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The physics behind Iron Man

Posted on Friday, May 02 2008 @ 04:46:25 CEST by

Just for the fun of it the guys from Wired decided to take a look at how realistic Iron Man is. It shouldn't really be a shocker that most of the things you see in the movie are completely impossible.
Jet boots
The reason that we don't fly to work using boot-mounted jets as Iron Man does has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with energy. We know how to achieve thrust and propulsion using personal jet packs, and a person can indeed fly from home to their place of employment like Buck Rogers or Adam Strange -- provided they live 30 seconds from work.

The problem is that lifting a full-grown person 100 feet into the air considerably increases their potential energy, and that gain in energy must come from the stored chemical energy in the jet pack. Ditto for the energy required to zip around once airborne. You just can't store enough energy to make long flights without making the suit too big to wear. So jet boots alone don't make Iron Man an escapist fantasy, but the idea that Stark could store enough energy in his suit to fly for more than half a minute does.
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