It did explain the algorithm as 20x, so T = t20^L with L representing the Level (no apologies needed ;)
I believe it stopped. But what a great way to end it :D
what I meant was they didn't specify the exact formula for time compounding, but you could be correct.
Altho T=(20t)^L for t:10hrs and L:2 = 55 months which isn't correct for the second level which they said is about 6months I believe
What I remember is that the "special sedative" that they used dramatically extends the dream time compared to the normal dream state.
I've seen it twice and also believe Cobb's totem falls in the end.
The real question you should ask yourself is not whether the top stopped but what does it prove if the top stopped or not?
That it would be proof that what we see at the end is real?
The top, Leo's totem, is not even his totem. It's his wife's totem. It's supposed to be something you keep hidden from everybody else so their dream can't recreate it and you know the difference. He's been carrying that top around in plain view of his whole team for awhile because he gave up architecting dreams so it doesn't matter if people knew "his" totem anymore. If he was still in a dream at the end, the top could have fallen or stopped and it would prove nothing. The movie put a lot of importance on that scene of the top falling fully knowing we've been told long ago that your totem needs to be a secret from everybody else, which the top was not.
If the top stopped, it's because even though he's in a dream, he's let go of the regret and pain of the loss of his wife. Still a dream though. If it didn't stop, that's still a dead give-away he's still dreaming.
See what I'm getting at?
I think its pretty important to know whether the totem stops in the end because generally the audience wants to know if the whole movie was a dream or not. although this is probably Chris Nolan's intent; to make people wonder and make their own conclusions about the movie.
I've read quite a few explanations about the movie and from what I gather, there can be 3 theories.
1. The whole movie is real / its Cobb's dream (however you want to interpret it)
2. Its Mal's dream and she's trying to wake up Cobb, thats why she wants Cobb to kill himself.
3. Its Cobb's dad's dream (yes that sounds weird). Someone told me this, plus Cobb's dad say's "Come back to reality" when they meet in the classroom.