Sometimes I long for the days when I still lived in California so I could attend really cool events like the Science of Hollywood Superheroes lecture taking place next week at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

Ever wonder if it’s possible to build a suit like Iron Man’s? What would you have to do to become a real-life Batman? Do you think gamma radiation could really create an Incredible Hulk? The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will answer these questions and more in “The Science of Hollywood Superheroes,” on Wednesday, August 15, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The event will feature film clips and conversations with filmmakers, including animation supervisor Spencer Cook (“Spider-Man” and “Spider-Man 3″) and screenwriter Zack Stentz (“Thor,” “X-Men: First Class”). Scientists will also be on hand to offer their unique perspectives on the intersection between superhero fiction and current scientific research. See guest complete list on

Presented by the Academy’s Science and Technology Council and hosted by physics teacher Adam Weiner, the event will explore the “real” physics behind superheroes by connecting the actual science to the superhero fantasy. Weiner’s interactive presentation will analyze how the fundamental laws of physics are used, misused and manipulated by our favorite superheroes.

Taking scenes from “Superman” (1978), “Spider-Man” (2002), “The Hulk” (2003), “Spider-Man 3″ (2007), “Hancock” (2008), “Iron Man” (2008), “The Dark Knight” (2008), “X-Men: First Class” (2011) and “Thor” (2011), the program will demonstrate how the fictional world of Hollywood movies is also an effective and fascinating springboard into investigating science.

Weiner, author of Don’t Try This at Home! The Physics of Hollywood Movies, currently teaches physics at The Bishop’s School, a private high school in La Jolla, California.

Tickets for “The Science of Hollywood Superheroes” are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID, and may be purchased online at, in person at the Academy box office, or by mail.

If you are in the area, this could be a fascinating lecture, and for five bucks, you can’t pass it up.

via The Academy


About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. That looks amazing. I wonder if there will be any way to see the presentation, after the event, for those who cannot attend in person?

  2. Gamma radiation will kill you. Yellow sun radiation will not give you super powers even if you are from Krytpon, it will only give you repeated sun burns and, eventually, melanoma and kill you. Radioactive spiders would croak from the radiation and their bite would only give you an itchy spot, or, if venomous, maybe kill you, but no super-powers. Sorry. You could build yourself an ironman suit, but good luck with implanting a nuclear power plant in your chest and, sorry, it would not be able to fly. Once again, radiation not only doesn’t grant super powers, it doesn’t make rocket fuel out of whole cloth either. So unless you care to lug around a fuel tank the size of Buick on your back, no rocket boots. Sorry.

    There, I just saved all of you five dollars. If you send those five dollars to me, perhaps I can afford new tires for my car. Thanks!

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