Einstein, Hawking and Netflix: the science present in the ‘Dark’ series

Einstein, Hawking and Netflix: the science present in the ‘Dark’ series

On June 27, the last season – or rather, the last cycle – of the series was launched. Original Netflix production, the series is German and deals with a series of unusual mysteries that happen in the city of Winden, involving the disappearance of a boy and a complex connection between generations of four families: Nielsen, Tiedemann, Doppler and Kahnwald.

end of Dark explained

In three seasons with eight or ten episodes each, it combines suspense and science fiction, dealing with time travel and other concepts that are not just the brainchild of the writers: much of what is shown in the series was based on theories and real studies of the universe Physics and other areas of science.

Check out, below, some of these scientific elements present in the series that will bring you even more reflections on space-time and the phenomena of the universe.

(Spoiler alert! Contains information for seasons 1 and 2.)

The Theory of Relativity

Completed in 1915 by Albert Einstein, the revolutionary Theory of Relativity is based on the perception that the dimensions of space and time are relative and interconnected, different faces of the same entity that can be perceived differently by each individual. With this idea, the hypothesis is generated that the innumerable points of space exist at all times.

A reference to this theory is what starts the first episode of the first season of, through a 1955 phrase from Einstein himself in his opening:

The difference between past, present and future is only a persistent illusion.

In the series, such an idea is present practically at all times, always linked to time travel made possible by the so-called “wormholes”. At the same time that something happens at Winden in 1953, for example, another moment is already underway at Winden in 2019, as well as in 1986. Thus, past, present and future are not essentially linear, but coexist with each other.


During the course of events, a cave in the middle of the forest becomes a recurring figure in the series. As much as it may seem like a mere icon of the landscape, it also proves to be a means of time travel, more specifically, a wormhole. This transports Jonas, Mikkel and other characters to different cycles, 33 years before or after the time in which they originally live.

Also linked to the Theory of General Relativity in a theoretical collaboration between Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen, the “wormholes” or Einstein-Rosen bridges are a kind of fold in space-time, generated by the deformation caused by a body. When folding this fabric to the point that two ends are formed, there would then be a shortcut between them, connecting different parts of time.

Even though operating in the series, this concept does not have an effective application in reality. To allow human beings to pass through this portal, for example, it would be necessary something like a matter with negative mass, which may not even exist.

The idea of ​​wormholes is also related to the studies of physicist Stephen Hawking on the dynamics of the famous black holes. In a lecture broadcasted in 2016, Hawking ponders the possibility that this hole may not be as “black” as that, and it would, in fact, be possible to leave one of them through a kind of journey – perhaps even to another universe. different from what we know.

Dark cycles

The “God Particle”: Higgs Boson

In the first episodes of the second season, a large dark mass is introduced into the story. Presented to Jonas as “Particle of God”, or simply “Dark Matter”, it provides a kind of portal for time travel. Keeping subatomic particles stable is essential for obtaining this portal, and, as much as it is not possible in real life, this is achieved in the.

The fact is that this dark matter refers to an elementary particle studied by the British physicist Peter Higgs, in the 1960s. Named as the “Higgs Boson” in honor of the researcher, it consists of a subatomic particle that would provide mass to elementary particles, or that is, those that can no longer be divided into smaller units. Its existence would have been essential for the formation of the Universe and the atoms themselves.

Even with the difficulty of observation, detectors of the Large Hadron Collider identified signs of the existence of the boson and the Higgs field fifty years after the theory was formulated, giving Peter Higgs and scientist François Englert a Nobel Prize in Physics.

The Bootstrap Paradox

Based on the idea of ​​traveling to the past, the Bootstrap Paradox escapes the usual notion of linear time and consists of the theory that information and objects can exist even without being created, trapped in an infinite loop of undetermined origin. It is only a hypothesis, since it has no evidence and challenges other laws of physics, but it could be widely inserted in.

At various times, the series explores him, as in the case of the book by HG Tannhaus: the young watchmaker receives a copy of his work from the hands of the character Claudia Tiedemann, even before having written it. He then publishes some copies and, years later, one of them reaches the hands of Claudia, who, through a journey through time, delivers it to Tannhaus at a young age. This generates a kind of cycle, in which the book exists, but it was not actually written or thought by anyone.

Another of the great revelations of the second season revolves around Charlotte Doppler and her connection with her daughter Elisabeth, responsible for giving a great at the in the minds of fans of the series.

Charlotte is raised by an adopted grandfather and grows up without knowing who her parents are, and as an adult she has two daughters: Elisabeth and Franziska. Elisabeth grows up and, in the post-apocalyptic future of the series, has a daughter named Charlotte. The baby is taken from her and taken to the past, in which she is adopted. Thus, a paradoxical cycle is created in the very existence of Charlotte, who is both mother and daughter of Elisabeth. Finally, it is not known which one came first.

For more information about the series, the official guide offers an interactive experience throughout the episodes, explaining “who, when and where” of the unfolding of this fantasy narrative, but still full of science. And if, as stated in, the end of this text may just be the beginning of your experience with the interesting complexity of the series universe – entirely available on Netflix.