USA Science and Engineering Festival: The Blog

My first impression of physics was rather dull. It reminded me a bit of the dreaded ‘word’ problems that are prevalent in any math class except, every problem was a word problem. Having done my graduate work in polymer physics, I eventually discovered that physics is quite cool, but many of us have had experiences that are more like Sheldon teaching Penny physics in The Big Bang Theory, and less like the USA Science and Engineering Festival’s Nifty Fifty speaker, Dr. Jim Kaklios at the University of Minnosota who can take the story lines from superhero books and apply the relevant physics to the situation. He even wrote the book The Physics of Superheros.

So…if you have ever wondered:

–How strong you would have to be to “leap a tall building in a single bound?”

–Was it “the fall” or “the webbing” that killed Gwen Stacy (Spider-Man’s girlfriend) in the classic Amazing Spider-Man # 121?

–Who is faster –Superman or the Flash?

–How does Kitty Pryde from the X-Men comics and movies use quantum mechanics to walk through walls?

Then read more about Dr. Jim Kaklios and his explanation of physics through superheros. Check out an excerpt here:

And check this out about his consultation on the the movie “The Watchman”

Read more about our Nifty Fifty speaker here.

The ‘Nifty Fifty’ are a group of noted professionals who will fan out across the Washington, DC area next October to speak about their work and careers at various middle and high schools. Are you a Festival Partner Organization? Then nominate a ‘Nifty Fifty’ speaker! Find out more about how to nominate a speaker here.

Comments

  1. #1 Charlie
    May 6, 2010

    I have “The Physics of Superheroes” and it’s a great book.

  2. #2 Aaron H
    November 14, 2010

    I recently saw the science of watchmen video on youtube and i was so intrigued by it that i had to check out this book from the library. i haven’t read it yet but i will soon read it when i have a break from studying. i find physics mind-blowing and really phenomenal. i like learning about how the world and even the universe operates on both large and small scales.

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