The Science of Mister Terrific #8

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Posted by RazzaTazz (11946 posts) - - Show Bio

Finally we come to the end of this series, and maybe not soon enough for those of us that like good comic book series.  With the end though it cuts off one of my main source of inspiration for these articles, so I guess in a sense it will be missed.  There was also a little bit more science here than I can critique, but I have looked into similar concepts elsewhere (artificial intelligence, chaos theory) so I will leave it alone here (because as usual this issue got the stuff wrong.)

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Photon Bursts and Lasers

There are such things as photon bursts, but they can’t be used as a weapon (if I recall correctly they are used to detect the presence of individual atoms.)   This typifies exactly what has been wrong with this series, as instead of saying one thing, MisterTerrific says something more complicated which obscures the meaning of what he is talking about.  So in a less contrived sense, a photon burst could be considered to be a laser beam (L.A.S.E.R. is an acronym which stands for Light Amplified by a Stimulated Emission of Radiation).  They work by exciting electrons from one of their valence shells to a higher valence shell which in turn produces a photon.  Doing this all at once thus creates a wave of photons which comprise light (lasers are light.)  So he is not really wrong but he could have just said lasers. 

Verdict: Good science, bad terminology 

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Infinite Fractal Mechanics

This is once again out of my area of specialty as it deals with physics once again, but the idea here is kind of simple -  if you examine a non-smooth surface  and find the imperfections you can therefore also determine any faults in it.  The faults can also therefore be exploited or remedied in this way.  How the infinite part factors in I am not sure, because it would not really be infinite but I suppose we are not sure how far the properties of matter get to be smaller (past the quantum foam) so I suppose it is possible.  In that every surface is effectively imperfect it means that this could be done to anything on certain scale, but once again as above, Mister Terrific nerds it up too much in his choice of terms.  What he is doing might be possible (though maybe not in the short time frame he describes) but he could just say “I can analyze the surface for weaknesses”. 

Verdict:  Comic Science, bad terminology

Good bye Mister Terrific, I guess I can only hope you infect the Earth 2 series with as much bad science as you did this one.  

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#1 Edited by jrock85 (2882 posts) - - Show Bio

I can't figure out if Eric Wallace was trying too hard on this series or wasn't trying hard enough.

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#2 Posted by BatteredArmor (6234 posts) - - Show Bio

Love Mr. Terrific, Hated this series, Liked this issue, not a bad ending but the random upgrade to "photon burst" angered me. Your right he should have just said lasers the T-spheres could always shoot lasers or at least make laser grids

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#3 Posted by Hawkeye446 (3975 posts) - - Show Bio

Wow! It's really interesting to see how the science works. I have checked out a few of these science blogs of yours. Really informative, Thanks Razza! *smiles*

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