Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Science of Iron Man

Some interesting facts and fiction about Iron Man's armour. The trick is to differentiate what is science and what is fiction...

April 28, 2008
Lab Notes

Iron Manic, Lithium Depressive

By Wil McCarthy

Stronger than steel, more powerful than an M1 tank, able to leap tall buildings and defeat bad guys ... Who among us has never dreamed of being a superhero? Unfortunately, Superman is from another planet, Spider-Man was bitten by a radioactive arachnid, and Batman combines the resources of an aerospace corporation, the intellect of a Sherlock Holmes or a Thomas Edison and the physical prowess of both an Olympic gymnast and a UFC cage-fight champion.

Hard to imagine you and I could measure up against a standard like that! But when a wounded Tony Stark first climbed inside his Iron Man armor in 1963 (possibly inspired by Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers, 1959), he offered up the possibility that with the right equipment, any ordinary person (well, any billionaire genius) could grow up to be a bulletproof, cement-wall-smashing, crime-fighting rocket jock.

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