“I am inevitable.”
“And I, am Iron Man.”
This little piece of dialogue is enough to drive shivers down the spines of every superhero fan out there. The events of Avengers: Endgame left all fans in a sad but ultimately happy place, with the passing of Tony Stark, aka Iron Man. He has always been one of the most loved superheroes of all time, and Marvel has done justice to the legacy of Iron Man with their most recent installation in the Avengers franchise.
Iron Man’s powers aren’t superhuman, by any means. His greatest power is perhaps his suit, which allows him to perform feats unimaginable. But, what is the science behind the powers of Iron Man? Can logical science explain the incredible feats that Iron Man is able to perform? Yes, it can! Let us have a look below.
The fact that Iron Man’s suit isn’t made of iron, as the name would suggest, is obvious, owing to iron’s corrosive and dense properties. So, what material could have possibly been used to build Iron Man’s suit?
According to science, there can be a few options here. One is the alloy of titanium and nickel, known as nitinol, which is a very strong metal and is resistive to heat and light.
Another option would be to use single crystal titanium, which is a variety of titanium specially customized to withstand high heat and resist corrosion. This kind of metal is also used in aeroplanes to make them resistant to bird strikes.
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The helmet is what helps Iron Man control everything that is a part of his suit. The basic principle behind the working of the helmet is the neuron’s electrical currents, which can be detected by an electroencephalograph, or EEG. In fact, a helmet close to Iron Man’s has already been created by researchers at the University of Minnesota. While the helmet in real life might not be used for fighting, but it can certainly be used to help out paralyzed or crippled patients lead a better life. This is possible due to technologies which enable actions to be carried out by just mental interactions, measured using the EEG.
The arc reactor
Inside Tony’s chest sits a power source, generating 8 gigajoules per second, and somehow, Tony does not get burned to a crisp. The arc reactor, being as small as it is, gets itself placed into a fantasy realm, since logical science dictates that the size of the arc reactor is close to a ball, and yet generates energy equal to three nuclear plants. Given the fact that a comprehensive cooling system also needs to be in place, logical science fails to explain the arc reactor in its miniature form.
The powers of Iron Man are special because they aren’t superhuman, and most of them can be explained using science. The suit, the helmet, and his combat powers are all very attainable. The only thing that science cannot explain or achieve, as of now, is the miniature arc reactor. Who knows what the future holds for us, though?