12  Monkeys

Dr. James Butler

Professor, Physics Department, Pacific University

12 Monkeys— Cause, Effect, and the Physics of Time

A discussion of the physics of time.

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry Portland, OR

Film Synopsis

In a future world, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

In a post-apocalyptic future devastated by disease, convicted criminal James Cole (Bruce Willis) is given the chance to erase his record by traveling back to the past to investigate the origins of a virus that wiped out nearly all of the Earth's population decades earlier. But when Cole is mistakenly sent to the wrong year, he is arrested and hospitalized in a mental institution, where he meets a psychiatrist (Madeline Stowe), who is initially convinced he's insane, and a patient (Brad Pitt) with links to a radical group that may have unleashed the deadly virus. Part psychological thriller, part apocalyptic drama, Terry Gilliam's riveting drama combines intricate storytelling, visual ingenuity, and stellar performances.

About the Speaker

Dr. James Butler is a professor of physics at Pacific University. He came to the university after spending five years as a faculty member in the Physics Department at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) in Annapolis. Dr. Butler received his PhD in physics from Lehigh University. He has done extensive research in the area of optical limiting in fiber optic systems. This research has applications in places where there is a potential for damage due to high intensity lasers such as in the military and in the telecommunications industry.