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Fermilab Lecture Series presents:

** Fermilab Arts & Lecture Series Update **

The Physics of Superheroes has been rescheduled for December 6, 2013 @ 8 p.m. Tickets issued for the 10/11 date will be valid for the December date. To exchange or obtain a refund for your tickets, click here for more information.

RESCHEDULED -The Physics of Superheroes
Dr. James Kakalios, University of Minnesota
Friday, DECEMBER 6, 2013 @ 8 p.m.
Tickets - $7

Pre-Lecture Dinner at Chez Leon starts at 6 p.m. - Call 630/840.3524 for reservations
Prix-Fixe Menu ($30) MENU T.B.D.

In THE PHYSICS OF SUPERHEROES, inspired by his Freshman Seminar class at the University of Minnesota entitled: "Everything I Know About Science I Learned from Reading Comic Books," Physics Professor James Kakalios addresses topics from Isaac Newton to the transistor, but there’s not an inclined plane or pulley in sight. Rather, ALL the examples come from superhero comic books, and as much as possible, those cases where the superheroes get their physics right!

For example, have you ever wondered how strong you would have to be to "leap a tall building in a single bound?" Was it “the fall” or “the webbing” that killed Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man’s girlfriend in the classic Amazing Spider-Man # 121? How does Kitty Pryde from the X-Men comics and movies use quantum mechanics to walk through walls? All this, and the answers to such important real life questions as the chemical composition of Captain America’s shield, and who is faster: Superman or the Flash? will be discussed. Superhero comic books often get their science right more often than one would expect!

Brief Biography:

James Kakalios received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Chicago in 1985; he worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the Xerox – Palo Alto Research Center; and then in 1988, having had enough of those California winters, joined the physics faculty at the University of Minnesota. He is the Taylor Distinguished Professor in the University of Minnesota’s School of Physics and Astronomy. His popular science book THE PHYSICS OF SUPERHEROES was published in 2005, and has been translated into German, Spanish, Korean, Chinese and Italian. The SPECTACULAR SECOND EDITION was published in November 2009, and THE AMAZING STORY OF QUANTUM MECHANICS was published in October 2010. In 2007, in response to a request from the National Academy of Sciences, Kakalios served as the pro bono science consultant for the Warner Bros. superhero film Watchmen. In 2009 he filmed a short video on the Science of Watchmen, which has been viewed over 1.7 million times since being posted on youtube.com. This video won an Upper Midwest Regional Emmy award in the alternative Media: Arts/Entertainment category in 2009 and was nominated for a WEBBY award in 2010. He was also the science advisor for The Amazing Spider-Man (2012). His research interests include nanocrystalline and amorphous semiconductors, pattern formation in sandpiles and fluctuation phenomena in neurological systems. He has been reading comic books longer than he has been studying physics.


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