Physicist Breaks Down The Science Of 10 Iconic Marvel Scenes

  • Published on May 3, 2019
  • To celebrate the release of “Avengers: Endgame,” we had physicist (and lifelong comic book fan) Jim Kakalios take a closer look at the physics of the Marvel universe. Here he reacts to 10 memorable scenes from Marvel movies and rates them based on their accuracy. Find out what exactly quantum mechanics, time dilation, Einstein’s theory of special relativity, and spider silk tell us about the superheroes of the Marvel franchise.
    Which weapon would you rather have in a fight: Thor’s Mjolnir hammer or Captain America’s shield? Hint: The answer has to do with the conservation of energy - and the sonoluminescence of vibranium. Dr. Kakalios breaks down the physics behind this and many other Marvel phenomena, including Shuri’s holographic car in “Black Panther;” Peter Parker’s spider-webbing train save in “Spider-Man 2;” the multiverse theory of “Doctor Strange;” the role of Pym particles and the Higgs boson in “Ant-Man;” artificial gravity in “Guardians of the Galaxy;” and Tony Stark’s cybernetic helmet and gold-titanium exoskeleton in “Iron Man.” He sheds light on why Carol Danvers doesn’t age from “Captain Marvel” to “Avengers: Endgame;” why the Space Stone is so powerful when yielded by Thanos in “Avengers: Infinity War;” and what’s with all the talk of quantum entanglement, quantum tunneling, and “quantum mumbo-jumbo” in “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”
    Kakalios is the author of three books - “The Physics of Superheroes,” “The Physics of Everyday Things,” and “The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics.” He was a science consultant for Sony’s 2012 film “The Amazing Spider-Man.” Before that, he won an Emmy for his work as a science consultant for the Warner Bros. superhero film “Watchmen.” A physics professor at the University of Minnesota, Kakalios teaches a popular class that uses comic books to illustrate the principles of physics.
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    Physicist Breaks Down The Science Of 10 Iconic Marvel Scenes
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Comments • 5 334

  • Pooty Tang
    Pooty Tang 21 hour ago

    Good shit!

  • Faze _Roman
    Faze _Roman 21 hour ago

    Is there a english version of this ???? I cant find it lol😅😅

  • Liam Jackson
    Liam Jackson Day ago

    You could create hard light holograms w/ solid light crystals. In 2013 scientists were successful in creating crystals out of photons under the right conditions.

  • Ian Flanagan
    Ian Flanagan Day ago

    How does iron man not suffer damage to his bones and internal organs when boosting upwards with great acceleration, sometimes going from rest to exceeding the speed of sound in what seems like an instant?

  • XxPro GamerxX
    XxPro GamerxX Day ago


  • Jakub Braun
    Jakub Braun Day ago

    That tie is an atrocity.

  • Dead Meme
    Dead Meme Day ago +1

    Must be fun to watch movies as this guy.

  • Murray Enders
    Murray Enders Day ago

    If only the producers of this video put as much effort into their effects (and remembering to put batteries in the microphone) as the producers of MCU

  • Dxvon _
    Dxvon _ Day ago

    But he said a human would fall at the same rate that a pipe would

  • King Saurus
    King Saurus Day ago

    13:07 mitosis be like

  • Razvan Efros
    Razvan Efros 2 days ago

    I feel most people get the concept of time dilation wrong. Lets have an example: you have a space ship that can reach light speed. Flying to the nearest galaxy would take 4 light years. We have 2 clocks, one on your shuttle and one on a stationary point outside it. When the trip is done most people think the clock on your ship will show 4 years and the other one shows 192 years if i did the math right, which renders your space ship quite useless since it still took you a bunch of real time to reach the destination. The truth is the independent clock will show 4 years while for you on the ship only a mere couple of weeks would have passed.
    This is how i tend to visualise it. Please feel free to correct me if im wrong, preferably pointing to some refference materials

  • Kuckucken Gaming
    Kuckucken Gaming 2 days ago

    She’s not sitting on the hologram she’s sitting on nanotechnology

  • TheZaiah19
    TheZaiah19 2 days ago

    SPC Marvel

  • gsooya
    gsooya 2 days ago

    Paling penasaran sama “dilatasi waktu”, secara teori sangat luar biasa dan ya bisa di terima, tapi secara praktek, masih membuat bertanya2. Apakah dilatasi waktu bisa terjadi di dunia nyata? Only God knows.

    VODKA VODKA 2 days ago

    Where is the thumbnail lol

  • Mtt Music
    Mtt Music 2 days ago

    But for the artificial gravity what if the rocket is moving down

  • Yves Heinrich
    Yves Heinrich 2 days ago

    I honestly lost him with Captain Marvel - but I guess that's just because I really don't like the character and Brie's portrayal.

  • PsyKo Pat
    PsyKo Pat 2 days ago

    Why is Dr.Strange in this video ? This film said it itself, Nothing has to make sence.
    So why is this guy trying explain anything ?

  • Automatic Bazzutti
    Automatic Bazzutti 2 days ago

    With the artificial gravity bit, this physicist forgot that the people standing on the ground are only stuck there due to gravity pushing them down. They wouldn't stay there if gravity was switched off because there's never exactly zero gravity, even in space. There's also never exactly zero motion, because everything in a galaxy is in motion. There's also the natural force as well as the force the people are using to hold themselves up. For them to stay in contact with the ground, they'd essentially need to go limp at the same time as gravity being switched off, otherwise the force their muscles are exerting to hold themselves up with cause them to push off the ground, which "exerts" natural force against them, causing them to lift up ever so slightly.

  • Amri A
    Amri A 2 days ago

    Mmm... How many he say quantum ..

  • Jireh Paleracio
    Jireh Paleracio 2 days ago

    i love it

  • Ajay goud7
    Ajay goud7 2 days ago

    this is sad

  • Elm N
    Elm N 2 days ago

    If gravity suddenly disappears, you will move up because you are not at rest while standing. You are actively pushing against the floor with your whole body muscles just to keep standing up, ie. in earth's gravity, you are exerting a force equal an opposite to the earths gravity of 9.8 m/s^2. If gravity is lost instantaneously, it will be akin to you jumping with that force. You will move up, and I guess much faster than what is shown here. It will be different and similar to what you see here if gravity is lost at a more gradual pace. Anyway, it shouldn't affect inanimate objects like cups and utensils like the way you see floating around in the shot, so it is a minor fail.

  • M.A.
    M.A. 2 days ago

    Ooo that gingivitis joke 5/10

  • Justin Cruz
    Justin Cruz 2 days ago

    What is that hard-light stuff he was talking about during that Black Panther section?

  • Fallout The modder
    Fallout The modder 3 days ago

    Actually when you were talking about the endgame part we actually last saw her in the captain marvel post credits scene

  • grah55
    grah55 3 days ago

    @INSIDER 1:34. Your physicist is wrong. All objects that are standing experience a very slight compression due to gravity. If gravity was suddenly turned off, ie a sharp change from a G of 1 to 0 in an instant, that compression would now be able to release that stored energy in a decompression. The result is that the objects that were once on the floor would push against it and therefore be launched in the air at ever so slight rate. It's more prevalent in soft materials, but humans with our joints, cartilage spine etc, it would be more dramatic than anything else around. All objects experience some form of compression due to gravity. Thanks for reading.

  • Koikoihoikoi
    Koikoihoikoi 3 days ago


  • a typical human
    a typical human 3 days ago

    Come on buddy,its from the comics.what do you expect ;)

  • Logan Byrne
    Logan Byrne 3 days ago

    Dr. Strange would be classified as the Heisenberg theory and quantum entanglement is based on the knowledge of the polar opposites before mating. And in quantum physics, that base pair changes all the time. Negative vs positive. Why we can't create wormholes.

  • Amateur Asian
    Amateur Asian 3 days ago

    An arc reactor is apparently an incredibly small and efficient fusion reactor. Someone figure out how to make this shit ASAP.

  • 3than R33dy
    3than R33dy 3 days ago

    I want to be his friend

  • Jerry Jin
    Jerry Jin 3 days ago

    How can antman breathe when he’s smaller then oxygen molecules

  • stayalivefrensforme
    stayalivefrensforme 4 days ago +1

    Jim Kakalios: *analysis's marvel movies and talks about physics during fight scenes*
    Me: · 👄 · cOoL fIgHt ScEnE

  • Noteblock Nation
    Noteblock Nation 4 days ago

    My question is, how does Antman breathe when he is smaller then an air molecule, there are no oxygen tanks

  • Viomaliha
    Viomaliha 4 days ago

    He’s so adorable 😅

  • Crack Gamer
    Crack Gamer 4 days ago

    I love how this pleb thinks iron man and Spider-Man are realistic when both of their arms would be ripped off from momentum of falling and then engaging boosters or shooting out a web

  • Miguel Jean
    Miguel Jean 4 days ago

    Possible or not
    Still it's amazing

  • Ice Ender Boy1212
    Ice Ender Boy1212 4 days ago

    They dont break
    * web breaks*

  • Clyde Kye
    Clyde Kye 4 days ago

    wait so artificial gravity is 3/10 but a magic stone with the power to control space is 8/10

    • unknown skeleton
      unknown skeleton 4 days ago

      More so the physics behind it than the actual stone itself

  • NitroVybes
    NitroVybes 4 days ago

    why did i think it said:
    Racist breaks down the science of 10 iconic marvel scenes

  • af daftpunk
    af daftpunk 4 days ago

    i never learn physic, but this video make physic look interesting..

  • Victor Vidal
    Victor Vidal 4 days ago +3

    Wow, I didn't expect the spiderman one to be truth

  • B3nja_García
    B3nja_García 5 days ago

    Wait it’s a trap!! It’s a physics class dressed up as a marvel video!! RUN!!!

  • lourenco wang
    lourenco wang 5 days ago

    I mean how do you know vibranium doesn't exist, you can say aliens don't exist cuz vibranium is an extraterrestrial metal used in wakanda

  • ElDuderino The last
    ElDuderino The last 5 days ago

    3:15 Looks like Thanos forgets about this ability for the rest of the 2 movies.

  • Adzemo
    Adzemo 5 days ago +3

    Who else doesn’t understand anything in this video

  • Bloody Quark911
    Bloody Quark911 5 days ago

    we need to break down the flash's physics

  • Sam Onochie
    Sam Onochie 5 days ago

    anyone know the name of the track playing in the background at 16:53 ?

  • gurmaine hills
    gurmaine hills 5 days ago

    2:15 was a great explaination, I never understood how Thanos stopped Loki’s dagger with the space stone

  • D.DoT-Z
    D.DoT-Z 5 days ago +1

    Yeah well that helmet thing...there’s several scenes in which he has his helmet removed and still uses his jet boots and repulsors

  • Lolly Queen
    Lolly Queen 5 days ago

    As a physicis student and a heroi movies fan I am beyond satisfied by this video.

  • Hanna P.
    Hanna P. 5 days ago +5

    i have been watching him for 5 seconds and i already love this man

    OVOM4DARA 6 days ago

    Nice learned something new

  • Joshaqy
    Joshaqy 6 days ago

    "Oh yeah I see that look in class alot." This guy has won my heart.

  • Kaeda Sonata
    Kaeda Sonata 6 days ago

    But the cabin of the jet and the car in Black Panther were actually solid objects that rose, and built up from a compartment in the floor, sir. Those weren't supposed to actually be holographic. *Pushes up nerd glasses* XD Oh, and Carol Danvers was affected by Kree blood and whatever the hell was in that jet's power source. Kree age super slow, brudda.

  • Soham Bhattacharjee
    Soham Bhattacharjee 6 days ago

    I expected you to give a 3 or 2 to endgame....because of that travelling to the past thing...anyway keeping aside logic...its a great movie.
    P.s: as far as I know we can travel to the past only if we travel faster than light...

  • luiz alves
    luiz alves 6 days ago

    It's really fun to find out Marvel got a lot of science stuff right, except when they actually tried to make it scientificly accurate

  • Cha Shu Bao the Pomeranian

    Kyle: "Because science"

  • thisisbadstuff
    thisisbadstuff 6 days ago

    Explain how a person would not be turned to pulp having to endure the G forces generated by the maneuvers we see the ironman suit makes?

    • thisisbadstuff
      thisisbadstuff 6 days ago

      @Wout Chauvaux The jet suit I have no problems with. It's actually the gravity industries' video that brought me to this one so I'm well aware of the viability of a jet suit. My concern is how a person would survive sustaining G forces generated by maneuvers such as instantly accelerating to extreme speeds, stopping on a dime at those extreme speeds making V turns etc.

    • Wout Chauvaux
      Wout Chauvaux 6 days ago

      The extreme maneuvers maybe nkt so much, but the jet suit itself is realistic! Look up gravity industries, its actually super cool

  • Elvin Glass
    Elvin Glass 6 days ago

    Boring person talks about boring things for a boring amount of time.

  • Marcus Patrick
    Marcus Patrick 6 days ago

    This guy seems great! I would love to have him as my physics teacher.

  • Synobles
    Synobles 6 days ago


  • Arvind Raghavan
    Arvind Raghavan 7 days ago

    Vibranium unfortunately doesn't exist
    Disappointing tone😓

  • Miguel H Colón V argas

    holy nose job batman

  • Brian ORB Lindsey
    Brian ORB Lindsey 7 days ago +6

    The fact he quoted The Mr. Stan Lee, respect for life!

  • 3lectricbEaST 17
    3lectricbEaST 17 7 days ago

    He looks like the kind of guy that watches a ton of sci-fi and action movies and when he talks to his friends about it they're just like, "what the hell"

  • GweiTheLeafChild
    GweiTheLeafChild 7 days ago

    Shuri isn't using a hologram, it's actually vibranium sand that can be manipulated into shapes, so a car or an airship is actually a small scale replica that can be interacted with because it can be selectively solid where it needs to be.

  • Miranda Brue
    Miranda Brue 7 days ago

    Minnesota love

  • J Jaguar
    J Jaguar 7 days ago

    this came out on my birthday!

  • BP Lup
    BP Lup 7 days ago

    To quote Bender

    "You are so smart."

  • Archaic Method
    Archaic Method 8 days ago

    There’s something he missed in the black panther scene.... the only parts of the car that she’s actually physically interacting with is made from that weird black sand stuff. It made the seat and the steering wheel and I’m assuming the pedals as well and anything else she has to touch and then the rest of the car is just a hologram. And I think this is actually very possible other than the black sand stuff. But if you had just a physical car seat and steering wheel etc, I think it would totally be possible to create a hologram of an entire car around it

  • Prínce 7•G
    Prínce 7•G 8 days ago

    RIP stan lee

  • CybrPowr Techy
    CybrPowr Techy 8 days ago

    Wait a minute, I might be completely wrong here so please correct me if I am. But as he said Time Dilation works by Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity. Einstein concluded in one of his thought experiments that if a person were in the middle of two lightning strikes that simultaneously stroked at the same time, and a person on a train moving at a regular pace saw these lightning strikes. then the person on the train would see both of the lightning strikes go off at the same time, BUT, if that train were moving at the speed of light the person on the train would see the lightning strike closest to him/her go off first. This is because the person has such immense velocity that he/she bends Space Time so that everything relative to that person is moving slower relative to the persons velocity. This is shown in real life and movies such as Interstellar, if anyone here has watched Interstellar they'd know that the crew aboard the space shuttle landed on a planet in the proximity of a black hole. Once they were done with their mission and returned home the crew shortly discovered everything on Earth aged 20 years while they stayed the same age. This is due because the black hole spun so fast that the black hole, and everything around it, moved at a very high percentage of the speed of light, meaning that anyone at a stand point would look at the planets revolving around the black hole and see them moving in very slow motion due to Space Time being bent, but everyone in the grasp of the black hole saw the planets revolve as they would normally. This is shown in real life cases as well for people who are aboard the International Space Station, though only for a few picoseconds, the people aboard the I.S.S are technically younger than someone who was born at the exact same time they were. This is because the I.S.S revolves around the Earth as a planet would revolve around a Black Hole. Earths immense speed through space bends Space Time a tiny bit and everyone on the Space Station would perceive themselves and their crew as normal while everyone on Earth would see them as moving slower than they truly are. I know I have talked a lot and probably got absolutely every thing wrong, but if Captain Marvel were up in space moving at a percentage of the speed of light, then everyone on Earth, such as Thor and Ironman, would have aged a lot before she got back to Earth, yet nonetheless, Captain Marvel would only age for as long as she was up in space. I won't go into the details but this is most likely how Ant Man also survived in the Quantum Realm whilst everyone in the real world aged normally. Please correct me if I am wrong on this.

  • Michael Suhendra
    Michael Suhendra 8 days ago

    U don't question doctor strange

    No, U CAN'T question doctor strange

  • Jose Victor Villa
    Jose Victor Villa 8 days ago

    Did he just say Captain Marvel 2?

  • Re Yamner
    Re Yamner 8 days ago

    I read his book!

  • Max_Destruction
    Max_Destruction 8 days ago

    artificial gravity can be created by a centrifuge

  • AB_SIN !!
    AB_SIN !! 8 days ago

    Gotta hit em with the quick double tap to skip both ads at once 😉😅

  • Fabio SK
    Fabio SK 8 days ago

    but to stand up we must press with our feet on the floor. Isn't this strength enough to make us fly away?(I'm Italian so if I write wrong I'm sorry)

  • Crafty
    Crafty 8 days ago

    If school teachers and parents say "superheroes are fictional", they need to say this definitely

  • Carlitos Elmar cianito

    4:04 think that's a footage from the dubbing to spanish

  • Viktor Fox
    Viktor Fox 8 days ago

    Uhm... i dont know how this people can say thus things, We havent the Total knowledge of the universe, exemple: have you ever tried to take a mouse and stick with glue on a duck? Maybe it can produce energy, but We havent tried everything. Humanity its loss

  • Henry Bellew
    Henry Bellew 8 days ago

    The hologram car isn't "hard light" but rather it is a more traditional hologram and a second technology. If you watch closely the seat, dash, steering wheel and pedals are made of the 3 dimensional "sand" technology used in Wakanda. You can see them finish forming from the floor which has a plate of that material centered below the where the hologram is completing its initial projection. The same "sand" tech demonstrated in the opening sequence of the film when T"Chala is getting ready to assault the truck convoy from the Wakandan stealth aircraft.

  • Peter Sep
    Peter Sep 8 days ago

    Donˋt argree with the rating tho...

  • Claudio Marvel
    Claudio Marvel 9 days ago

    THANKS, Prof. Kakalios, I'll try your advice the next time when the elevator falls.

  • Bob Jones
    Bob Jones 9 days ago

    Person in falling elevator: WE'RE GOING TO DIE!
    Him: LoOK At thIS MaGIc piPe

  • J U S S S S S S
    J U S S S S S S 9 days ago +1

    I cannot understand a thing but I'm enjoying it.

  • Youou Tuber
    Youou Tuber 9 days ago

    And where did the cybernetic helmet start? SADF.

  • Lucy Stephanie
    Lucy Stephanie 9 days ago

    I think he's having so much fun. 😄

  • steve wagner
    steve wagner 9 days ago

    Stewie-- Do you see the wire yet, Brian? Over
    Brian-- Do I see what?
    OVER !
    Tom Petty-- FreeFallin'

  • Cyber Henning
    Cyber Henning 9 days ago

    Am i the only who finds it weird that Iron Man doesnt use thrusters to counter the force of the beams from his gauntlets while floating mid-air? One would think that those beams generate a recoil momentum equal to the forward momentum. Seeing as this titanium-gold-alloy has little to no elasticity, the recoil would have to be countered somehow.

  • Youtube Central
    Youtube Central 9 days ago

    Dude thanos destroys captain America's shield in endgame so explain that 😎

  • Youtube Central
    Youtube Central 9 days ago

    Great video. Do more

  • Mamon Mohsen
    Mamon Mohsen 9 days ago +1

    So we have an Iron man suit and we only need a big battery

    • Wout Chauvaux
      Wout Chauvaux 6 days ago

      We already have a complete iron man suit! Look up gravity industries, its actually super cool

  • Sean Rosenau
    Sean Rosenau 9 days ago

    15:10 you could easily have a solid light hologram. You would use a force-field combined with hologram.

  • raiden435
    raiden435 9 days ago

    8:40 well,i'm sorry spiderman doesn't shoot webs out of his anus

  • Gavin Carroll
    Gavin Carroll 10 days ago

    Idk why but it felt like he was reading a script

  • rws531
    rws531 10 days ago

    video and audio quality on this is pretty bad, especially at the black panther part.

  • Lucas Andrews
    Lucas Andrews 10 days ago

    I think I have an idea on the anti gravity stuff as you can see the full place is built out of a Type of metal and is magnetic so and the shoes are quite big the shoes stick to the ground using magnetic shoes