Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Night Physics

OK, so tonight we're going to talk about Batman and his toys. Now, in order to keep things as simple as possible, we're going to go over some of the equipment as featured in "the Dark Knight", because judging by ticket sales, pretty much everyone on earth has seen it by now. So let's get to it.


Plausible. The material science is (mostly) there, but this stuff is a cut above in terms of being more lightweight and compact. than anything that's known to be in development. That said, it's probably the most "grounded" bit of technology in here.


Plausible but with technical difficulties. Again, memory cloth isn't too far off, the problem would be keeping it stable and preventing it from shorting out if it got damp, among other things.


Plausible but with technical difficulties. Explosives are aren't exactly aerodynamic because of weight distribution, and because it's a gel explosive, you end up using a lot more explosive material then you would with a smaller shaped charge. Oh, and as a purely nerdy caveat, Batman with any kind of rifle seems wrong somehow.


Barely Plausible. The whole "rocket-assisted leaps" seem more of a hand-off to the idea that the Batmobile must always have a jet exhaust than anything else. You really don't want that kind of a propulsion system in any land vehicle because it's so difficult to control. Nevermind that all the computer settings shown in the first scene ("Intimidate", etc.) indicate a level of software sophistication that is well beyond even most combat robots currently in development.


Plausible, but technically unsound. I just don't buy the idea that a team of designers would be able to put in a redundant "transformation" system to allow for only one person to escape the vehicle (remember, it's meant to be a two man vehicle, so that transformation automatically means that one person will die when the autodestruct goes off). Nevermind that the additional cost, complexity, and weight penalty makes the concept more than a little impractical. Simple explosive bolts to pop the canopy would be much more common.


Not Plausible. Short version is that you can't determine shells that way, but instead you would have to run some really complex statistical analysis to determine the type of shell. And a fingerprint? No chance.


Wrong. There are major issues with power for a sonar system that would work in real time in air with any kind of range. Sound doesn't travel fast enough in air, and furthermore, the imaging and processing power required to pull this off are MASSIVE.

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