​3 Body Problem premiered on Netflix on March 21, 2024

The American sci-fi series, 3 Body Problem is currently ruling the OTT platform, Netflix. The play is based on the novel The Problem with Three Bodies, the first novel in the Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy by Liu Cixin. Netflix describes the eight-episode series in the right words: “It challenges human science and takes us on a surprising journey that spans continents and timelines.”


Oxford Five

The Oxford Five is the backbone of the show. This represents a group of scientists working tirelessly against time to save the world from catastrophic consequences. The Oxford Five are Will, Jin Cheng (Jess Hong), Saul Durand (Jovan Adepo), Auggie Salazar (Eiza González) and Jack Rooney (John Bradley).



Meet San-Tis

The series is about the San-Ti, an extraterrestrial species whose planet is doomed due to a three-body problem. They want to escape to Earth, and to help them with that, they’re using the best scientists and physicists from Earth through VR games “with the goal of winning them over to their cause.” The game is very realistic as San-Ti’s technology is much more advanced than ours.


What is the three body problem?

The three-body problem is the cosmic entanglement that arises when three celestial bodies—which can be planets, suns, or stars—are near each other and exert forces on each other. This is a problem because when three bodies exert forces on each other, the system becomes unstable and breaks down. This explains why San-Ti had a stable era and a chaotic era.

San-Ti had a three-body problem or a three-sun solar system due to which it experienced a stable era and chaotic era. Netflix explains: When a planet orbits a sun, it’s a stable epoch. When another sun grabs the planet, it wanders in the gravitational field between the three suns, causing a chaotic epoch. In a chaotic era, living conditions may become too extreme for life to exist. Hence the mass exodus of San-Ti from their planet.


The countdown that only Auggie sees

Auggie, a nanotechnologist, is troubled by unusual visions that are only visible to him. In the opening episodes, we Auggie is “haunted by a secret countdown that no one else can see.” “There’s this really cool phenomenon called Cherenkov radiation, where in certain materials, particles can travel faster than light in that material. They then emit this radiation in a very specific cone, a bit like a sonic boom when a jet engine goes overhead – it’s the equivalent, but with light instead of sound. “My theory about how these images appear on people’s retinas or in people’s vision at the show is that you can produce Cherenkov light in the fluid in someone’s eye to make some kind of image appear – or a countdown,” explains Dr. Matt Kenzie, Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Cambridge, Dr. Kenzie is also the show’s scientific advisor.


The VR headset takes you through different eras

3 Body Problem VR headset is about trying to save a young girl, stalkers and other people. The game is set in different time periods from the Shang Dynasty to Tudor England. The unique feature of this VR game is revealed when Jack tastes the soil and is amazed by the realistic experience.


Any explanation for the twinkling stars?

Another interesting feature in the show, which happened in the first episode and really got sci-fi lovers hooked on the show, was when the stars trembled. Shortly after Auggie arrived at the location indicated by the “mystery” woman, she and Will along with several other people noticed the stars flickering on and off. Dr. Kenzie explains that twinkling stars is a normal phenomenon, but “but turning off and on completely is an imaginary phenomenon that can’t really be explained.”



Sophons: What are these?

As you sit through the show, you realize that San-Ti has Sophons that he uses to spy on human beings, learn about their technological advances, and know what he plans to do. Dr. Kenzie explains that in our world of three dimensional space and a single dimension of time it is not possible to have sofas. Sophons can spy on human conversations, but they are unable to understand lies and deception, and world leaders have taken advantage of this trait and named them Wallfacers, named after the ancient Buddhist name for meditators. Wallfacers are the individuals who are chosen to devise a plan to fight the San-Ti all within their own minds.

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