How the Film Tenet Explores Entropy, Information, and Maxwell's Demon

How the Film Tenet Explores Entropy, Information, and Maxwell's Demon

Before its release in August 2020, director Christopher NolanSo is the main character — referred to simply as “Protagonist” — a modern Maxwell’s demon? “Don’t try to understand it.”(If you look closely, Maxwell’s demon appears on the whiteboard in the background). In 1948, mathematician Claude Shannon interpreted the entropy of a random variable as the average level of information or uncertainty inherent in its potential values. Along the way we hear about a “positron moving backward in time,” the“Does being here now mean it never happened?” Protagonist asks. The physics throughout Tenet indeed constructs a “twilight world.” Although the film is not particularly scientific, who knows?

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