the physics of superman

Wired Magazine has a pretty interesting interview with the director of the new Superman movie coming out.

The last question is classic — it just shows me this guy knows what he’s doing, and why X-Men and X-Men 2 didn’t suck (he directed those, too).

What about the quandary in the first Superman movie when he flies around and around Earth, spinning the planet backward and turning back time? It’s always been strange to me that all of a sudden he can fly so much faster.

Yeah, well, that’s a moment when the death of Lois Lane stimulates him to do the unthinkable, to fly faster than he’s supposed to. That had a romantic logic, but in my opinion, it broke several rules. After all, the idea that flying around the Earth would cause time to go backward, when really if you stop the planet that would just basically cause everyone on Earth to fly off. We don’t have anything quite like that in this film.

One thought on “the physics of superman

  1. Yeah, too bad that isn’t really accurate either. Gravity doesn’t disappear because an object stops rotating. In fact, people would actually weigh a bit more because of the lack of centripetal acceleration. At least he is right that it would break some rules — spinning in the opposite direction doesn’t magically turn time around.

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