Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Batman v Superman: who would really win?

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While the Dark Knight is powered by science, technology and billions of dollars (Bruce Wayne is his—ahem—close friend), Superman is backed by alien superpowers. While the Dark Knight is powered by science, technology and billions of dollars (Bruce Wayne is his—ahem—close friend), Superman is backed by alien superpowers. Image: Televisione Streaming
  • Science could help Batman slug it out against Superman
  • Superman’s epic power could come from dark energy, which drives the expansion of the universe
  • Batman could use science to fight back, using an antimatter device to create powerful radiation

AS LEX Luther put it, “son of Krypton meets bat of Gotham” in cinemas this week but before we see the film’s outcome let’s consider if Batman could use science to level the playing field against his alien opponent...

After all, Batman is just a guy with fancy gadgets while Superman is faster than a speeding bullet—and he can fly.

Okay, so Batman can supposedly glide down from distant rooftops, but even with a rigid 4.5m cape (think Batman Begins), gliding has been mathematically proven to be a painful way to travel.

This clearly puts Superman at a massive—and unfair—advantage in the most epic grudge match since The Avengers.

While the Dark Knight is powered by science, technology and billions of dollars (Bruce Wayne is his—ahem—close friend), Superman is backed by alien superpowers.

The boy in blue can lift rockets and leap tall buildings in a single bound: he’s obviously tapped into something awesome.

But what is Superman’s secret?

International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research astrophysicist Danail Obreschkow —with tongue firmly in cheek—says the source of Superman’s power may be the most powerful energy of all, dark energy.

“[Dark energy is] the name for the unknown force that makes the universe expand,” Associate Professor Obreschkow says.

Dark energy is the driver for the overall evolution of space-time, so it’s imaginable that if Superman can release dark energy all by himself, then he might be able to create his own little expanding space around him.

“He’d then be suspended in this extra space, and he could use it to propel towards stuff and away from stuff and travel as quickly as he wants…It’s imaginable,” he says, with a laugh.

So if Superman really is channelling dark energy, is there any hope for Batman?

“It’d be pretty tough to fight someone who controls dark energy, I’ve got to tell you,” A/Prof Obreschkow says.

But, he says Batman could have a fighting chance against Superman if he used an antimatter device.

“An antimatter device, that would be very powerful, and, in principal, possible,” he says.

“When you bring matter and antimatter together, the two converge into very powerful radiation.”

And Superman, of course, has a soft spot for radiation (remember kryptonite?).

So who is A/Prof Obreschkow backing in the battle of the capes?

“Batman, because he is an actual human. We could all potentially become like him if we invested enough brain power into science,” he says.

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