Superheroes in comic books and movies are so popular partly because we dream about what it would be like to have their wide range of amazing powers—super strength, the ability to fly, x-ray vision, the ability to stretch into fantastical shapes. Although they seem impossible, many superpowers are based on real science. Join us as we explore whether science could let us see through walls like Superman, shoot webs like Spider-Man, become invisible like the Invisible Woman, shrink like Ant-Man, stop bullets like Wonder Woman, move with super-speed like The Flash, or recreate Batman's amazing technology. Physicist and author James Kakalios tells us about the physics principles of the caped crusaders, while Lee Silver points out that many animals have super-abilities that could potentially expand the limits of human biology. Eugene Mirman imagines what it would be like to leap tall buildings in a single bound—or at least be able to jump up to the second floor.
Season 2, Episode 18 – The Physics of Superheroes
Air date: 2 May 2011
Co-host: Eugene Mirman: comedian.
Guests:James Kakalios: physics professor at the University of Minnesota, and author of the book The Physics of Superheroes , Lee Silver: molecular biologist at Princeton University
Running Time: 42 minutes
ISBN: Digital Download 978-1-61544-921-7