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This post is going to be nothing like any other post, because it’s going to be about the video frame at the 650th second of the movie Inception.

With a bit of Googling, it seems the first part of this document is “Development of Highly Sensitive Portable Hydrocarbon Sensors” by  Dr. Michael Carpenter at the State University of New York.

Here follows the text of the document taken from marked up to correspond with the appearance of the document in Inception. The second part of the document in the frame does not appear to be from the same source and I’ve encountered difficulty in locating the source of that part of the document. The visible differences between the source document and the image from Inception are in bold while the redacted contents are in strikeout. The newlines are approximately where they are in the visible document.

January 2007 we have begun to develop and evaluate a cost

and space effective sensing assembly which will leverage our

past and future hydrocarbon sensor development efforts funded

by the NYS-DOT. The UTRC funded program is developing and

evaluating the proof of concept for a portable and cost effective

hydrocarbon sensor based on a compact optical spectrometer which

monitors the changes in photoluminescence of arrays of

hydrocarbon sensitive quantum dots (QDs). Through this

program we have recently demonstrated the ability to detect

xylenes at 50ppm concentration levels. While this is a very

promising result given the cost effective hardware that is

being used in this program, this detection limit needs to

be reduced to 100ppb levels for this device to have a range

of environmental applications. Therefore, we propose to

expand this program to include the following new

initiatives during the 2007-08 program:

1)Investigation of QD based materials with ppb level

sensitivity through the use of resonant energy

transfer sensing mechanisms,

2)Deposition of QD arrays to increase the sensing

dynamic range to ppb to % level concentrations,

3)Optimization of 6 element arrays for

increased selectivity, and

4)Implementation of the pattern recognition software

selected during the 2006-07 program.

And so the question is: Is there a specific reason that the secret document was of hydrocarbon detection? What does this have to do with the movie? Is there any significance of the redacted text?

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5 Responses

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  1. Dave says

    Probably not.

  2. Dave says

    Probably not.

  3. Robert says

    Well, Saito was head of an energy company… and in the oil industry, methods of detecting hydrocarbons, i.e., finding petroleum, would be very profitable and well kept-secrets….

  4. Robert says

    Also, the redacted portions appear to be the most important information, such as funding and period of development, and sensitivity.
    Finally a google search for ["control systems written in" AND "platforms, and"] (which is just all of the completely visible words excluding the section title) returns only five results, which don’t appear to be relevant. Anyway, here’s what I think the page says…


    … satellite control systems written in
    … development platforms, and
    … [envir]onments?

    I would be able to see more, but my brother is hogging the TV… therefore I’m forced to use the DVD version, instead of the blu-ray one.

  5. veronica says

    Fantastic movie! <3

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