Physicists prove Batman's cape glide would actually kill him
In a paper titled 'Trajectory of a falling Batman', four physics students from the University of Leicester prove that the dimensions of Batman's cape in Christopher Nolan's 2005 film Batman Begins would actually cause the superhero to die after a famous Batman glide.
Their calculations show that if Batman jumped from a 152-metre-high building wearing his 4.6-meter-wide electrically charged "memory cloth" cape, as he does in Batman Begins, the superhero would effectively glide 349 metres at a rate of up to 109 km/h.
Unlike his supernaturally-gifted contemporaries, however, Batman is a mere mortal under all of that high-tech attire.
And like any human, Bruce Wayne would almost certainly be killed by the force of a dead stop while traveling at such high speeds.
"We found he could fly quite well and he can actually fly pretty far," 22-year-old graduate student David Marshall told the BBC. "He can get about twice as far as he does fall, but once he gets there, he is traveling about 80 km/h and that's a bit too fast to land safely... He would likely end up getting a bit splattered."
An exerpt from "Trajectory of a falling Batman." (University of Leicester / Popular Science)
Marshall's team suggests in their paper that extending the size of his cape would help the Batman avoid death.
"If he really wanted to stick with tradition (of a glide) he could follow the method of Gary Connery, who recently became the first person to glide to the ground from a helicopter using only a wingsuit, although he only made it down safely using a large number of cardboard boxes." said Marshall. "Or if he preferred to keep his style intact he could opt for using active propulsion, such as jets to keep himself aloft."
The paper, authored by David Marshall, Tom Hands, Ian Griffiths and Gareth Douglas can be found in the Journal of Physics Special Topics.
Batman can next be seen in The Dark Knight Rises later this month, giving Spider-Man a run for his money at the Box Office, as can be seen in this viral video shot in downtown Toronto last week.
We'd never pass up an opportunity to raise the age old Marvel vs. D.C. debate - so riddle us this: Which superhero do you prefer Batman or Spider-Man?
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' replies.)
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