On a seemingly unrelated note, I also took a look at a little book called Geek Physics. I hadn't planned on writing a critique, but I just couldn't resist with this one. It's just too fun. Here's my quickie review:
I am an admitted fangirl of such frivolous things as Star Wars, the Avengers, Lord of the Rings and Back to the Future. Apparently, Rhett Allain is a fanboy of the same persuasion. In his recent book Geek Physics, Allain tackles the physics behind several concepts within these fantastical worlds. He breaks down imaginary theories to real-world physics and formulas, answering some of the most burning questions of our time:
- What is the density of Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir?
- What is the recoil speed of Captain America?
- Could Superman punch someone into space?
- How realistic is Angry Birds physics?
- What kind of power source would you need to run a lightsaber?
- If R2-D2 is able to fly, how much does he really weigh?
And one of the most crucial questions facing the Star Wars community today:
DID HAN SHOOT FIRST??
Other interesting, yet more realistic topics are discussed, ones that even a non-fanboy or girl would find amusing:
- Does replacing paper flight manuals with iPads ultimately save fuel for the airline industry? (My husband, a Gulfstream IV pilot will surely have something to say about that.)
- Can ice cream get cold enough to be zero calories? (A girl can hope…)
- How many dollar bills would it take to stack them to the moon? (May I have half of them?)
- How high would you have to drop a frozen turkey so that it is cooked when it lands?
This brief volume is packed with humorous and interesting ideas, many of which I had never considered before (the turkey question being one of them). As I’ve been looking over the book, I find myself laughing out loud and reading to my children. I can’t wait to show the Han Solo section to my fanboy husband. There is a decent amount of physics-speak in Geek Physics that goes right over my head, but overall I found Allain’s writing to be easy to understand and incredibly amusing. I would not recommend reading this alone or in a quiet library. You WILL want to share some of these ideas with a friend and you most probably will laugh out loud. Geek Physics may just change the way you think about scientific study, and that has real-world applications indeed.