A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Concept featured in clip: Light Pollution
Location of clip: 0:42:45 - 0:44:29 (DVD)

Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: This flickclip begins with Nash and Alicia looking at the stars from the balcony at the governor's mansion in New Jersey. Nash asks Alicia to pick a shape and he can find that pattern in the stars.

Connection of flickclip to the concept: This flickclip is scientifically impossible! With the amount of light pollution on the East Coast, there is no way that that many stars could be visible, especially given the level of light surrounding the event.
Suggestions to teachers:
1. Suggested questions for students when viewing the clip:

a. What's wrong with this scene?

b. Why would this be scientifically impossible, even for a genius like Nash?

c. How could this scene be altered so that it was scientifically correct?

2. If you show this clip after exploring the concept of light pollution, you might want to have students work in teams to devise a better way of presenting this scene so that there is no contradiction.