October 25, 2014 1:50 pm

This Sunday, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Colin Jost get their comic book geek on!

Neil deGrasse Tyson meets Colin Jost

Prepping for the show: Neil deGrasse Tyson, producer Leslie Mullen, Colin Jost

You know those scenes in The Big Bang Theory where physicists Sheldon and Leonard, astrophysicist Raj and mechanical engineer Howard are sitting around talking about the physics of comic book superheroes?

Now imagine that instead of actors and comedians playing scientists, you have a real astrophysicist and a real comedian sitting around discussing the practical reality of Superman gaining strength from Earth’s “yellow sun.”

Actually, you don’t need to imagine anything, because in this week’s episode of StarTalk Radio, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Colin Jost (from Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update) are just sitting around answering fan-submitted questions about superheroes.

Questions like, “Could a powerful alien race build a controlled wormhole like The Rainbow Bridge in Thor?” There are questions about Iron Man’s ARC reactor, Captain America’s super strength and Magneto’s control over magnetic forces. There’s even a discussion about Wolverine, The Terminator, healing factors, adamantium skeletons, nanobots and more.

But the best conversation revolves around black holes, spaghettification, Superman, Mr. Fantastic, and Elastigirl (from Disney’s The Incredibles). (Yes, unlike The Big Bang Theory, it’s a publisher-agnostic conversation.)

You’ll also get to hear Neil talk about his days as a wrestler, why he wanted to be Mighty Mouse as a kid, and why as an adult he’d much rather be Batman. (Colin, it turns out, is more of a Wolverine kind of guy.)

You don’t need to be a comic book fan to enjoy Neil and Colin getting their geek on. There’s plenty of physics and pure science to go around.  Join us this Sunday, October 25, at 7:00 PM ET on our website, iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and TuneIn.

And by the way, if you’re looking for more physics to throw into your own super-heroic conversations, you may want to check out these other StarTalk episodes: The Physics of Superheroes and The Physics of Superheroes, the Sequel.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!

–Jeffrey Simons




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