Bam! Science Inspired by Superheroes

By Eric Roston - 2013-12-17T14:48:54Z

Photograph by Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection

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The Search for Superpowers

Superheroes: They’ve got it all. Impossible abilities, fantastic physiques -- everything but a purchase on reality. Even that is changing as scientists’ command of the molecular world yields stuff with such whiz-bang properties that they evoke the super-materials of Marvel and DC Comics lore.

Suveen Mathaudhu is adjunct assistant professor of materials science and engineering at North Carolina State University and a program manager at the U.S. Army Research Office in Durham. He’s also a comic-book fan who thinks scientists and engineers can take inspiration from costumed crusaders, and bring magic to life. He has challenged colleagues to strive in their research toward “limits envisioned only in comic book realms."

Click ahead to see comic-book movies and myths paired with the latest science.

More from the special report, Make It Last: Designing for the Ages