27th March 2014
Writing: Patrick Pagni (Year 13)
Photography: Sam Stevens (Year 10)
In a lecture hall, packed with hundreds of other students, the complex intricacies of physics and mathematics may become difficult to follow. It can be hard to relate all the minutiae of quantum physics to something that everybody has experienced in the real world: certainly, some physics requires some level of imagination.
Professor Alan Davies, of the University of Hertfordshire, devised a talk called the Physics of Superheroes. In this talk, inspired by research conducted by Professor James Kakalios, Professor Davies takes famous superheroes and uses this as a medium through which to explain physics. For example, in the talk he looked at Superman’s abilities to leap a tall building, and through various mathematical equations, he was able to deduce the make-up of the planet Krypton.
This is typical of Davies’ examples, taking an aspect of a superhero and relating it to the physics of the real world. It was a fascinating talk, and whiles the mathematics and physics may have been confusing at times, interest was sustained through the Davies’ charisma and the accessible comparisons to superheroes.