Glow Meet – The Physics of Superheroes

Glow Meet – 20th August 2013- 12.00pm

Event suitable for S2-S6

Join our Glow Meet, where author and Physics Professor, James Kakalios, will explain the basic principles of Physics within the context of superheroes!

Professor Kakalios earned his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1985 and began his comic book collection as a graduate student, as a way to relieve stress. At Minnesota University one of his teaching seminars, Everything I Know About Science I Learned From   Reading Comic Books, used the physics of superheroes as a way to motivate students. This course gained great popularity as an enticing alternative to the typical inclined planes and pulleys of physics.

The success of this seminar led to writing articles in popular magazines, lectures on the subject and the publication of his popular book “The Physics of Superheroes”. In his talks, favourite examples are the death of Gwen Stacy (Spider-Man‘s girlfriend), “can Superman jump over tall buildings and what does this tell us about Krypton?”, the high-velocity actions of The Flash, and the shrinking problem of the Atom. His analysis of Gwen Stacy’s death eventually became integral to the plot of a new Spider-Man comic.

“The most important thing is getting the students to ask the right kinds of questions. If a character has wings on her back, what important physical forces and issues do we need to consider if she’s going to use them to fly? What kind of wingspan and muscle structure would that require? Hopefully, pointing out issues like these will help students think critically in other situations,” says James.

Professor Kakalios has also acted as a consultant in the film industry, specifically for the films Watchmen and Green Lantern. The real science knowledge that he provides has made these movies more scientifically correct and may help attract more of the younger generations into the field of Physics.

Join Glow Meet on the day through: