Since Lost is a pseudo-scientific show, it contains a large amount of physics. So I have decided to start a weekly post about the wonderful scientific mystery of the show we all love. Every Saturday, after an episode, you will be able to curl up with a nice chunk of some scientific theoretical goodness. So with that intro out of the way, let’s dive right in.
“Confirmed Dead” had a lot going on, but the line that stuck in my head all this time was what Daniel Faraday said.
“The light, it’s strange out here isn’t it, it doesn’t scatter quite right.”
With that in mind, let’s completely over analyze what could be meant by the light not scattering right.
First Off, What is Light Scattering?
Scattering is a general physical process whereby some form of radiation, such as light, is forced to deviate from a straight trajectory by one or more localized non-uniformities in the medium through which it passes. Which is also the reason why the sky is blue (the shorter wavelengths of blue scatter more than red/green).
Ok, so what’s the relevance of that?
Well, Michael Faraday (the actual physicist), who was a huge influence on electromagnetism, had discovered that light can actually be changed (or bent) with an electromagnetic field. This is called the Faraday Effect. When light enters the field, it is split into two different polarized waves of light. If the light has enough of a change that can be noticed by a physicist, then there must be an extremely powerful electromagnetic field on the island (i.e. the hatch anomaly).
Bear with me, folks, these theories get nuttier as I go along.
The electromagnetic field is remnant of the hatch implosion, and the effects cannot be seen with the eye. Daniel had detected the field before (using the Faraday Effect), and is just seeing what he thinks he should see. The implications of the statement are just as small as the statement itself.
The island is being “cloaked” by this field. “Cloaked” is in quotation marks, because the island is not completely cloaked. The light is bent enough to just distort the image, thus making it invisible to the casual observer. The island’s unique electromagnetic properties create a large enough field that bend the light enough that it cannot be seen from space. Thus in Ben’s words, “God can’t see this island any more than the rest of the world.”
This strong electromagnetic field also accounted for the storm that the people from “Not Penny’s Boat” experienced.
During World War II, it is rumored that the idea of cloaking a battleship with an electromagnetic field was tested. The tests were successful, but when the ship was cloaked, it was never found again (or by other accounts, teleported and traveled through time). It is theorized that this ship (if the events ever happened) slipped into a Closed timelike curve or CTC for short. A CTC is a path through 4-dimensional space-time that is closed, which means it returns to its starting point. Which means causality, fundamental to all science, breaks down. Technically events no longer need a cause, or even a cause and effect can happen simultaneously. This opens the door for time travel.
The island’s electromagnetic field is strong enough to pull the island into a CTC. This would account for it to being hard to find, but also to many other things. Such as Desmond’s visions and his attempts at changing fate, since the path is closed the events will repeat themselves until they happen. And when Locke’s legs and Rose’s cancer were healed, no cause, just effect. The island is disconnected from the rest of the world’s space time, permitting time travel. All this adds up to the island being “special.”