So much to think about and too much time to do it in!
I'm stupefied by most of what happened in this episode, as I suspect we all are, and I have to cogitate more on those points. Wow. So, I'll skip right to the easy part -- particle physics, heheh. I've always avoided reading anything about exotic matter, because it's a bit farther out there even without the math. So I'll skip right to the spot on Wiki that I think will apply to us and the show:
"Exotic Matter And General Relativity"
"In general relativity, exotic matter is generalized to refer to any region of space in which for some observers the mass density is measured to be negative. This can occur due to negative mass, or could be a region of space in which the stress component of the Einstein stress energy sensor is larger in magnitude than the mass density. All of these are violations of one or another variant of the positive energy condition of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity; however, the positive energy condition is not a required condition for the mathematical consistency of the theory...quantum mechanics of the Casimir Effect can be used to produce a locally mass-negative region of space-time...subsequent work by others...showed that negative matter could be used to stabilize a wormhole...such wormholes might have been created in the early universe, stabilized by negative-mass loops of cosmic string. Stephen Hawking has proved that negative energy is a necessary condition for the creation of a closed timelike curve by manipulation of gravitational fields within a finite region of space..."
There you go. But concerning this scene I have a few questions to start:
1) How is it that this area inside the island is frozen? Is it natural or artificial?
2) Same Q for the energy core there, natural or enhanced artificially?
3) Who made this contraption, the 4-Toes or the DI? It looks rather primitive, but sometimes when all you need is a fulcrum, a lever, and some gears, the KISS principle is the best way to go.
4) What IS the "reactor" there? Do we have a direct tunnel to the earth's molten magnetic core? And how can there be a frozen area around this high-energy core? Maybe if you keep the core open, the frozen room melts?
5) What actually is the mechanism that Ben is engaging here? Is it like exposing the materials in an atomic bomb to reach critical mass? If you've ever seen the movie "Fat Man and Little Boy", think of the lab experiment that went awry where they were releasing and measuring the energy of the atomic core sample, by gently opening the containment sphere.
6) How does this critical mass of sorts propel Ben away from the island, and also, not burn him with radiation or other energy burns?
Well, however we come to discuss this great episode over the summer and fall, I want to personally thank all TPTB for this great show and season, and finale! I hope that everyone on that team gets the hiatus vacation of their dreams because they all deserve it. Sigh.