The Science of Firestorm the Nuclear Men #2

After my analysis on the science in Captain Atom #2, I got a request for the same treatment of Firestorm from this past week.  There was not as much science but here goes. 

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The Quantum Field

This showed up in Captain Atom as well, so I can’t really fault the use of it here either, as it is a hard to to explain and thus easy to use in comics. 

Verdict: Comic science 


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This one panel deal with three scientific concepts.

Magnetic Bottle

These actually exist.  They are magnetic fields use to contain plasma, often of an atomic nature.  As to whether one could be created which could fit in a person’s hand however is a different matter as it would require a decent amount of energy to charge it. 

Verdict: Comic science


 Entropy and Gauge Bosons

One half of this statement is a chemical principle and the other one is a physical one.  While it is true that entropy can encompass radioactive decay it is generally not used in this case (more in terms of heat transfers or change of state.)  As far as I understand gauge bosons though they do not really represent decay, instead they are fundamental particles which transfer fundamental forces of nature.  This is really a matter of terminology and as Jason is just a high school student it may be the case that he is trying to describe something which he can’t otherwise.  Either way it is a little unclear what he means.  I think he meant to say it stops the transfer of fundamental forces, which is not really the same as entropy. 

Verdict: Bad science 



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The Rosetta Stone

This more touches on archaeology or linguistics, but it was a good analogy.  The Rosetta Stone  was a bilingual carving which allowed Ancient Egyptian to be deciphered for the first time. 

Verdict: Good science 



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Nuclear Winter

Granted that what he Tonya describes may in fact be Nuclear Winter but there is no way to determine that just from what she has said.  And while Jason is on the right track, it is not entirely accurate to say that the particulate matter resulting from a volcano is the same as the fallout from a nuclear war (as presumably there would be a lot more fallout).  Still I think this deserves a pass.

Verdict Good Science 



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The Emergency Broadcast System

Granted this is more of a technological or engineering concept, but it is interesting to include it here as some much of this series revolves around nuclear themes.  The dates are a little off, the EBS was replaced in 1997 by the Emergency Alert System which means he would have been at most four at the time.  While his claim of it being stuck on a loop is not actually at all how the EBS was designed to function, there actually was a case in 1971 when it was activated by accident.  This only lasted for forty minutes, but showed that the system was faulty as many stations either did not get the signal or failed to broadcast it.  Still seeing as this is a fictional world all of those things could have happened.

Verdict: Comic science