The Physics of Superheroes

The Physics of Superheroes

Book - 2006
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James Kakalios explores the scientific plausibility of the powers and feats of the most famous superheroes -- and discovers that in many cases the comic writers got their science surprisingly right. Along the way he provides an engaging and witty commentary while introducing the lay reader to both classic and cutting-edge concepts in physics, including: What Superman's strength can tell us about the Newtonian physics of force, mass, and acceleration How Iceman's and Storm's powers illustrate the principles of thermal dynamics The physics behind the death of Spider-Man's girlfriend Gwen Stacy Why physics professors gone bad are the most dangerous evil geniuses!
Publisher: New York : Gotham Books, [2006], c2005.
ISBN: 9781592402427
1592402429
Characteristics: xviii, 364 p. :,ill.

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multcolib_central Jul 11, 2014

This is the book you need to read if you've ever wondered how superman flies, how the flash breathes while running so fast, and how Professor X can read minds. It's also a great book for sneaking some science into your comic-reading kids life. S/he won't ever notice s/he's learning.

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DavidB
Mar 24, 2009

At one point in the story, following a brazen daytime bank robbery, Electro is shown escaping from authorities by climbing up the side of a building as easily as Spider-Man. The panel is reproduced on p. 169 in fig 22, where we see one observer exclaim, “Look!! That strangely-garbed man is racing up the side of the building!” A second man on the street picks up the narrative: “He’s holding on to the iron beams in the building by means of electric rays—using them like a magnet!! Incredible!” There are two feelings inspired by this scene. The first is nostalgia for the bygone era when pedestrians would routinely narrate events occurring in front of them, providing exposition for any casual bystander. The other is pleasure at the realization that Electro’s climbing this building is actually a physically plausible use of his powers.

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