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A physicist explains the science behind the post-apocalyptic world in the new series

A physicist explains the science behind the post-apocalyptic world in the new series

An image from the recently released Fallout series on Amazon. Credit: Amazon Prime/Disclosure.
Thiago Robles

Thiago Robles 6 minutes

a New series of Amazon Prime Video,'He fallswhich premiered April 10, presents stories of survival on film A post-apocalyptic world, destroyed by nuclear explosions and under chemical radiation. It is an American drama television series created by Graham Wagner and Geneva Robertson-Dworet Adaptation of the famous game franchise With the same company name Bethesda.

Many can imagine: Is it possible to survive in such a world? Full of human and animal mutants, nuclear radiation, and underground bunkers… What are the real opportunities? To answer this, a The American physicist explains the scientific possibilities of the series with those found in real life. Find out more here.

Is it possible to live in such an opposite world?

'He falls“It is a science fiction story from the atomic age, where… The world ends on October 23, 2077 after a series of nuclear explosions Los Angeles (United States of America). There is more science to this story than you might think, according to Pran Nath, a physics professor at the university Northeastern Universityin the United States of America.

to The nuclear bombs and subsequent explosions that hit the city are completely realistic. “When a nuclear explosion occurs due to a chain reaction, in a short period of time, It emits a lot of energy and radiationNath said. “in the beginning, A large flash occurs, which is the nuclear reaction that produces gamma rays. “If you're exposed to that, people in Hiroshima, for example, pretty much evaporate.” So, so far, it seems possible.

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Ghouls, Fallout series, Amazon Prime Video
You beastHumans who mutated from radiation from atomic bombs. Credit: Amazon Prime/Disclosure.

According to Nath, even people who were partially protected from the blasts, depending on the distance, would feel them The body temperature reaches about 50 degrees Celsius, and they suffer severe burns. a Burned skin beastone of the characters in the series, is nothing entirely new to science.

But there is more science to this science fiction story than you might think – says Pran Nath, professor of physics at Northeastern University (USA).

Shortly after the bombs fall, the shock and heat wave comes. The wave propagates quickly, but the physicist says so In real life, this would likely happen much faster and in a less cinematic way: The wave will travel at the speed of sound more than 1,200 kilometers per hour. Another factor here is that A “fireball” would burn all the buildings in the explosion area with intense heat. “The blast zone is where the shock waves and the fireball are most intense,” Nathan said. “In Hiroshima, for example, it was 1.6 to 3.2 kilometers away. Basically, everything in that blast zone was destroyed.” So, this is also consistent between the series and real life.

Fallout series;  Amazon Prime Video
Post-apocalyptic world from the Fallout series. Credit: Amazon Prime/Disclosure.

And then comes the radiation cloudWhich lasts longer and has greater effects. This cloud can reach up to 16 kilometers into the atmosphere, With the help of wind, the radiation is spread to other distant areas.

“Even in a nuclear explosion 100 radioactive elements Different are produced. The duration of these elements ranges from a few seconds to millions of years. They are born Pollution, body damage and wounds over a long period, which may cause cancer and leukemia“, explains Nath.

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There was a lot of talk about it Cabinets?

You Cabinets They are underground shelters The size of small cities, connected to each other. These shelters are more advanced and technical than real-world shelters.. But for Nath, it's this kind of protection It goes along with the series because it is necessary to escape the radiation from nuclear weaponsMainly gamma rays can penetrate several kilometers of concrete.

Vaults, Fallout Series;  Amazon Prime Video
one of Cabinets In the Fall series. Credit: Amazon Prime/Disclosure.

actually Mutants (salamanders and giant cockroaches) may seem like science fiction alone, but there is a real basis to them. “There are several types of deformities that occur [com a radiação]. It can also be hereditary. a Radiation can create mutations, which resemble spontaneous mutations, in animals and humans. in Chernobyl“For example, they discover animals that have undergone mutations,” the physicist said.

Now just a note: The series' debut on Amazon Prime has reignited interest in the games. in steamone of the most popular online gaming platforms, with an increasing number of users playing some of themHe falls“More than doubled in less than a week after the series premiered.

News reference:

Northeast World News. “What is “ramifications”? A physicist deconstructs the science of Amazon's sci-fi show and the terrifying reality of nuclear radiation“. 2024.