Superhero powers for the humble spiderComment on this story
London - A spider’s web could stop a moving train, physicists say – if it was big enough.
The findings were used by University of Leicester researchers to show that Spider-Man’s powers are at least grounded in reality.
In one scene in the Spider-Man 2 movie, the superhero uses his web to bring a runaway subway train to a halt.
So they calculated the force needed to stop the train and how strong a web would need to be to exert that force. They found that the stiffness of Spider-Man’s web would have been 3.12 gigapascals.
Spider’s silk ranges from 1.5 gigapascals to 12 gigapascals, suggesting that the superhero’s webbing is a proportional equivalent of that of a real spider.
Their paper, Doing whatever a spider can, was published in the latest volume of the University of Leicester’s Journal of Physics Special Topics. - Daily Mail