Having previously addressed the physics and capabilities of Darth Vader and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rhett Allain of WIRED has now tackled the pure science behind Luke Cage. The Harlem-based hero may have gained unbreakable skin and superhuman strength courtesy of a failed experiment, but as Allain notes, his physical strength is useless without a significant amount of mass. With that in mind, Allain’s study focuses on one particular image from the show:
But how does one begin to find the mass for Luke? This is what Allain looked at.
First, there is the idea of equilibrium. This says that if an object is at rest and not rotating then two things must be true:
- The net force of the object must be zero (zero vector).
- The net torque about any point must also be zero (technically also a vector).
Allain starts by scaling the image using the height of the actor portraying Cage, Mike Coulter, and then estimating the weight of the gentleman he so effortlessly has lifted in the air. Running that image through Tracker Video Analysis, he found the center of mass for both people. Torque, the power to change the angular momentum of an object, is also brought into the equation, resulting in a weight of 179.3 kg, or roughly 400 pounds (You can check out the actual math at WIRED).
So, at the very least, Luke is pushing the quarter-ton mark on the scale. Now, let’s see Allain perform the same math for the Hulk!
Marvel and Netflix’s “Luke Cage,” starring Mike Colter in the title role, debuts September 28.
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