Robot 6

Neil deGrasse Tyson got Thor’s hammer wrong? I say thee nay!

thor-olivier coipel

When rock-star astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson recently estimated the weight of Thor’s hammer to be the equivalent of 300 billion elephants — or 4.5 quadrillion pounds, if you prefer — some fans questioned not his scientific credentials but rather his knowledge of comic-book lore.

Never mind the enchantment that allows an individual, “if he be worthy,” to wield Mjolnir; there’s a matter of the material from which the hammer was forged: “neutron-star matter,” as Tyson contends, or the fabled Uru, as popular belief holds. Well, skeptics, you now have some high-caliber support in the form of Suveen Mathaudhu, a comics fan and, more importantly, a program manager in the materials science division of the U.S. Army Research Office.

“The critical mistake Tyson makes is thinking that Mjolnir was forged of the core of a dying star, when it was actually forged in the core of a dying star,” Mathaudhu, who’s also an adjunct materials science professor at North Carolina State, tells the NC State Newsroom. “It’s well documented that the hammer is made out of ‘Uru,’ a fictional metal from Thor’s native realm of Asgard.”

Using the weight and dimensions listed on a Marvel trading card, Mathaudhu estimates the density of Mjolnir is 2.13 grams per cubic centimeter, leading him to theorize Uru might be a form of metallic hydrogen.

“It’s thought to be present at the core of planets, such as Jupiter,” he said, “and at the core of suns – which are stars, after all.”

(via io9.com)

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Comments

11 Comments

Nerd Off! Hey, everybody! It’s a Nerd Off!!

So when does Joe Flacco show up to give them each wedgies and then walk off laughing with… I don’t know, who’s a popular actress at the moment? Megan Fox? (I know more about comics and football than I do about actors and actresses.)

All scientific disputes concerning religious matters should be about hammers.

Suveen Mathaudhu

February 19, 2013 at 9:22 am

I don’t know about Neil, but I’d gladly accept a wedgie from Megan Fox…

It’s infinitely heavy for the unworthy. It’s literally magic. We don’t have to explain it.

Who is Joe Flacco?

You know what? I shouldn’t do, but I love this :)

At 4.5 quadrillion pounds, would the hammer be heavy enough to have its own gravitational field? I assume it wouldn’t especially at that size, but it would be hysterical to see Iron Man go flying across the room and smack face first into Mjolnir every time Thor walked in for a meeting.

so, if the hammer was forged IN the core a neutron-star, and it was made with liquid hydrogen, which is found at the core of a star, it could also be forged OF the core of a neutron-star.

sorry metallic hydrogen*

Tracer, it would definitely have it’s own gravitational field (actually, everything has its own gravitational field).

According to Neil, the hammer’s mass is 4x 10^15 pounds. That’s a bit more than the mass of Mars’s second moon, Deimos. According to Wikipedia, that moon’s escape velocity is 12 mph.

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