As we reach the close of the summer blockbuster season, reports of a recent paper by two professors at the University of Central Florida recently caught our eye. In it, the physicists Costas Efthimiou and R.A. Llewellyn assert that movies are making their students dumber. ""Sure, people say everyone knows the movies are not real," says Efthimiou, "but my experience is many of the students believe what they see on the screen."
Whether you believe them or not, it's always fun to take a scientist's eye to the silver screen to see just how ridiculous things can get when directors and screenwriters set poetic license against physical reality. High-school physics teacher Adam Weiner does just that in his great new book Don't Try This at Home! The Physics of Hollywood Movies. Here, we take a look at a few of the worst offenders, and at the actual science behind them.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.