blog by Gaurav Rhyme

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

THE DARK KNIGHT FALLING



First of all, Please all you fellow Batman fans and enthusiasts, Please don't get me wrong from the title. I'm equally hungry for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES coming into theatres as you are. And it's in no way to demean this awesome superhero creation, but this title has been kept for its literal meaning - that's 'FALLING'.

Whether it's Iron Man or Batman, one thing is common between both of them which has differentiated them from the other lot of superheroes, that's their human-ness, this thing bring them more closer to a common man who's without any superpowers. Both of the fictional characters has utilized their education, their intellect in order to justify what amaze the people around them, and make their enemy terrified. Tony Stark utilized his engineer skills for his aerodynamics powered exoskeleton of Iron Man. Bruce Wayne also used his intellect, detective skills, science and technology to make his Batman avatar possible. This preparation and vision of them makes them more identifiable & likable characters over the years. 




Now let's just discuss about our Dark Knight. Even though this Caped Crusader fights the crime with great passion and zeal, but his methods and techniques of justifying his daredevil acts has come under the scrutiny of physicists. Don't mind, but only Batman in the western world could have afford the study on its characteristics, otherwise other extra-magical & superfluous heroes don't have the balls to compete with science. Four physicist of University of Leicester has conduct a study over the Dark knight and shared some doubts over the capability of the Batman suit and techniques to perform what he conveniently does in comics and movies. For example, If Batman has to jump from the building, he has to keep one parachute for safe landing. On screen, Batman is able to jump from buildings with his cape spread out like wings, quite similar to the base jumpers who use the wing-suits to jump from buildings, bridges & cliffs. But they do carry parachute with them for landing. However Batman don't have this life-support with him as of now.


Given his current cape designs, Batman could glide to the distance of 350 meters, if he jumps from the building of 150 meters height. That's okay, but when he'll reach the ground level, his falling velocity will rises to around 110 kilometers per hour. At this speed, his landing will prove quite fatal until and unless he has parachute to slow down the speed, or he has some cushion-type base to land upon. Like the super-stuntman Gary Connery has recently made history by jumping from two thousand feet without any parachute but using the wing-suit and card boards as base. So there has to be some changes in Batman cape which needs to be done if we have to enable Dark Knight to perform in the most heroic fashion. So the scientist concludes that, Crusader require a large wings, parachute in backpack, and some propulsion jet to make his landing clean and safe. But let's take the scientist study forward and scrutinize it further. Well, Sheldon Cooper of Big Bang Theory would have liked that.



Even though scientists are mocking our Dark Knight for keeping parachute backpack and propulsion jet, I would say our super-intelligent Bruce Wayne might not have missed this scientific safety in the design. The Cape might be internally equipped with some fluids or gases such as helium to make the composite mass of Batman little lighter. Also the same Cape could have the modified feature of becoming a parachute in worse velocity scenarios. But if the stunts visuals of the movies is to be taken as a case, it lacks the method and approach for the same. But in the able hands of Director like Christopher Nolan, this could have been done in the more proper fashion. In order to keep our crusader afloat, we need to tackle the downward force of gravity which pulls us down to the ground level. The help in this case can be the upward buoyant force of air particles which balances the gravity. This balancing pressure decreased as we ascend up the air, and the corresponding gravitational force increases. So the Cape of the Batman has to imbibe the upward pressure thrust in its design to maintain the balance with the gravitational force pulling him down to the ground. I'm sure Bruce Wayne will find the way to do that in his laboratory.


Pictures credits (Kevin Nowlan, Neal Adams, Giordano/Layton )

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