The Physics of Superheroes

Front Cover
Penguin, Sep 29, 2005 - Social Science - 384 pages
3 Reviews
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!

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BruceCoulson - LibraryThing

A fun read by an educator who clearly loves and appreciates comics. Although the science is rather basic for anyone who majored in the field, the exploration of how super-powers might actually work ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Meggo - LibraryThing

This book is what happens when you cross a comic book geek with a science nerd, but in a good way. Full of actual formulae, this is rather a more intellectual look at how Superman leaps tall buildings ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

James Kakalios is a professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota, where he has taught since 1988, and where his class "Everything I Needed to Know About Physics I Learned from Reading Comic Books" is a popular freshman seminar. He received his Ph.D. in 1985 from the University of Chicago, and has been reading comic books for much longer.

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