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The physics of superheroes

Author: James Kakalios
Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, 2007.
Edition/Format:   Audiobook on CD : CD audio : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
If superheroes stepped off the comic book page or silver screen and into reality, could they actually work their wonders in a world constrained by the laws of physics? How strong would Superman have to be to "leap tall buildings in a single bound?" Could Storm of the X-Men possibly control the weather? And how many cheeseburgers would the Flash need to eat to be able to run at supersonic speeds? Face front, True  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Audio book, etc.
Document Type: Sound Recording
All Authors / Contributors: James Kakalios
OCLC Number: 156525534
Notes: Originally published: New York : Gotham Books, ©2005.
Description: 1 audio disc : digital, mono ; 4 3/4 in.
Contents: Introduction : secret origins : how science saved superhero comic books --
Up, up, and away : forces and motion --
Deconstructing Krypton : Newton's law of gravity --
The day Gwen Stacy died : impulse and momentum --
Can he swing from a thread? : centripetal acceleration --
Flash facts : friction, drag, and sound --
Like a flash of lightning : special relativity --
If this be my density : properties of matter --
Can Ant-Man punch his way out of a paper bag? : torque and rotation --
Is Ant-Man deaf, dumb, and blind? : simple harmonic motion --
Does size matter? : the cube-square law --
The Central City diet plan : conservation of energy --
The case of the missing work : the three laws of thermodynamics --
Mutant meteorology : conduction and convection --
How the monstrous menace of the mysterious melter makes dinner preparation a breeze : phase transitions --
Electro's clinging ways : electrostatics --
Superman schools Spider-Man : electrical currents --
How Electro becomes Magneto when he runs : Ampere's law --
How Magneto becomes Electro when he runs : magnetism and Faraday's law --
Electro and Magneto do the wave : electromagnetism and light --
Jouney into the microverse : atomic physics --
Not a dream! Not a hoax! Not an imaginary tale! : quantum mechanics --
Through a wall lightly : tunneling phenomena --
Sock it to Shellhead : solid-state physics --
Me am Bizarro! : superhero bloopers --
Afterword : Lo, there shall be an ending! --
Ask Dr. K! --
Key equations.
Responsibility: James Kakalios.

Abstract:

If superheroes stepped off the comic book page or silver screen and into reality, could they actually work their wonders in a world constrained by the laws of physics? How strong would Superman have to be to "leap tall buildings in a single bound?" Could Storm of the X-Men possibly control the weather? And how many cheeseburgers would the Flash need to eat to be able to run at supersonic speeds? Face front, True Believer, and wonder no more! Because in [this book, the author] shows that comic book heroes and villains get their physics right more often than you think. In this scintillating scientific survey of super powers you'll learn what the physics of forces and motion can reveal about Superman's strength and the true cause of the destruction of his home planet Krypton, what villains Magneto and Electro can teach us about the nature of electricity and finally get the definitive answer about whether it was the Green Goblin or Spider-Man's webbing that killed the Wall Crawler's girlfriend Gwen Stacy in that fateful plunge from the George Washington Bridge! Along the way, [the author] explores everything from energy, to thermodynamics, to quantum mechanics, to solid state physics, and [he] relates the physics in comic books to such real-world applications as automobile airbags, microwave ovens, and transistors. You'll also see how comic books have often been ahead of science in explaining recent topics in quantum mechanics (with Kitty Pryde of the X-Men) and string theory (with the Crisis on Infinite Earths). This is the book you need to read if you ever wondered how the Invisible Woman of the Fantastic Four can see when she turns transparent, if the Atom could travel on an electron through a phone line, or if electromagnetic theory can explain how Professor X reads minds.-Dust jacket.

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Primary Entity

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