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Suppose a human and The Hulk were cylinders...
May 3, 2012 8:08 PM   Subscribe

The physics of the Hulk's jump.
posted by latkes (76 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
HULK SMASH BEANPLATE
posted by dazed_one at 8:17 PM on May 3, 2012 [15 favorites]


Is there a breakdown of the plausibility of Superman flying under a huge thing like a supertanker and supporting it with his hands at an obviously non-load-bearing point nowhere near the centre of gravity? Because that just pisses me off no end.

Also: the improbability of Hulk's excessive forward-head posture. With that posterior chain musculature? I mean, what are we to believe, that he is is some sort of a *snort* optimally-functional thoracic alignment or something? Boy, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 8:21 PM on May 3, 2012 [16 favorites]


Writing about the "physics" of superheroes' superpowers may be more lucrative than being a Starbucks barista, but I don't see it as a much better use of a degree in science. (and yes, I RTFA and his previous one about Iron Man)
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:22 PM on May 3, 2012


(Link has very minor avengers spoilers, but audio is dubbed in spanish.)

That blogger better hope he never meets the real Hulk or this might happen.
posted by axiom at 8:27 PM on May 3, 2012


Is there a breakdown of the plausibility of Superman flying under a huge thing like a supertanker and supporting it with his hands at an obviously non-load-bearing point nowhere near the centre of gravity? Because that just pisses me off no end.

You should check out The Physics of Superheroes, which is a whole book about this stuff written by a (different) physics professor. I'm not sure but I think it may address that very issue.
posted by jedicus at 8:51 PM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Superman's powers are explained as "tactile telekinesis".
posted by jozxyqk at 8:57 PM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's just a fun way to learn some physics principles and equations. Don't get your superpanties all supertwisted.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:06 PM on May 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Suppose a human and The Hulk were cylinders. In this case, could draw the following."

I knew there was going to be a spherical cow in here somwhere
posted by Blasdelb at 9:09 PM on May 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


Well, he cracks the concrete when he lands, doesn't he? It takes just the same amount of force to start him as it does to stop him. A little more in fact, unless we're assuming a frictionless The Hulk.
posted by aubilenon at 9:14 PM on May 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


My only complaint is that The Hulk is way more massive than a regular person; bullets don't puncture The Hulk's skin. And wouldn't The Hulk become more massive the angrier The Hulk becomes?

The Hulk (this includes Bruce Banner) positively should never be allowed in New York City. I haven't seen the The Avengers movie yet but I seriously hope no one knowledgeable brings The Hulk or Bruce Banner into the city. It's the worst idea.
posted by fuq at 9:30 PM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I cringe every time I see Iron Man get bounced around like a billiard ball...there ain't no room for padding in that suit. Knights wore padding under their armor you know.

But then some nutbag will throw in a heisenberg compensator or something to fix it. I'd rather just leave it unresolved that make up some pseudoscience BS to resolve it.
posted by Chekhovian at 9:37 PM on May 3, 2012


The issue of Hulkular unreliability is addressed.
posted by Sebmojo at 9:56 PM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


In the past we've seen some very unconvincing Hulk jumps in movies. If I were trying to get the look right, and considering that these kinds of budgets can easily afford a little pre-vis testing, I'd set up a trebuchet, loaded with a big sack of rocks of the Hulk's weight. I'd shoot that up on the trajectory that the script asks for, film it from the specified angle, and just match that. Because whatever physical simulators they've been using just don't look right at all.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:05 PM on May 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


But then some nutbag will throw in a heisenberg compensator or something to fix it. I'd rather just leave it unresolved that make up some pseudoscience BS to resolve it.

That example is interesting - the Heisenberg compensator doesn't really offer any explanation at all, BS or otherwise. It's just saying "Yes, we're aware that the star trek transporter, as we're presenting it, is impossible under our understanding of physics. So what if we tell you there's a special part that breaks that law of physics? Then can you shut up and let us tell the damn story, please?"
posted by aubilenon at 10:06 PM on May 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


The closest thing to a canon explanation for the Hulk's extra mass (and Wolverine's regenerated mass, and Hank Pym's Giant Man mass and much more besides) is that it's accessed from another dimension. Affectionately known to some fans as THE MEAT DIMENSION.

There's actually a LOT of "oh they just access mass/energy from another dimension" stuff going around in Marvel characters. I vaguely recall it being used as a handwave explanation for the old "how does a single X-Gene make these diverse mutants" question (as in, the X-Gene is just sort of a gene in this dimension that gives you access to a ton of other genes folded up in some other dimension). It's KIND OF RIDICULOUS is what I'm saying, but also kind of fascinating. Ant-Man's shrinking? Extra mass is stored in another dimension! So basically he's like the mice from the Hitchhiker's Guide! Cyclop's concussive eye blasts? You best believe they are punches from the Punch Dimension.

Further down the rabbit hole, it all gets indistinguishable from some of the mechanics of magic in the Marvel Universe, but there some big nasty entity usually needs to be petitioned for access to the extradimensional stuffs.

So dang goofy, you guys. Thank you, Roy Thomas, for getting the unstoppable ball of continuity wank rolling, it never fails to entertain!
posted by jason_steakums at 10:10 PM on May 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


With all the damage caused by the invading alien army during that battle in New York, I suspect the Mayor wouldn't particularly care if the Hulk breaks the concrete during a jump.

Besides, I'd love to see them try and collect the damage bill from him.
posted by Effigy2000 at 10:19 PM on May 3, 2012


Besides, I'd love to see them try and collect the damage bill from him.

The angrier Hulk gets, the more expenses Hulk files!

THE MORE EXPENSES HULK FILES, THE ANGRIER HULK GETS!
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 10:25 PM on May 3, 2012 [16 favorites]


Bruce Banner / The Hulk is constantly tailed by an entourage of insurance adjusters and accountants. It isn't so exciting, so you don't see them sweep in a few minutes behind him, tallying damages and running budget projections.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:56 PM on May 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Avengers Hulk is the best Hulk, and perhaps uncoincidentally also the best character in The Avengers, overall. I don't care about the physics, all I care about is th-smash smash smash smash smash smash.
posted by The Monkey at 11:06 PM on May 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Could someone more familiar with the character fill me in on what the deal is with the Hulk vs Bruce Banner?

Half the time it seems like Hulk is supposed to be some kind of mindless rage machine that smashes anything it finds, and the other half he's a big strong brute who knows exactly who is the good and bad guys and gals are, like a big green strong Bruce Banner.
posted by dumbland at 12:33 AM on May 4, 2012


If The Hulk is made of cork, that means he floats. And if he floats...
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:04 AM on May 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Eddie Valiant: You mean you could've taken your hand out of that cuff at any time?
Roger Rabbit: No, not at any time, only when it was funny.
posted by Segundus at 1:08 AM on May 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


While I am talking about mass, there is something that always bothered me. Bruce Banner is a pretty normal-looking human, right? But then he turns into The Hulk .... So, if he goes from 70 kilograms as a human to almost 300 kg as The Hulk, where does the extra mass come from?
...
But what if The Hulk doesn’t change mass? In this case, he would still be 70 kg, but have a different density.

...

Using the same values for heights, this would put The Hulk’s density at 0.24 times the density of a human. If I assume about 1,000 kg/m3 for a human, the Hulk would have a density of 240 kg/m3. Just to compare, this is similar to the density of cork
I like the idea of the hulk having a density similar to cork. It would make more sense, as the hulk can walk around on stuff that was designed for normal weight humans.
posted by delmoi at 1:23 AM on May 4, 2012


Half the time it seems like Hulk is supposed to be some kind of mindless rage machine that smashes anything it finds, and the other half he's a big strong brute who knows exactly who is the good and bad guys and gals are, like a big green strong Bruce Banner.
The Hulk is just Bruce Banner in a fit of rage. He can't talk straight because is just so pissed off.

Also, can Bruce banner be injured when he's in his normal mode? If a car hit the hulk, he'd be fine. What happens if a car hits Banner? I'd kind of imagine he'd auto-hulkify on account of being in pain, but what happens if he doesn't get pissed off for some reason? Does he die? Get injured?

If he does become the hulk due to physical pain, could he just have himself turn into the hulk whenever he needs by tasering himself?
posted by delmoi at 1:29 AM on May 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


They adress the auto hulkification in the movie, apparently it is faster than a speeding bullet.
posted by jonbro at 1:36 AM on May 4, 2012


I remember some old Hulk comics that featured Banner smacking himself to get angry enough to trigger the change...
posted by Scattercat at 2:14 AM on May 4, 2012


Hulk most likely smoosh...THEN SMASH!
posted by ShutterBun at 2:19 AM on May 4, 2012


Not sure who all here has seen the movie yet, but yeah. The "Hulkism" is a case study in "plot convenience." (as is "finding suitably feeble enemies for Black Widow to fight effectively" and "giving Hawkeye something to do out of sheer pity")
posted by ShutterBun at 2:23 AM on May 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


100% Beanplate, 0% fun.

I think this is what annoys me the most. Part of the point of these things is that they exist in a place where the laws of physics can bend like taffy, and invariably someone will go 'that can't work under the laws of physics' and complain about it being 'unrealistic'.

At the rate that goes, the only thing some people will want to watch is, to borrow from Ray Bradbury, endless remakes of "The Old Man and the Sea".

if you're wondering how he eats and breathes and other science facts,
just repeat to yourself it's just a show I should really just relax

posted by mephron at 3:32 AM on May 4, 2012


Mad props for the MST3K reference, but there's a MAJOR difference at work here:

In the case of "The Hulk," his powers and abilities tend to define the story, so extra scrutiny will be placed on them.

Nobody questions Hulk's ability to lift a tank or smash a helicopter, but we DO expect the word around him to react credibly. CGI artists go WAY out of their way to give their creations "weight" and "real world physics," etc. It's perfectly normal to expect someone to say "um, Newton's first law says that such-and-such should have happened" or whatever.

More realistic consequences of superheroic actions cannot possibly hurt the genre, nor do they circumvent the suspension of disbelief. We accept that superheroes can do these things, we just want to (accurately) see what happens to "real world" objects when they do 'em.

In the commentaries for the Lord of the Rings movies, Andy Serkis mentions that he wanted Gollum's movements to have a "cost" to them. (he may have said "payment" or "price" or some other word) His point was, if you're going to jump and land on something, we had better see the "payment" for that action, in order to make it believable.

It wouldn't have taken much effort for the Avengers animation team to show cracked concrete at The Hulk's departure points. It's not a failure of money or time, it's a failure of imagination. I have a feeling that future CGI productions will take such criticism to heart, and make forthcoming superhero films that much more convincing.

Animation will never improve if we simply write everything off with "he's a superhero, so anything's possible, including breaking the laws of physics and momentum."

TL;DR: Our suspension of disbelief resides in our acceptance of The Hulk's ability to jump 150 feet in the air. It does not extend to a belief in superheroic asphalt streets.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:55 AM on May 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


(Link has very minor avengers spoilers, but audio is dubbed in spanish.)

I'd hate to see your definition of a major spoiler. Fine with me, I've seen it twice, but I would strongly discourage anyone who hasn't seen the film from clicking that link.
posted by Optamystic at 4:16 AM on May 4, 2012


If nothing else, it ruins one of the funniest parts of the movie. (let's face it: this movie is a COMEDY, above all else)
posted by ShutterBun at 4:20 AM on May 4, 2012


I have not yet seen the Avengers movie, but I checked out the Incredible Hulk movie (which I have on hand), and there's places in there where the Hulk both lands and leaps, and there's local damage when he does it. (not counting stuff like where he hits the concrete after going out the back of the chopper, or the "HULK... SMASH!" scene in the fight with the Abomination.)

In my checking the trailers for Avengers I haven't seen Hulk takeoffs yet, so I can't judge that right now. Maybe tomorrow after seeing it I'll have more to examine.
posted by mephron at 4:22 AM on May 4, 2012


The closest thing to a canon explanation for the Hulk's extra mass (and Wolverine's regenerated mass, and Hank Pym's Giant Man mass and much more besides) is that it's accessed from another dimension.

Actually, this is true. IIRC, Pym Particles originate from an alternate dimension called "Kosmos," where volume and mass transfer more freely than they do in our own. This was explained in the Wasp's origin issue, when Ant Man and his pal Dr. Van Dyne accidentally summoned a maniac dictator monster with growth powers from the Kosmos dimension when messing around in the lab.

In short, chain smoking, too much bad coffee and a bit of acid is responsible for all Marvel canon before the Jim Shooter era, when it changed over to cocaine and booze.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:34 AM on May 4, 2012


So, a wizard did it?
posted by ShutterBun at 4:43 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there a breakdown of the plausibility of Superman flying under a huge thing like a supertanker and supporting it with his hands at an obviously non-load-bearing point nowhere near the centre of gravity? Because that just pisses me off no end.

That's actually explained on page five of Superman #1 (1986).
posted by martinrebas at 4:50 AM on May 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


Hulk Recoil!
posted by ShutterBun at 4:58 AM on May 4, 2012


100% Beanplate, 0% fun.

100% swoosh.
posted by Pendragon at 5:06 AM on May 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


fuq: "My only complaint is that The Hulk is way more massive than a regular person; bullets don't puncture The Hulk's skin. And wouldn't The Hulk become more massive the angrier The Hulk becomes?

The Hulk (this includes Bruce Banner) positively should never be allowed in New York City. I haven't seen the The Avengers movie yet but I seriously hope no one knowledgeable brings The Hulk or Bruce Banner into the city. It's the worst idea.
"

Yep. Thus:

"Let me assume that he is the same density as a normal human" = FAIL
posted by Splunge at 5:24 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


…unless we're assuming a frictionless The Hulk

Is weird that my first reaction to this phrase was to imagine The Hulk slathered in rich, creamy butter?
posted by device55 at 6:07 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's hard to take this seriously when the guy doesn't even know the canonical value for the Hulk's mass, which can be expressed either as "A HALF-TON OF GAMMA-POWERED MUSCLE!" or "ONE HALF-TON OF FURY!" (in either case, the all-caps and exclamation points are not optional).
posted by straight at 6:27 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


BIG-TIME NERDITRY FOLLOWS:

delmoi: Also, can Bruce banner be injured when he's in his normal mode?

Yep. Though it tends to result in rehulkification One of the tropes of olde-tymey Hulk comics was that Banner would get hurt and then fight like hell to stay calm and avoid Hulking Out. It seldom worked, of course.

If a car hit the hulk, he'd be fine. What happens if a car hits Banner? I'd kind of imagine he'd auto-hulkify on account of being in pain, but what happens if he doesn't get pissed off for some reason? Does he die? Get injured?

The more recent interpretations of the character (IIRC) would lead to Banner turning into the Hulk. The Hulk heals super-duper-fast, so problem solved. Probably the only way to kill the Hulk would be to atomize Banner before he had time to Hulk Out.

If he does become the hulk due to physical pain, could he just have himself turn into the hulk whenever he needs by tasering himself?

Can and has.

meatbomb: Bruce Banner / The Hulk is constantly tailed by an entourage of insurance adjusters and accountants. It isn't so exciting, so you don't see them sweep in a few minutes behind him, tallying damages and running budget projections.

Two words: DAMAGE CONTROL. (Man, I miss Dwayne McDuffie.)
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 6:37 AM on May 4, 2012 [8 favorites]


So does the Hulk poop like Hulk-sized poo or Bruce Banner size poo? Because if it's the former, then I want to know the physics of THAT.
posted by stormpooper at 6:39 AM on May 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Could someone more familiar with the character fill me in on what the deal is with the Hulk vs Bruce Banner?

Half the time it seems like Hulk is supposed to be some kind of mindless rage machine that smashes anything it finds, and the other half he's a big strong brute who knows exactly who is the good and bad guys and gals are, like a big green strong Bruce Banner."

fraggmented goes a long way toward explaining this in the storytelling engines series.

[Avengers entry here – it's from 2007 and about the comics, so no spoilers.]
posted by Eideteker at 6:47 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ain't he unglamorous?
posted by Trurl at 6:57 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, he cracks the concrete when he lands, doesn't he? It takes just the same amount of force to start him as it does to stop him. A little more in fact, unless we're assuming a frictionless The Hulk.

aubilenon, there's no guarantee that he accelerates and decelerates at the same rate. By analogy, it is possible to launch an egg into the air in such a way that it survives until it falls back to ground. (The concrete is the egg here; when The Hulk smashes, the yolk's not on him.)
posted by IAmBroom at 7:00 AM on May 4, 2012


Half the time it seems like Hulk is supposed to be some kind of mindless rage machine that smashes anything it finds, and the other half he's a big strong brute who knows exactly who is the good and bad guys and gals are, like a big green strong Bruce Banner.

It seems to me (mind you I've not read any Hulk comics, just seen the films) that if the Hulk rage is triggered by accident or some outside force then the beast is out of control and rampages indiscriminately, but if Banner chooses to transform (by focusing his rage, or something) The Hulk behaves more like a controlled detonation than an accidental explosion.
posted by aldurtregi at 7:10 AM on May 4, 2012


One of the older interpretations of the Hulk that explains a lot is that he's not exactly a "rage monster," but rather that he's a very young child. Thus, he lashes out when "people are mean to him," but can also be sweet and loving when the folks around him are more understanding. A big part of the appeal of the Hulk to comic-reading kids in the seventies was the identification. The world doesn't make sense to the Hulk, and people are mean to him and persecute him for things he either didn't do or didn't mean to do. Buuuut, he's also the Biggest and Strongest and he'll Smash Everything, even though he's still a scared, hurting little boy on the inside who just wants to be loved.

But not so much anymore. Much like Captain Marvel/Shazam, the Hulk's core interpretation has had to change with the aging of the comic-book fanbase.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 7:21 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just logged about the physics of Hulk's dump.

Lights 100 matches....
posted by srboisvert at 7:22 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Hulk (this includes Bruce Banner) positively should never be allowed in New York City.

Fine. You tell him to stay out.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:41 AM on May 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Half the time it seems like Hulk is supposed to be some kind of mindless rage machine that smashes anything it finds, and the other half he's a big strong brute who knows exactly who is the good and bad guys and gals are

In the comics? Canonically? The nature of the transformation has always been unstable and unpredictable. In just the first six issues of the original Incredible Hulk comic, Hulk is variously:

* a huge gray man who speaks in complete sentences and seems more scornful and proud than angry

* a huge green man who seems to have turned to villainy because of people's reaction to him: ""With this flying dreadnaught under me, I can wipe out all of mankind! Now the Hulk will be the hunter instead of the hunted!"

* a monster under the psychic control of Rick Jones, the kid Banner was saving when he was exposed to the gamma bomb

* a huge green man with the intellect and psyche of Bruce Banner

* a monster with the body of the Hulk but the head of Bruce Banner(!)

Initially the transformation was triggered by sundown: he was Banner by day and Hulk by night. Then Banner invented a machine, the rays of which would control the transformation. Then the first Hulk comic was cancelled and he started showing up as an antagonist in other comics and this is when he started being a savage / child-like beast that Banner changed into when he was stressed out.

At various times the Hulk has been Green or Gray, under Banner's control or completely mindlessly angry (Banner and Hulk have even been physically separated using magic or comic science). There was a time when Hulk was smart (but not exactly Banner) and only changed back in to Banner when he got angry -- a savage, raging, impotent Banner.

There have been multiple explanations for the Hulk's behavior, the most elaborate being Peter David's run, which explained that Banner had a form of multiple personality disorder and the various forms and minds that the Hulk had taken were aspects of his fractured psyche (even "Bruce Banner" was a role rather than a whole person).

More recently, the Hulk has been a sort of anti-hero (with a grudge against other Marvel heroes) with a human mind (but not a brilliant scientist like Banner) and remained the Hulk for long stretches of time.
posted by straight at 7:45 AM on May 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


So does the Hulk poop like Hulk-sized poo or Bruce Banner size poo?

Sadly, in the Ultimate universe (the one with Nick Samuel Jackson Fury), it depends on what or who he ate and when did he eat it/them. There's a scene of SHIELD with Banner in custody, waiting for him to pass the remains of a particularly resilient villain so they can be sure the villain is really dead. Thanks, Mark ("Kick-Ass") Millar.
posted by straight at 7:49 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I vill tell you one thing about Hulk. He vould have an enormous schwanzstucker
posted by Ber at 7:58 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Avengers movie will never quite be as good as it could be if it doesn't include Hulk disguising himself as Mechano, the Robot Clown.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:00 AM on May 4, 2012


I was never in to The Hulk when I was younger, although I did watch one of the cartoons. The Hulk is one of the best 'super heroes' I think. What are good stories I should check out for more The Hulk action?
posted by fuq at 8:38 AM on May 4, 2012


If you're a Hulk fan check out Planet Hulk. It puts him in an unusual situation as well as a moral dilemma (for the Hulk).
posted by Splunge at 8:41 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


stormpooper: "So does the Hulk poop like Hulk-sized poo or Bruce Banner size poo? Because if it's the former, then I want to know the physics of THAT"

You would. Eponysterical.
posted by notsnot at 8:45 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


100% Beanplate, 0% fun.

I think this is what annoys me the most. Part of the point of these things is that they exist in a place where the laws of physics can bend like taffy, and invariably someone will go 'that can't work under the laws of physics' and complain about it being 'unrealistic'.
This may shock you, but there are some people out there who actually find physics fun just by itself - and combining it with something that's also fun, like comic books, is even more fun.
posted by delmoi at 8:48 AM on May 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


That example is interesting - the Heisenberg compensator doesn't really offer any explanation at all, BS or otherwise. It's just saying "Yes, we're aware that the star trek transporter, as we're presenting it, is impossible under our understanding of physics. So what if we tell you there's a special part that breaks that law of physics? Then can you shut up and let us tell the damn story, please?"
I don't really see why a Heisenberg compensator is actually necessary. I don't think you would need to know the exact quantum configuration of all the atoms in all your cells. As long as you could get things close enough to not mess up molecular bonds, it should be fine. So long as DNA, proteins, and other important biological stuff stays together.
posted by delmoi at 9:10 AM on May 4, 2012


It wouldn't have taken much effort for the Avengers animation team to show cracked concrete at The Hulk's departure points. It's not a failure of money or time, it's a failure of imagination. I have a feeling that future CGI productions will take such criticism to heart, and make forthcoming superhero films that much more convincing.
Except according to the page, concrete can handle about 4x as much pressure as the hulk would use in a typical jump. He guessed there might be a peak pressure on the ground, but I actually think the pressure would be fairly constant.
posted by delmoi at 9:23 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't really see why a Heisenberg compensator is actually necessary. I don't think you would need to know the exact quantum configuration of all the atoms in all your cells. As long as you could get things close enough to not mess up molecular bonds, it should be fine. So long as DNA, proteins, and other important biological stuff stays together.

Because the quantum configuration is where the soul resides, duh. Without the Heisenberg compensator, you'd just be killing the person by disintegration and creating a near-identical copy at the other end.
posted by straight at 9:29 AM on May 4, 2012


Because the quantum configuration is where the soul resides, duh. Without the Heisenberg compensator, you'd just be killing the person by disintegration and creating a near-identical copy at the other end.

Heh... But here's the thing, an MRI machines, for example - actually works by changing the proton spin in your atoms, then measuring how long it takes to spin back in the right direction. I don't think anyone thinks MRI machines destroy their soul :)

Something that alters the thermodynamic 'microstates', if the change is small enough, wouldn't affect the measurable 'macrostate'.

On the other hand, obviously you wouldn't be able to teleport something like a quantum computer.
posted by delmoi at 9:39 AM on May 4, 2012


For fun (may have been posted before), check out the Hulk Out List which shows the circumstances leading to Banner hulking out in the series "Incredible HULK".
posted by Khazk at 9:52 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think anyone thinks MRI machines destroy their soul

That's because the atoms spin back to the right direction. Theologians refer to this phenomenon as "soul sleep." Being in an MRI is essentially the same as the state of the soul between death and the bodily resurrection at the Last Judgement.
posted by straight at 9:54 AM on May 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Sadly, in the Ultimate universe (the one with Nick Samuel Jackson Fury), it depends on what or who he ate and when did he eat it/them.

Most of the backstories/character development for the lead up Avengers movies have borrowed heavily from The Ultimates.

With the notable exception of Thor. Which is too bad, because cosmic-hippie-greenpeace god on earth would have been a fun movie.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:22 AM on May 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


John Carmack ran some numbers on this back when the Ang Lee Hulk movie trailer came out. I think that was the secret high point of slashdot, everything else was downhill from there.
posted by Uncle Ira at 11:25 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


wait, there are quantum theologians?
posted by jrishel at 11:46 AM on May 4, 2012


Quantum Physics and Theology: An Unexpected Kinship
posted by straight at 1:35 PM on May 4, 2012


Most of the backstories/character development for the lead up Avengers movies have borrowed heavily from The Ultimates.

I can't think of any connections besides Samuel Jackson, Captain America's costume, and Hawkeye's outfit. Ultimate Hulk is completely different from any of the movies. Ultimates Thor is a left-wing peace activist with a weird-shaped hammer who gets his strength from a battle harness and is possibly an insane human who merely thinks he's a god. I didn't catch any connections in the Captain America movie besides using a few elements of Ultimate Cap's costume. And I don't see anything in the Iron Man movies that's unique to the Ultimates version (and they certainly didn't use anything from Orson Scott Card's bizarre Ultimate Iron Man series, in which Tony Stark has blue skin and a brain so big it's spread out through his entire body).
posted by straight at 1:55 PM on May 4, 2012


wait, there are quantum theologians?

There must be some kind of uncertainty principle at work wherein if you become holy enough to be guaranteed passage into heaven, your hubris level rises and you lose that salvation. You could say then that Adam and Eve were in some kind analogue to a definite momentum state, which meant their position state had to be spread out, thus causing their fall from grace.

Simple and clear as day.
posted by Chekhovian at 3:25 PM on May 4, 2012


possibly an insane human who merely thinks he's a god

I was really hoping they'd run with this in the Movie. Instead they had to go for double ultra gay Asgard.
posted by Chekhovian at 3:26 PM on May 4, 2012


I, on the other hand, think it was a triumph that their designers came up a visual (and a beautiful one) that fit the name "Rainbow Bridge" without looking like it came out of a unicorn's butt.
posted by straight at 7:34 PM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does anyone remember the Superman vs, Hulk book? I loved that as a kid. Superman could not put Hulk down. As much as Superman pounded the Hulk he kept getting stronger. I honestly can't remember what happened but I have to guess that Superman put the Hulk down.

It was sort of like a preview of Superman Doomsday.
posted by Splunge at 9:48 PM on May 4, 2012


(Minor spoiler)

Did anyone else see the Hulk sucker punch Thor and think "Toph"?
posted by A dead Quaker at 3:04 PM on May 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


FYI don't be foolish and listen to your girlfriend's demands to leave after the first bonus scene, you have to stay through both sets of credits so that you can see the SECOND bonus scene.
posted by Chekhovian at 7:39 PM on May 5, 2012


stormpooper: "So does the Hulk poop like Hulk-sized poo or Bruce Banner size poo? Because if it's the former, then I want to know the physics of THAT."

There are times I wish we still had the image tag around here.
posted by radwolf76 at 6:25 PM on May 7, 2012


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