James Kakalios





James Kakalios

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James Kakalios is a physics professor at the University of Minnesota. Known within the scientific community for his work with amorphous semiconductors, granular materials, and 1/f noise, he is known to the general public as the author of the book The Physics of Superheroes, which considers comic book superheroes from the standpoint of fundamental physics.
Kakalios, who earned PhD from the University of Chicago in 1985, began his comic book collection as a graduate student as a way to relieve stress. At Minnesota, he taught a freshman seminar that focused on the physics of superheroes as a way to motivate students to think about physics. This course gained great popularity as an enticing alternative to the typical inclined planes and pulleys...more


Average rating: 3.82 · 1,450 ratings · 217 reviews · 6 distinct works · Similar authors
The Physics of Superheroes
3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 1,076 ratings — published 2005 — 23 editions
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The Amazing Story of Quantu...
3.65 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 278 ratings — published 2010 — 11 editions
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The Physics of Superheroes:...
4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 7 ratings — published 2009
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La fisica dei supereroi
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 2005
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Teenagers from the Future: ...
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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 76 ratings — published 2008 — 3 editions
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Hey Kids, Comics!: True-Lif...
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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 15 ratings — published 2013
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Becoming Batman: The Possib...
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3.52 of 5 stars 3.52 avg rating — 144 ratings — published 2008 — 4 editions
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“There'd be no molecules, no chemistry and, hence, no life without static cling.”
James Kakalios, The Physics of Superheroes
tags: humor

“At one point in the story, following a brazen daytime bank robbery, Electro is shown escaping from the authorities by climbing up the side of a building, as easily as Spider-Man . . . we see one observer exclaim, "Look!! That strangely-garbed man is racing up the side of the building!" A second man on the street picks up the narrative: "He's holding on to the iron beams in the building by means of electric rays—using them like a magnet!! Incredible!"

There are three feelings inspired by this scene. The first is wonder as to why people rarely use the phrase "strangely-garbed" anymore. The second is nostalgia for the bygone era when pedestrians would routinely narrate events occurring in front of them, providing exposition for any casual bystander. And the third is pleasure at the realization that Electro's climbing this building is actually a physically plausible use of his powers.”
James Kakalios, The Physics of Superheroes

Topics Mentioning This Author

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Science and Inquiry: * What science book is your most recent read? What do you think about it? Pt. 2 227 400 Sep 30, 2014 02:52PM  


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