On a recent episode of Star Talk (Neil Degrasse Tyson’s radio show/podcast) the weight of Thor’s hammer (Mjölnir) came up. This was something Tyson had tweeted about back in 2013:
If Thor's hammer is made of neutron-star matter, implied by legend, then it weighs as much as a herd of 300-billion elephants
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) February 5, 2013
Javier read from an article where Tyson had stated the weight in comparison to elephants.
Javier then talked about an article with a rebuttal to the tweet which had a quote from materials scientist Suveen Mathaudhu which stated the following:
“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,” says Suveen Mathaudhu, a program manager in the materials science division of the U.S. Army Research Office, adjunct materials science professor at NC State and die-hard comics enthusiast. “It’s well documented that the hammer is made out of ‘Uru,’ a fictional metal from Thor’s native realm of Asgard.”
And Mathaudhu can cite documentary sources to back him up. For example, Marvel – which publishes the Thor comics – issued a “Thor’s Hammer” trading card in 1991 that states Mjolnir is made of Uru and weighs precisely 42.3 pounds. That’s lighter than a herd of 300 billion mice, much less a herd of 300 billion elephants. But it raises a different science question.
Using the dimensions and weight on Marvel’s trading card, Mathaudhu estimates that the density of Mjolnir is about 2.13 grams (g) per cubic centimeter (cc). That makes it even lighter than aluminum, which has a density of 2.71 g/cc. So what could possibly be that light and strong?
Mathaudhu has a theory.
“Perhaps Uru is the ‘holy grail’ of high-pressure physics: a form of metallic hydrogen,” Mathaudhu says. “Some predictions of the density of metallic hydrogen fall into this range, it requires extreme conditions to form, and could be a tremendous energy source. It’s thought to be present at the core of planets, such as Jupiter, and at the core of suns – which are stars, after all.”
Wanna get nerdier? We’ll start by saying that we’re not hardcore nerds about Thor, nor have we read every single comic book in existence BUT we do know that Thor’s hammer was enchanted by Odin. Now, whether through bloodline or “worthiness” the hammer has been wielded by Thor’s father, Odin; Odin’s father, Borr; and Borr’s father Buri. But does lifting it mean you can use it as a weapon? Nope. Lifting the hammer and having the ability to wield it as a weapon are two totally separate things. Believe it or not, several characters in both the Marvel AND DC universe have lifted/wielded good ol’ Mjölnir including (as much as it pains Heyzen to say) Superman. Albeit only for a moment, the others include: Captain America, Hulk, Red Hulk, Magneto, an android known as Awesome Andy and even Wonder Woman.
So there you go. If you’re a comic book fan and/or a fan of Thor, where do you stand on this whole thing? Is the weight irrelevant because of the enchantment? Do you even care? Leave your comment down below.
In this episode we also talked about a couple that had their wedding at Disneyland. No, not at the garden of the hotel like other weddings, we mean inside of Disneyland. How did they do it? By sneaking it in. We’ll just be clear and say that that is breaking the rules at the park and we do not suggest you do what these people did. If you’re interested in what happened, here is a link to the article about it:
What side do you fall on? Does this upset you? Leave your comments down below.
In this episode we talk about augmented reality. Augmented reality is a real-time enhancement of things around you. Known as “The Virtual Magician”, we also mentioned magician, Marco Tempest. Marco is one of Heyzen’s favorite magician’s not only because of his knowledge of magic but also because of his use of technology in his act. Check out the video below of a talk he did at TED using augmented reality:
HP Aurasma has been around since 2011 and has since been used to help promoted dozens (if not hundreds) of products. Even though Disney is bringing this technology to the D23 Expo this year it won’t be their first time using it. Guests of Hollywood Studios may have already experienced Aurasma with the ‘Frozen Summer Fun’ Guide map and guests that attended ‘Star Wars Weekends’ are also among those who may have tried it. Aurasma was used on the image below at this year’s Star War’s weekend:
Here’s a quick 20 second video of Aurasma in action with the image above.
The first place you’ll be able to experience this technology at the Expo this year will be the cover of the D23 Expo Souvenir Guide. Aurasma will be integrated into the D23 Expo app in the menu. If you haven’t downloaded it yet here are the download links:
D23 Expo 2015 App for iOS:
D23 Expo 2015 App for Android:
Speaking of the Expo app. It looks great! It has tons of great features like the schedule for all 3 days, the ability to “like” certain events and even a floor map for the Expo. If you’re looking for a quick glance of everything happening at the D23 Expo, here are the event calendars (click on the image for a larger view):
More info can also be found at: https://d23.com/d23-event/d23-expo-2015/
Are you going to the D23 Expo? What are you most looking forward to? If you listened to this episode after the D23 Expo, what did you like the most? What was your experience like? Leave a comment down below!