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The Hardest "Back To The Future" Flux Capacitor Quiz Ever

1.21 gigawatts! Great Scott!

Posted on April 14, 2015, at 5:04 p.m. ET

Quick recap: the flux capacitor in Back to the Future is what makes time travel possible. It takes a shit ton of power to make it work. 1.21 gigawatts, to be precise.

Universal

How much power is that in real life?

Terabass / Via commons.wikimedia.org
  1. Universal
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Universal
    Universal
    Correct
    Incorrect
    PiccoloNamek / Via en.wikipedia.org
    PiccoloNamek / Via en.wikipedia.org
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    25 billion LEDs!

    Assuming 60 milliwatts of power for each LED, all those tiny bright dots would require around 1.5 gigawatts of power.

  2. Which needs more power:

    Universal
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Universal
    Universal
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Universal / Alex Kasprak for BuzzFeed
    Universal / Alex Kasprak for BuzzFeed
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    One flux capacitor!

    Assuming everyone would be watching the film on Amazon's current most popular TV, which requires 35 watts, it would take around 35 million TVs to reach 1.21 gigawatts of power.

  3. Which needs more power:

    Universal
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Universal
    Universal
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Ronald Martinez / Getty Images
    Ronald Martinez / Getty Images
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    900 jumbotrons!

    The four screens that make up the massive TV scoreboard at Cowboys Stadium require a whopping 1430 kilowatts of power. That means that 900 of them would use around 1.3 gigawatts of power — just a nose more than a single flux capacitor.

  4. Which needs more power:

    Universal
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Universal
    Universal
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images
    Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    20,000 live Radiohead shows!

    According to the calculations of this Stanford student, the power requirements for the amps and lighting of a live Radiohead show are 94,977 watts. 20,000 of those shows would require about 1.9 gigawatts of power, more than a flux capacitor.

  5. Which needs more power:

    Universal
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Universal
    Universal
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Sam Yeh / Getty Images
    Sam Yeh / Getty Images
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    One flux capacitor!

    In 2011, Google released their data center's power usage for the previous year — 260 million watts. While that is enough to power 200,000 homes consistently, it is still not enough to power a flux capacitor. You could power over with 4 times the server space with 1.21 gigawatts.

  6. Which needs more power:

    Universal
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Universal
    Universal
    Correct
    Incorrect
    NASA
    NASA
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    One flux capacitor!

    NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft, the furthest man-made object from Earth, is currently operating on 255 watts. 3 million of these would total ~only~ 0.8 gigawatts, not nearly enough to power a flux capacitor.

  7. Bonus: Could the Hoover Dam power a flux capacitor?

    Universal
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Universal
    Universal
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Matejh Photography / Thinkstock
    Matejh Photography / Thinkstock
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Yes!

    The maximum output of the Hoover Dam is about 2.1 gigawatts. A flux capacitor is no problem!

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