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4x05 Dan and Des
A notable physics experiment in Lost.

Many events in Lost occur due to physical phenomena.


Electromagnetic Anomaly

Electromagnetism is one of the four fundamental forces known to exist. The formulas governing electricity and magnetism were united into one set of formulae by James Clerk Maxwell, who built upon the work of Michael Faraday.

In Lost

Main article: Electromagnetism

Deep under the island exists an electromagnetic anomaly, which the DHARMA Initiative was investigating. The Orchid and The Swan's original purpose was to research this electromagnetism. ("Orientation")("There's No Place Like Home, Part 2")

Also, when Daniel Faraday first arrived on the Island, he noted that light (which is the propagation of electromagnetic waves) seemed to scatter differently.("Confirmed Dead")

Casimir Effect

The Casimir effect is the attractive force between two uncharged metal plates that are placed very near to each other in a vacuum. The attraction arises due to a reduction in the energy of the ground state of the electromagnetic field between the two plates. Because fluctuations in the field between the plates can only have wavelengths equal to or smaller than the distance between the plates, the vacuum electromagnetic field has less energy between the plates than outside of them.

It has been suggested that the Casimir forces have application in nanotechnology, in particular silicon integrated circuit technology based micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems, and so-called Casimir oscillators.

In Lost

The effect is referenced in the Orchid Video as a way to explain the mysterious properties of the Vault. It is unknown exactly in what way the Casimir effect affects the island, to date.


Time Dilation

Main article: Time dilation

Time dilation is the effect due to special and general relativity which causes observers to measure time differently.

In Lost

Faraday performs an experiment in which a rocket carrying a payload is launched from the Freighter to the Island. Faraday has a clock which is synchronized with a clock that Regina puts in the payload. When the rocket arrives at the island, Faraday's clock has recorded about 31 minutes more than Regina's.

Also, when Desmond, Sayid and Frank fly to the Freighter in the helicopter, they experience a different travel time than the Freighties and the Losties.

Time Travel

Main article: Time travel

Time travel refers to the act of moving either forward or backward in time. It is not strictly regarded as impossible, but to this day is regarded as science fiction for any macroscopic object.

In Lost

There are a few incidences of Time Travel:

  • When Desmond turns the failsafe key under the Swan, he experiences a lucid flashback, where he relives his past.
  • Later, after leaving the island in the helicopter, Desmond returned to his past again, although this time intermittently. It is revealed that other people aboard the freighter, such as Minkowski experienced similar symptoms. Desmond learns from the 1996 Daniel Faraday that he has become "unstuck in time" and while his body remains in the same place, his conciousness is travelling back and forth in time.

Unanswered questions

Unanswered questions
  1. Do not answer the questions here.
  2. Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Physics/Theories
  • How exactly do physics work on the Island?
  • What is the cause of the unusual physics on the Island?

See also

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