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Kakalios J. The Physics of Superheroes

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Kakalios J. The Physics of Superheroes
New York: The Gotham Books Publishing Group, 2005. — 384 p. — ISBN 1592402429, 1592401465.
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!
Introduction: Secret origin: How Science Saved Superhero Comic Books.
Mechanics.
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.
Energy-Heat and Light.
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.
Modern Physics.
Journey 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.
What Have We Learned?.
Me Am Bizarro!—Superhero Bloopers.
Afterword: Lo, There Shall Be an Ending!
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