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Dr. James Kakalios

James Kakalios

Photo courtesy of: James Kakalios

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Kennedy Lecture speaker to dissect 'The Physics of Superheroes' Wednesday


Author, University of Minnesota physics professor, and Hollywood science consultant James Kakalios will speak at Ohio University at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, in Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium.

Sponsored by the Kennedy Lecture Series, Kakalios'esentation combines humor and science to explain the phenomena of superheroes, engaging the audience in a unique physics lesson.

Kakalios'cture will be structured around his book, "The Physics of Superheroes," and will answer many baffling questions including the real science behind Superman's home planet Krypton’s explosion, why Spider-Man’s webbing could not save Gwen Stacy's life, and an explanation behind the physics of Iron Man’s armor.  

The book was inspired by his class, "Everything I Needed to Know About Physics I Learned from Reading Comic Books," which gained extensive media coverage in May 2002 after the release of the first Spider-Man movie.

Kakalios has given lectures in colleges and at venues as varied as the Library of Congress, Comic Con International in San Diego, the first USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C., and the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.

Kakalios also works as a science consultant for Hollywood films, his first being the 2009 film "Watchmen," based on the popular comic book, a job that required him to test the accuracy of fiction to reality.  

Kakalios created a YouTube video to supplement his work of the film, "Science of Watchmen" that has received over 1.7 million views, and was nominated for a "Best Video" Webby award, known as "the Internet's highest honor," in 2010.

Kakalios is the Taylor Distinguished Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota and has also written the book, "The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics."

Admission to this Kennedy Lecture is free, but seating is limited. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.