The Science of Superheroes

Our resident Hollywood physicist examines how even the most righteous crime fighters still manage to break the most important laws of all

Spiderman, Batman, the Fantastic Four, Ironman—seems like every time we go to the movies, there’s some guy in a unitard saving the world with acts of unnatural physics. We realize that these are works of fantasy, so we don’t get too upset when the science portrayed in them comes from some alternative universe. Nevertheless, it can be fun and instructive to point out the violations and/or conflicts with physical reality that we often encounter in film.

With that in mind, let’s take a brief look at eight of our favorite superheroes (and super-villains) and see what science can add to the discussion.

Adam Weiner is the author of Don’t Try This at Home! The Physics of Hollywood Movies