The Physics of Superheroes

The Physics of Superheroes

Book - 2005
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Baker & Taylor
An exploration of the science behind the powers of popular comic superheroes and villains illustrates the physics principles underlying the supernatural abilities of such characters as Superman, Magneto, and Spider-Man.

Book News
What did the Flash know about the Special Theory of Relativity that you do not? Why did Ant-Man have so much difficulty with a half-filled bathtub? Kakalios (physics and astronomy, U. of Minnesota) combines his love for comic books and the startling accurate ways they present physics with his love of explaining physics to undergraduates and those of us destined to never get beyond the comic book stage. While filling us in on why spending your allowance on x-ray glasses is a poor investment, Kakalios covers mechanics (including Newton's Law of Gravity, the properties of matter and the cube-square law) energy (including conservation and Ampere's Law), and modern physics (including quantum mechanics, solid-state physics and tunneling phenomena). In a final section, Kakalios also contemplates a series of superhero bloopers, proving that sometimes having mutant powers and three bucks is only good for a small cappuccino. Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Baker
& Taylor

An exploration of the science behind the powers of popular comic superheroes reveals how differences between Krypton and Earth might enable some of Superman's abilities, the number of hamburgers that Flash would need to run at supersonic speeds, and more. 40,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Gotham Books, c2005
ISBN: 9781592401468
1592401465
Branch Call Number: 530.0711 Kak
Characteristics: xvi, 365 p. : ill

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DavidB
Jan 04, 2011

“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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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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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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