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Bigger, Faster, Stronger, Stranger: The Science of Hollywood Superheroes

The Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences presents this examination of the “real” physics behind cinematic superheroes, hosted by Adam Weiner (author of Don’t Try This at Home! The Physics of Hollywood Movies). Panelists include E. Paul Zehr (professor and director, Centre for Biomedical Research at the University of Victoria); Spencer Cook (animation supervisor on SPIDER-MAN and SPIDER-MAN 3); Sean Carroll (senior research associate in physics at Caltech, and science advisor on THOR).

From the press release:

Ever fantasized about being a superhero? Wondered whether it’s really possible to build a suit like Iron Man’s, or what you’d have to do to become a real-life Batman? Do you think gamma radiation could really create an Incredible Hulk?

Join host Adam Weiner for an evening that will explore the “real” physics behind many of your favorite superheroes by connecting the actual science to the superhero fantasy.
His 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.

The evening will include conversations with some of the films’ creative teams, who will reveal how many of the scenes were created. Scientists will also be on hand to offer their unique perspectives on the intersection between superhero fiction and current scientific research.

Location: Samuel Goldwyn Theater 8949 Wilshire Boulevard Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Date: August 15, 2012. Doors open at 6:30pm; event begins at 7:30pm.

Tickets: $5 general admission; $3 for Academy members and students with valid I.D.

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