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Physics in Passengers: Tethers and Zero Gravity



*More spoilers ahead*

One of the big scenes of the movie takes place when Chris Pratt’s character Jim is blasted away from the ship while saving everyone on board and his tether connecting him to the ship breaks, leaving him floating in the depths of space forever (or so you think). Many of the scenes involving tethers are actually scientifically correct. Jim and Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) float with ease while connected to their tethers, and don’t interfere with any of Newton’s laws. While connected to their tethers, they experience no tension because there are no external forces.

Another big scene in the movie is when Jennifer Lawrence’s character Aurora is swimming in the pool when, all of a sudden, the power goes out and there is no longer any gravity. Instead of the water floating up from the pool in droplets and Aurora floating into the air, the water moves up into the air all together, with Aurora stuck inside. This is because of the large surface tension of the water, it all sticks together in zero gravity and traps Aurora in the middle of it.

Here’s the zero gravity scene:



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Yes, the inter-molecular forces are keeping water whole however I wonder does the lack of gravity mean a lack of pressure which in turn would cause the water to vaporize?

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