How Does A Flux Capacitor Work?


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James Jacob answered
GREAT SCOTT!! The flux capacitor has to be one of the top three inventions that have ever made it to our screens. Along with the Lightsaber from Star Wars and the Transporter from Star Trek, it has moved from the silver screen into the real world where people are still talking about it nearly 25 years after the first Back to the Future movie came out.

According to Doctor Emmett Brown from the Back to the Future trilogy, a flux capacitor is what makes time travel possible. Quite an invention then considering he thought up the idea following hitting his head on a sink. But just how does it work?

While the inner workings of the flux capacitor are a closely guarded secret known only to the Doc himself, we do know that the flux capacitor opens a wormhole through space-time allowing instantaneous 4th dimensional transportation. In English this means that the flux capacitor, coupled to the famous DeLorean, allowed the vehicle to jump instantaneously through time. As seen in the first Back to the Future film, this meant that Marty McFly traveled from the year 1985 to 1955 instantly (for him) but stayed in the same physical location, just 30 years in the past.

When the time vehicle approached 88mph, a miniature wormhole was opened in front of the DeLorean thanks to the flux capacitor, allowing the vehicle to travel through leaving a pair of fire trails in its wake – quite a spectacular site.

Running a flux capacitor to bend space-time requires an enormous amount of power. In 1985, the only power source capable of generating the 1.21 Gigawatts of electricity needed was through a plutonium powered nuclear reactor. Following a time jump to 2015 however, this reactor was replaced by a Mr Fusion home energy reactor, which used household waste to power a miniature fusion reactor.

So while we will never uncover all of the secrets of the flux capacitor, remember this: A flux capacitor is what makes time travel possible, you need 1.21 Gigawatts and be driving at 88mph in order to do it.

Sadly, Dr Emmet Brown was not available for comment…

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