Bill Nye unmasks the science of superheroesThe star of "Bill Nye Saves the World" swoops into our CNET studio to hammer through questions about superheroes and explore the facts within the fiction.
[MUSIC] Bill Nye, you've been busy lately saving the world and you're a big fan of science, so I thought, why not talk about superhero science? Yeah, right, yes, superhero science. Yeah, let's have some fun. I wanted to talk about if things are possible, or plausible, in some of our favorite science fiction. So I wanted to start With iconic rock. You can't do that. That's Thor's hammer, you can't. Are you empowered. Thor flies by spnning it around really fast, throwing it and hanging on for the ride. You have an intuitive sense of it when you swing a bowling ball, or a bucket of water, you can knock yourself over You are converting this angular momentum to a linear momentum. What about Wonder Woman's lasso? It compells people to tell the truth and we know that truth serums exist. There is no science of a lasso truth. However, maybe there is when someone is caught in a lie. That's a verbal use, right? So if you are caught in the [UNKNOWN] of truth. Then you gotta tell the truth. When you're caught in a lie, then you start telling the truth. The Flash, going as fast as he does, it would have an effect on your body, and he has a super suit. But I always think about how the fact that his face is not protected, and I wonder what would that do to your skin to travel really really really fast. The Flash runs at super sonic speeds, or near super sonic speeds, and his face is uneffected. So, his face must be stronger than yours and mine. What would happen to our faces? [sounds] I watched the guys on the rocket sleds, where their faces, or guys ejected from airplanes... Who survive it, their faces get in the, blown up by the wind. [Sound of Take Off] One of my favorite movies, the Rocketeer. Where are we on jet packs? Is it, is it possible to have a jet pack and fly or are we just gonna burn our butts? So, there is not enough energy in alcohol, which is the supposed fuel. To fly a guy around like that. However, there are rocket packs that use hydrazine. And hydrazine is conventional rocket fuel. Very energetic. You don't have to light it. You just need a catalyst to start it. Yeah, Captain Ameria's shield, that's a material that absorbs the impact- Vibranium. Right. [MUSIC] So this is a classic, the second order differential equation. The string depends on how much you compress it, how fast. The damping depends just on how fast. So the more you squeeze it, the more it pushes back. So vibranium, Captain America's shield, is really, has great damping.>>Spiderman, okay, a material that is condensed enough, that can hold.>>You can thwip.>>And hold the weight of a 15-year-old boy.>>Well.>>Where are we on the science of that.>>And some bad guys.>>Hey, could you do me a favor? Hold on to that. Is this anybody's bike? He has the twippable web material that squirts out sticks to building and can support his weight and he's so skilled he can make that spiral web pattern just like that. Are we getting any closer to having that material be real? Yes, so goats have been genetically modified so that their milk produces the proteins of spiderwebs. And I remember when I was working full-time as an engineer, the US Navy was very interested in this material. So, the very near future may have spiderweb protein material everywhere the same way we have plastic everywhere. [SOUND] All right, I'll let you go. I know you have a lot of world things to do. Are you kidding? We are busy and important. Thank you very much for having us. And watch out for this hammer. [LAUGH] [SOUND] I don't want you to strain yourself. Ahh!