The Reason Only Thor Can Pick up His Hammer Is … Science


Chris Hemsworth as Thor

The comics are fairly clear on the bottom guidelines: “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he [OR SHE] be worthy, shall possess the facility of THOR.” However how does this work?

Author Mark Waid went into the science behind Thor’s hammer in Avengers #679, and that science seems to be theoretical physics—with a little assist from super-advanced blacksmithing dwarves (and Odin’s enchantment doesn’t harm).

Comicbook.com has the textual content from the again matter of Avengers #679, with Waid’s clarification:

Okay. The science of Thor’s magic hammer, taken partly from all of the analysis I did for that Thor/Hulk crossover I did a number of years again with Walt Simonson: Uru metallic was cast in fiery pits by dwarven blacksmiths. Based mostly upon its noticed properties–that it’s nigh-indestructible, can’t be lifted by anybody besides in the event that they be as worthy as Thor and all the time returns to his hand–there could be just one clarification: “Uru metallic” should really be an unique type of matter that may be induced to emit gravitons. Gravitons are particles (theoretically predicted however, not like the Higgs boson, nonetheless not experimentally confirmed) that mediate the power of gravity, identical to photons transmit the power of electromagnetism.

Are you following? Good. As a result of whereas the theoretical physics right here sounds legit, it could nonetheless seem to wish a kick from a complicated civilization and an all-seeing Allfather with a view to work:

Whereas we’re unable to forge Uru metallic on Earth, the dwarven blacksmiths, being as superior in comparison with us as we’re to our early ancestors, may craft a hammer whose properties appear to be magic to us. Having the ability to change the speed of emission and absorption of gravitons is equal to with the ability to change an object’s mass and even form it. If an individual whom the hammer has decided to be unworthy makes an attempt to elevate the hammer, due to Odin’s enchantment, the Uru metallic will dramatically enhance the speed of graviton emission. It will lead to an exponential enhance within the gravitational attraction between the Earth and the hammer, such that it can’t be budged. When Thor grips Mjolnir’s deal with, the ‘id recognition enchantment,’ if you’ll, causes the graviton emission to stop, and the hammer resumes its regular weight.

So I’m down with gravitons making the hammer unimaginable for anybody to choose up save Thor (or anybody worthy)—it’s enjoyable to think about the science behind the improbable. “Any sufficiently superior know-how is indistinguishable from magic,” Arthur C. Clarke may interject right here.

Whereas all of this does appear to weigh fairly closely on Odin’s particular enchantment guaranteeing that Mjölnir can acknowledge the worthy upon contact, don’t have any worry—science might present a solution for that as effectively.

Waid’s Thor-based theoretical physics appears to have come by means of Professor Jim Kakalios, a professor of Physics and Astronomy on the College of Minnesota who has written extensively in regards to the Avengers’ materials science. As Bleeding Cool points out, Kakalios shared his clarification of Mjolnir’s properties with Waid again when the author was engaged on The Indestructible Hulk.

Kakalios went deep into the science behind Thor’s hammer a number of years in the past for Wired, in an essay greater than price your time in case you like to consider how seemingly unimaginable issues could be made believable. Kakalios theorizes that Odin’s authentic enchantment might be defined as a form of nanotechnology developed by the extremely superior Asgardians:

Within the Avengers: Age of Ultron clip, Tony Stark speculates that there’s a biosensor within the hammer’s shaft that acknowledges when Thor has grasped Mjolnir. He’s appropriate, in a way—although it’s not Thor’s fingerprints that the hammer is studying. More than likely it’s taking some advanced organic and psychological profile that calculates the “worthiness” of whoever is attempting to elevate the hammer. That is in step with the scene within the clip the place Steve Rogers (Captain America) is ready to transfer the hammer (albeit barely), whereas Tony Stark and Jim Rhodes, utilizing thruster-assisted Iron Man and Iron Patriot gloves, are unable to budge Mjolnir in any respect.

And that’s the place Kakalios’ gravitons concept comes into play.

On Earth, these elementary particles haven’t been experimentally confirmed to exist, however as stipulated, the Asgardians are forward of us scientifically. Gravitons are conjectured to transmit the gravitational power, and if an object emits further gravitons, it’s equal to growing its mass. Thus, when an “unworthy” individual applies an upward power, the uru metallic will increase the hammer’s weight to precisely cancel this elevate, and the hammer stays unmoved. When Tony and Rhodey concurrently exert a bigger upward power, the emission charge of gravitons will increase, to once more neutralize their efforts. The better weight won’t injury the tabletop, as solely sufficient gravitons are emitted to steadiness out all upward forces, to maintain the hammer stationary. As soon as the lifting power is stopped, the surplus graviton emission additionally ceases.

I’m positively not going to have a look at Mjölnir within the films the identical method once more—and for the reason that hammer was destroyed in Thor: Ragnarok and Thor seems to be on the hunt for a brand new weapon in Infinity Struggle, I’m now trying ahead to listening to in regards to the scientific properties behind his new, seemingly “enchanted” axe.

However I’ve some lingering questions: how was Hela in a position to catch and crush Mjölnir? Was it as a result of she as soon as wielded it? In that case, how and why was she decided to be worthy then? And if magic is de facto science, does this make Loki some type of Einstein?

(by way of Comicbook,com, photos: Marvel)

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