In The Physics of Superheroes: Spectacular Second Edition, Professor James Kakalios explains in a fun and accessible manner a broad range of physics, from Isaac Newton to the transistor — but there’s not an inclined plane or pulley in sight! Rather, all of the examples come from superhero comic books and in particular, those cases where the superheroes get their physics right!
“Wildly entertaining, yet scientifically accurate… Comprises a fairly solid introductory education in physics, sweetened with a history lesson in classic comic book superheroes.” — Metro
Inside you’ll discover the real science behind Krypton’s explosion, learn why Spider-Man’s webbing couldn’t save his girlfriend’s life, and see solid-state physics at work in Iron Man’s armor!
In this totally revised and updated second edition, Aquaman explains fluid mechanics, the Human Top and Whirlwind teach angular momentum, Watchmen’s Nite Owl elucidates conservation of energy, and the entire Justice League and the Avengers explain materials science!
“This terrific book demonstrates a number of important points. First, a subject that everyone ‘knows’ is difficult and boring can, in the hands of a master teacher, be both exciting and fun. Second, it’s a myth that only people particularly adept at mathematics can understand and enjoy physics. Third, superhero comic books have socially redeeming qualities… That all this is accomplished with enough humor to make you laugh out loud is an added bonus.”
- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Bam! Pow! Kakalios delivers a one-two punch: real science and good fun. Does ‘leaping tall buildings in a single bound’ have anything to do with Newton’s three laws of motion? You bet, and Kakalios explains the connection in his lively, humorous style… A treat for anyone interested in physical science and can be enjoyed readily by math phobes and those with little science education, since Kaklios explains it all with clear detail and a good measure of fun. Highly recommended.”
- Library Journal (starred review)
“With passion, genial affability and a penchant for bad (truly bad) jokes, Kakalios ably relates the most baffling of theorems.”
- Kirkus Reviews
“Surprisingly enough, according to Kakalios, comic books get their physics right more often than you’d think.”
- The Boston Globe
“Jovial, largely equation-free deconstructions of Ant-Man’s shrinking ability, the centripetal acceleration of Spider-Man’s swing, and the strength of his silk web.”
“A fascinating seminar on just how the superpowers of various heroes (Mr. Fantastic, Superman, the Flash, Cyclops, Antman, etc.) would and wouldn’t work, scientifically speaking.”
The Physics of Superheroes is a stand-out. Writing with tongue firmly planted in cheek, Kakalios looks at classic comics with a physicists’s eye. And what he finds should make this book required reading.”
- The Orlando Sentinel
“Good teachers understand that physics is only fun when placed in context, and for Kakalios, that context is comic books… Kakalios… isn’t afraid to have fun with science.”
- Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Engaging and informative”
- Science News
“This is an excellent book, and you would be hard pressed to find a more enjoyable way of getting to grips with physics.”