The Science of Interstellar by Kip Thorne: Book Review

by DerdriuMarriner

The Science of Interstellar by Kip Thorne details educated guesses, speculations, and truths for anomalies, black and worm holes, blights, and slingshots.

Among stars are proofs to the universe's SOPs

The Science of Interstellar acquaints film-going book-readers with educated guesses, speculations, and truths to account for black and worm holes, crop blights, and gravitational anomalies and slingshots in the 2014-released science fiction movie, Interstellar. It thereby brings to movie-lover attention the two concepts that guide the film:
• Action, characters, and dialogue advance solidly established knowledge of space and laws of physics; and
• Speculations about physics and space call upon the ideas of respected scientists.

It therefore commences with:
• one-page foreword by film director Christopher Nolan;
• two-page preface; and
• 14-page presentation on Interstellar’s odyssey, from conceptualization in October 2005 to release in October 2014.

The Science of Interstellar then divides into 31 chapters grouped under seven thematic parts.



Humans are thought to be able to live only in 4 dimensions:

Artist concept of Gravity Probe B orbiting the Earth to measure space-time, a four-dimensional description of the universe including height, width, length, and time.
Gravity Probe B and Space-Time
Gravity Probe B and Space-Time

Among stars begin queries for life anywhere, everywhere


Part One elaborates laws which consider:

  • big bangs, intense gravity, time travel;
  • black and worm holes, expanding universes, warped space-times;
  • galaxies, planets, stars; and
  • quantum-fluctuating atoms, molecules, particles.

It functions as introduction to and review of:

  • motion laws by Sir Isaac Newton (December 25, 1642 – March 20, 1726/7);
  • quantum laws by Niels Bohr (October 7, 1885 – November 18, 1962), Werner Heisenberg (December 5, 1901 – February 1, 1976), and Erwin Schrödinger (August 12, 1887 – January 4, 1961);
  • quantum gravity laws by Michael Green (born May 22, 1946) and John Schwarz (born November 22, 1941); and
  • relativistic laws by Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955).

It generates discussion on four space-related challenges:

  • super-fast;
  • super-intense;
  • super-large; and
  • super-small.


intriguing possibilities of shortcuts via wormhole travels

1998 digital art by Les Bossinas (Cortez III Service Corp.), illustrator 1984 - 2001 at NASA John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field, northeastern Ohio
artist's conception of wormhole travel
artist's conception of wormhole travel

Among stars come routes through multi-dimensional, multi-shaped space


Parts Two, Five, and Seven handle travel near and within black holes. Black holes inhabit galactic centers. They jam all matter from their respectively burned-out, dead, imploded, massive, nuclear fuel-spent, spinning stars into warped space-times. They thereby keep everything hidden at their singularities (centers), orbiting at their circumferences (uppers), and timeless at their horizons (surfaces).

Parts Three, Four, and Six link Earth and Gargantua through:

  • the impetus of impending asphyxiation and starvation on crop-blighted, oxygen-depleted Earth;
  • the means of extra-solar system-built tesseracts (cubes within cubes) and wormholes; and
  • opportunities of colonies on Edmunds’, Mann’s, and Miller’s exo-planets and stations off Saturn.

Their plausibility manifests Earth’s four-dimensionalism within space’s curled-up, curved, ten-dimensionalism. Resolution necessitates dominating gravitational anomalies. 


In "Interstellar" neighborhood of gas giant Saturn, with the most complex and largest ring system in the Solar System, is favored for colonies on Edmunds’, Mann’s, and Miller’s exoplanets and stations.

Mosaic of 75 exposures of Saturn taken over 8 hour timespan from a distance of approximately 847,000 kilometers (526,000 miles) by Cassini-Huygens unmanned spacecraft on August 12, 2009, beginning about 1.25 days after Saturn's equinox.
PIA11667: The Rite of Spring
PIA11667: The Rite of Spring

Among stars dare scientists to seek habitable exo-planets


Gravitational anomalies operate outside good-faith predictions on:

  • Mercury’s furthest distance from the Sun;
  • relative galactic brightnesses and speeds; and
  • universal crunches and rips.

Warped space-time problem-solves the 0.1 arc second of orientation change with each of Mercury’s completed orbits. Galactic and universal accelerations likewise quantify respective presences within estimated universal masses as:

  • 5% visible matter;
  • 27% gravity-lensing, image-distorting, light-bending dark matter; and
  • 68% expansion-slowing, gravity-repelling dark matter. 

So The Science of Interstellar nudges science fiction-loving movie-goers through culturally enriching, educationally entertaining, geo-historically enthralling adventures, thanks to:

  • Courier Kendallville, manufacturer;
  • Julia Druskin, Joe Lops, production managers;
  • Bjorn Holland, photographer;
  • Christopher Nolan, forewordist;
  • Kip Thorne, author;
  • W.W. Norton & Company, publisher;
  • Devin Washburn, cover designer; and
  • Chris Welch, book designer.


The Science of Interstellar by Kip Thorne ~ Available now on Amazon

200 color illustrations. Theoretical Physicist Kip Thorne explains the stunning science behind sci-fi spectacular film "Interstellar."



My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.


Wormhole travel could occur much closer to home: As travelable shortcuts, wormholes may connect not only two universes but also two distant regions in the same universe. ~

Depiction of wormhole connecting place in front of Tübingen University's physical institutes with sand dunes near Boulogne sur Mer, northern France.
panorama of the dunes: Philippe E. Hurbain
panorama of the dunes: Philippe E. Hurbain

Sources Consulted


Thorne, Kip. 2014. The Science of Interstellar. New York, NY, U.S.A.; and London, England, U.K.: W.W. Norton & Company.


Ad astra per aspera ("to the stars through hardships"): terrestrial challenges impel main characters of "Interstellar" into interstellar overdrive ~

interstellar overdrive: view of starry nighttime sky from downtown Pittsburgh, southwestern Pennsylvania
interstellar overdrive: view of starry nighttime sky from downtown Pittsburgh, southwestern Pennsylvania
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

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Great compact grab-and-go telescope for entry-level and intermediate astronomy enthusiasts *4.5 inch aperture + fast f/4 focal ratio for bright detailed views of solar system targets (Moon, planets) + wide-field celestial objects (nebulas, star clusters)

Saturn's Rings close up: black t-shirt ~ Available via AllPosters

Saturn's Rings, Close-Up.
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Fast f/4 optics and short focal length provide very wide field of view, making it easy to locate celestial objects without having to hunt around EQ-1 equatorial telescope mount makes tracking night-sky objects easy using included slow motion controls.

Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 10/16/2021, DerdriuMarriner
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DerdriuMarriner on 07/02/2015

Mira, English-language science fiction plots and styles particularly are influenced by the Mars-directed writings of Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert A. Heinlein. Can it be one of those four that you're thinking of?

Mira on 07/01/2015

Yes, Mars, with its water as ice, is certainly interesting. I read somewhere how this whole interest in Mars began in science fiction but now I forget.

DerdriuMarriner on 07/01/2015

Mira, It'll be interesting to read the perspectives -- on our galaxy, solar system, and universe -- which Mars gives us if the data collected and being gathered is made available and understandable and if astronaut landings actually take place 15 years from now.

Mira on 06/29/2015

This just boggles the mind. I think they have developed outrageous theories based on very little scientific, demonstrable proof. I agree that it's hard to conduct many experiments when you want to find out the origin of the universe, and I also agree that the efforts to understand these things are commendable, but . . . :) Anyway, I can see why wormholes would be comsidered unstable. It appears that much of the universe IS unstable. I'm surprised our Solar system is so dependable :)

DerdriuMarriner on 06/29/2015

Mira, Wormholes are complicated for science too since they're unstable and -- according to theory -- would keep trying to close up even when they're being used.

Mira on 06/29/2015

I love science fictional accounts of wormholes but the physics is definitely too complicated for me :) You, on the other hand, seem quite passionate about it lately. I also have some conceptual problems with theoretical physics. Just how exactly they go about postulating the number of dimensions in a universe. I know they have equations and it all has to work out, but maybe the equations should also be different in those universes, don't you think?

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