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#1 2007-01-25 5:26 pm

TemporalFlux
Quantum Mechanic
From: The End of Time
Registered: 2006-12-01
Posts: 1129
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Gravitational Shift - The Explanation for Vortex Color?

Some years ago, I proposed a rationale to the vortex colors (see bottom of the page); but my scaled progression of the colors didn't seem to quite make sense.  I applied the "hot" and "cold" method of reasoning, but many rightly pointed out the fact that "white" would be hotter than "red"; so there is no way white would fit into the middle of the spectrum on my reasoning.  Recently, I believe I found the solution to my theory on how the color progression could make sense under a different rationale.

In 2006, writer Neil Gaiman took a crack at revitalizing a Marvel Comics property called "The Eternals".  Shortly into his first mini-series, Gaiman explored the Eternal Makkari who possessed the power of inhuman speed; and Gaiman's examination was of a speedster breaking the limits of physics.  The first person perspective of this feat relied on a scientific principle known as gravitational red shift.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/ca/Gravitational_redshift_neutron_star.jpg

Sometimes called the "Einstein Principle", the principle states:

In physics, light loses energy when it moves away from a massive body such as a star or a black hole; this effect reveals itself as a gravitational redshift in the frequency of the light, and is observable as a shift of spectral lines towards the longer, or "red," end of the spectrum.

In other words, light loses energy as the vortex grows more powerful (along with its gravitational pull as shown in episodes like season three's "Double Cross"); and the more energy light loses, the color becomes more red.  The progression would be as the image shows - Blue to Green to White to Yellow to Orange to Red.  This progression would seem to make perfect sense with the color progression of vortices on Sliders as the power (and pull) of the vortex increased.

Of course, I have asked the Sliders producers, FX people, etc. about this; there was no plan behind the vortex colors other than "it looked cool".  However, it would seem that the Sliders staff accidentally hit upon a true scientific principle.  At the very least, red shift makes sense to me; and I'll use it as my personal explanation if nothing else. smile

Last edited by TemporalFlux (2007-01-25 5:28 pm)


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#2 2007-01-26 6:19 am

SweetOne
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From: Down South
Registered: 2006-12-07
Posts: 131

Re: Gravitational Shift - The Explanation for Vortex Color?

Makes perfect sense to me.  But of course you could tell me it was the blue light special and I'd probably believe you.  wink


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#3 2007-01-26 9:00 am

JTHeyman
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From: wandering
Registered: 2006-12-14
Posts: 117

Re: Gravitational Shift - The Explanation for Vortex Color?

TemporalFlux wrote:

The progression would be as the image shows - Blue to Green to White to Yellow to Orange to Red.  This progression would seem to make perfect sense with the color progression of vortices on Sliders as the power (and pull) of the vortex increased.

I think there was a fault in the picture you were using.  There is no "white" in the middle of a spectrum.
Violet - Indigo - Blue - Green - Yellow - Orange - Red.
White is the unrefracted combination of all visible light wavelengths and (under that example) might represent the smallest gravitational pull ... which would make sense for white being the true center of the vortex so that the Sliders wouldn't be pulled apart into their constituent subatomic particles.

Now, that color theory might work for all but the white vortices, but I can't remember: which "Sliders" episodes had "white" vortices?  There might be a secondary explanation for the white ones.

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#4 2007-01-26 6:32 pm

TemporalFlux
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From: The End of Time
Registered: 2006-12-01
Posts: 1129
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Re: Gravitational Shift - The Explanation for Vortex Color?

JTHeyman wrote:

Now, that color theory might work for all but the white vortices, but I can't remember: which "Sliders" episodes had "white" vortices?  There might be a secondary explanation for the white ones.

Actually, the "white" vortices can be chalked up to bad choice of words on my part.  What I meant to convey was the seemingly clear vortices that popped up in season three (mostly in the middle of the season):

http://www.earth62.net/epguide/ep_state01.JPG
Taken from "State of the A.R.T."

And on second appraisal after your comments, I've come to realize that a "clear" vortex is actually a vortex barely affecting light at all.  Therefore, a clear vortex could be considered the weakest; and that even adds an interesting dimension when you consider that most of the clear vortices were seen during the final days of the original timer (i.e. just before it was abandoned in "Slide Like an Egyptian").  One might construe that the color may have suggested the original timer was finally on its last legs.

As for why some clear vortices still occurred after the Egyptian timer was acquired, I would chalk that up to Quinn setting the power too low.  Given the circumstances and reasoning behind what led to the need for a timer count-down, I have always felt that the count-down was applied to the Egyptian timer as a precaution and not because it was necessary.  With that in mind, Quinn could have been too precautious at first and setting the Egyptian timer at the lowest levels needed to open a vortex.

As season four approached...well, we all know Quinn really began to no longer give a crap as season four approached. wink

As always, food for thought. smile

Last edited by TemporalFlux (2007-01-26 6:37 pm)


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#5 2007-01-27 6:02 am

JTHeyman
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From: wandering
Registered: 2006-12-14
Posts: 117

Re: Gravitational Shift - The Explanation for Vortex Color?

TemporalFlux wrote:

Given the circumstances and reasoning behind what led to the need for a timer count-down, I have always felt that the count-down was applied to the Egyptian timer as a precaution and not because it was necessary.  With that in mind, Quinn could have been too precautious at first and setting the Egyptian timer at the lowest levels needed to open a vortex.

As season four approached...well, we all know Quinn really began to no longer give a crap as season four approached. wink

As always, food for thought. smile

Indeed.  You've just explained the variable time the vortex remained open in various episodes.  Maybe it was Quinn, fiddling with the power levels from Slide to Slide, trying to find a balance?

Rationalization ... it's an art form.  smile

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#6 2007-01-28 4:50 pm

Jim_Hall
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From: Tennessee
Registered: 2006-12-08
Posts: 280
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Re: Gravitational Shift - The Explanation for Vortex Color?

After all this talk, the red vortex on the Astral Plane in "Gillian of the Spirits" came to mind...


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#7 2007-02-02 9:55 am

JTHeyman
Member
From: wandering
Registered: 2006-12-14
Posts: 117

Re: Gravitational Shift - The Explanation for Vortex Color?

Jim_Hall wrote:

After all this talk, the red vortex on the Astral Plane in "Gillian of the Spirits" came to mind...

Ahh ... but that was in a realm where the laws of physics weren't quite the same as in "reality".
Or ... another thought ... the stress of a wormhole in the astral plan was red because it required that extra gravitational pull to take an astral being into the vortex.  When the regular wormhole was red, the astral wormhole might have been into the deep infra-red.

Ooh ... damn ... story idea ... No!!!   <grin>

Last edited by JTHeyman (2007-02-02 9:55 am)

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#8 2011-02-03 4:03 pm

Michael Hurley
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From: Earth Prime
Registered: 2008-09-18
Posts: 64
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Re: Gravitational Shift - The Explanation for Vortex Color?

I'm really liking this, Temporal. Makes sense.

Isn't it amazing how many things in scifi are just made up, but then turn out to actually make perfect sense? Like warp drive etc.


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