Spiderman: Hero or Bust

One of spider mans key ability is the power to of his web that he shoots from his hands. This allows him to swing from building to building and rescue countless civilians from danger. However, is this really possible? So Spiderman swinging from building to building in a arc the webbing has to do two things first, support his weight and second, create a force to divert him in a circular projection. This means the webbing tension has to be extremely high to hold his weight and change his trajectory in a arc. This becomes even more difficult to accomplish if Spiderman is carrying someone with him and the web tension would have to account for the additional weight. Apparently if spideys webs are similar to real spiders silk then this should be possible for spiders webs is five times stronger per pound than steel cable and highly elastic and even be adjusted by varying the concentration of crystallization. There is a study that spider silk could stop a fighter jet landing on a aircraft carrier and  with its absurd strength and elasticity it is even more powerful than a Kevlar vest which is used to stop bullets. Webbing of just a diameter of a quarter inch can support more than 6000 pounds which is well below the weight and centripetal force calculated for spider man which is roughly 300 pounds.   With this case study it has reached the conclusion that spider man actually can swing from building to building .


  1. I take it you were reviewing Ch. 7 of The Physics of Superheroes? That would have been helpful to mention. Pretty short chapter; even shorter review.


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