TIFF Bell Lightbox – Trek Talks Physics!

The celebrations around the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek continues at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Not only are the screenings continuing, classic episodes and all the theatrical releases, but a number of Trek Talks have been scheduled between now and the beginning of December.

This evening’s event may have edged out the previous two as my new favourite; conducted by renowned theoretical physicist Doctor Lawrence Krauss, the night proved to be a heady dose of sciences, humour, and a mind-blowing sharing of theories and facts.

With a mass of published science papers (over 300), an obvious love of Trek (though they often get things wrong) which includes the bestselling The Physics of Star Trek, and an easy stage presence as exhibited by the best teachers, Krauss delved into the world and (im)possibilities of things like the transporters, the incredible energy requirements for a warp drive (or even one approaching the speed of light), curved space, dark energy, alien life, and inertial dampers.

Using examples from The Original Series and The Next Generation, we explore wormholes, the expansion of space, and concepts of time travel.

Krauss was entertaining, combining a playful sense of humour with a wealth of knowledge, playing to his audience who loved every moment of it, and were delighted to hear his thoughts on all manner of scientific matters as he fielded questions from the audience, even commending the knowledge and awareness of a young child who loves her Star Trek.


And while the series, and the films may not have gotten all the things right (sound in space for instance) it’s apparent that Krauss seems to love the series as much as those in the audience, making reference to characters, episodes and moments.

While dealing with some heavy concepts, Krauss still makes the theories and concepts easily accessible and understood by using references the audience will understand.

The lecture was filled with a lot of laughs, a lot of information, and if I’m honest, a delightful little headache for yours truly, as my mind was continually blown and expanded as things were revealed and concepts learned.

The fascinating thing about these talks is that you can see the influence this iconic series has had on humanity. From influencing career decisions, to the creation of technology, and the exploration of the sciences, the show can, perhaps, push us to be better, to realise an existence similar to the one Roddenberry imagined, if not quite the same. As Scotty was fond of saying, “Ye canna change the laws of physics.”

But we can boldly go…

Make sure you check out everything Trek at the Lightbox here!



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