Researchers at Georgia Tech study the physics behind Thanos’ infamous finger snap and explain why it would have been impossible.
Thanos’ infamous snap Avengers: infinity war It wiped out half of all life in the universe, but a team of researchers found that the snap itself would not have been physically possible, at least not while using the Infinity Gauntlet.
As reported by Ars Technica, an article published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface partially explored the biomechanics of Thanos’s infamous finger snap and attempted to answer the following question: could Thanos actually snap his fingers at the cumbersome metal Infinity Gauntlet? ? According to Georgia Tech researchers, the answer is no.
One of the paper’s co-authors, Saad Bhamla, a Georgia Tech engineer who has been studying the physics behind finger snapping for years, became convinced after seeing Infinity war that Thanos wouldn’t have been able to produce a snap while using the Infinity Gauntlet, and friction was a big part of the reason. “For the past few years, I’ve been fascinated by how we can snap our fingers,” Bhamla said. “It really is an extraordinary physics puzzle at hand that has not been closely investigated.”
Bhamla and his co-authors hypothesize in their research that friction plays a vital role in the mechanics of finger snapping, particularly the friction created between the skin of the middle finger and the thumb. In the investigation, Bhamla et al. state that the arm muscles serve as the motor for the tendons in the fingers, which are charged with potential energy (like springs). When someone goes to snap their fingers, the force built up by pressing the middle finger and thumb together is released when the middle finger slides past the thumb and hits the palm, thus creating the snap.
In a series of experiments, designed to measure the mechanics and movements of finger snapping, the researchers recorded three different subjects snapping their fingers on three different surfaces; a lubricated nitrile glove, rubber latex thimbles on the fingers and metal thimbles on both fingers underneath a nitrile glove. When snapping fingers with human skin alone, the snapping “occurs in just seven milliseconds, more than twenty times faster than the blink of an eye, which takes more than 150 milliseconds,” Bhamla said. However, the lubricated glove was too slippery to create enough friction or store enough energy; the rubber thimbles produced almost too much friction, with all the potential energy lost from the heat created; and the metal thimbles couldn’t accumulate enough energy to produce a snap, making Thanos’s infamous snap physically impossible.
“Our results suggest that Thanos couldn’t have been broken due to his metal-armored fingers,” said Georgia Tech student co-author Raghav Acharya. “So it’s probably Hollywood special effects, rather than actual physics, at stake. Sorry for the spoiler. “
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Source: Ars Technica
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