CNN
Now playing
02:26
'Stranger Things' ties in with 1980's brand nostalgia
Fox News/Twitter
Now playing
01:33
ADL wants Fox News to fire Tucker Carlson over racist comments
Now playing
01:54
'You think I'm racist': Former Fox News host storms off camera
CNN
Now playing
03:37
'The fraud is this farce': Cuomo calls out Fox News host
CNN
Now playing
05:00
Watch Alisyn Camerota sign-off CNN's New Day
Camerota Berman both
CNN
Camerota Berman both
Now playing
02:33
CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota gets surprise tribute from co-anchor
CNN/HBO/"Q: Into the Storm"
Now playing
05:35
Filmmaker says he potentially uncovered man behind QAnon
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 30:  Anti-vaccine activists hold up signs during a protest in front of the Massachusetts State House against Governor Charlie Baker's mandate that all Massachusetts school students enrolled in child care, pre-school, K-12, and post-secondary institutions must receive the flu vaccine this year on August 30, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
Scott Eisen/Getty Images
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 30: Anti-vaccine activists hold up signs during a protest in front of the Massachusetts State House against Governor Charlie Baker's mandate that all Massachusetts school students enrolled in child care, pre-school, K-12, and post-secondary institutions must receive the flu vaccine this year on August 30, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:06
Research exec: Far-right groups pushing vaccine as 'mark of the beast'
stelter chauvin trial international coverage kethevane gorjestani sot rs vpx_00000000.png
stelter chauvin trial international coverage kethevane gorjestani sot rs vpx_00000000.png
Now playing
02:19
How the rest of the world is covering the Derek Chauvin trial
CBS This Morning
Now playing
01:57
Hunter Biden makes rare comment about seized laptop
Fox News
Now playing
03:43
Tucker Carlson's interview with Gaetz gets uncomfortable
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09: News headlines on the impeachment trial of Donald Trump are displayed outside of the Fox headquarters on February 09, 2021 in New York City. After listening to nearly four hours of legal arguments, the Senate has voted on Tuesday to move ahead with the impeachment trial of former President Trump. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09: News headlines on the impeachment trial of Donald Trump are displayed outside of the Fox headquarters on February 09, 2021 in New York City. After listening to nearly four hours of legal arguments, the Senate has voted on Tuesday to move ahead with the impeachment trial of former President Trump. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Now playing
04:03
Dominion Voting Systems files $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox News
 President Donald Trump waves as he departs on the South Lawn of the White House, on December 12, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Al Drago/Getty Images
President Donald Trump waves as he departs on the South Lawn of the White House, on December 12, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
01:35
Trump praises Capitol rioters 'hugging and kissing the police'
Now playing
01:33
Meghan McCain is, again, in the hot seat over diversity comments
Now playing
01:51
John Oliver calls out Meghan McCain's response to Atlanta shootings
CNN
Now playing
06:47
Chung: Media was 'miserably late' to covering anti-Asian hate

Editor’s Note: If you haven’t watched season 3 of “Stranger Things” and don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading!

(CNN) —  

Season 3 of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” expresses a subtle appreciation of science and gives an even bigger nod to science fiction. But the curiosity voyage gets a little off track with its science, and we’re not talking about exploding rats or people consuming copious amounts of chemicals.

As our young heroes try to save the world from ending again, only one thing can help them close the gate to the Upside Down and effectively kill the creature trying to destroy everything they hold dear in 1985: Planck’s constant.

Planck’s constant, named for physicist Max Planck, is a key quantity in quantum physics. It’s the amount of energy carried by a photon with the frequency of its electromagnetic wave.

On the show, grownups Jim Hopper and Joyce Byers have infiltrated a secret Russian base deep beneath Starcourt Mall, and they’re trying to crack open a safe that contains two keys to close the gate. Before he was murdered, Russian scientist Alexei told investigative journalist Murray Bauman that Planck’s constant is the code needed to open the safe.

But when Hopper plugs in the code, it doesn’t work. Bauman remembered Planck’s constant incorrectly.

Dustin realizes that the one person who can help in them in this pre-Google age is his new girlfriend from Camp Know Where, Suzie. But Dustin lives in Hawkins, Indiana, and Suzie lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, so he uses the homemade ham radio he placed at the highest point in Hawkins to reach her.

Of course, to coax this number out of Suzie, Dustin must serenade her with the theme from “The Neverending Story.” But that’s another story for another day.

After chastising him for not remembering it, Suzie recites Planck’s constant as 6.62607004 (without the units that come after it). Hopper tries the code, and the safe opens so he and Joyce can retrieve the keys.

But scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology noticed during their viewing of “Stranger Things” that this is the value established for Planck’s 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 measure it better over time with modern instruments, said Ben Stein of the institute’s public affairs office.

In 2018, the number was updated again and adopted as part of the redefinition of the International System of Units, Stein said. That effort redefinited the kilogram and other units in terms of fundamental constants.

Planck’s constant is currently known as 6.62607015* 10^-34 Joule seconds. Thank them the next time it comes up at trivia.