in the series – namely the disregard of basic time travel theories like “the grandfather paradox” (which I’ll be discussing in more depth under “T”) – it’s definitely entertaining. Check it out!
***Special thanks to Aunt Anna, Connor and Keegan for not only introducing me to a fun show, but also being such amazing followers.__________________________________________________________________________________
This post is part of the Blogging A through Z Challenge 2012. My theme is (in case you didn’t already guess) science fiction. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you’d like to check in on the rest of the participants, simply click here.