(CNN) – Netflix Season 3 of "Stranger Things" expresses a subtle appreciation of science and gives an even bigger boost to science fiction. But the journey of curiosity is a bit off-kilter by its science, and we are not talking about exploding rats or people consuming an abundant amount of chemicals.
While our young heroes are trying to save the world from the end, only one thing can help them shut the door of Upside Down and effectively kill the creature who is trying to destroy everything they hold dear in 1985: the Planck's constant.
In the show, adults Jim Hopper and Joyce Byers have infiltrated a secret Russian base under the Starcourt Mall and are trying to open a safe containing two keys to close the door. Before being murdered, Russian scientist Alexei told investigative journalist Murray Bauman that Planck's constant was the code needed to open the safe.
But when Hopper plugs in the code, it does not work. Bauman could not remember Planck's constant.
Dustin realizes that the only person who can help them in this pre-Google age is his new girlfriend of Camp Know Where, Suzie. But Dustin lives in Hawkins, Indiana, and Suzie, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He therefore uses the amateur radio that he has placed at the highest point of Hawkins to reach her.
Of course, to convince Suzie to have this number, Dustin must serenade her with the theme of "The Endless Story". But that's another story for another day.
After reproaching her for not remembering it, Suzie recites Planck's constant in the form 6.62607004 (without the units that follow her). Hopper tries the code and the safe opens so that Joyce and he can recover the keys.
But scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology noticed during their viewing of "Stranger Things" that it was the value established for the Planck constant in 2014.
In 1985, when the show is set, it would have been the value established in 1973, which is 6.626176 * 10 ^ -34.
The constant has changed as scientists have learned to better measure it over time with modern instruments, said Ben Stein of the institute's public affairs office.
In 2018, the issue was again updated and adopted as part of the redefinition of the International System of Units, Stein said. This effort redefined the kilogram and other units in terms of fundamental constants.
The Planck constant is currently known as 6.62607015 * 10 ^ -34 Joules seconds. Thank them the next time this happens.