Cambridge Scientist Movies

So this year there are two big movies about the lives of Cambridge scientists. The Theory of Everything about Stephen Hawkings (Spoiler Alert they didn’t find the Theory yet — I didn’t see the movie) and The Imitation Game about the life of Alan Turing (Spoiler Alert he dies). The question is, will they follow this success with a movie about another Cambridge Scientist, or just another scientist from anywhere?

What are your nominations for either category?


Iron Man Movie Review

This is an action packed movie from start to finish. From the opening scene we are gripped and taken thought a non-stop thrill packed journey. The acting is convincing enough and the characters don’t need to be since it’s understood it’s based on a comic book.

There are 4 armour suits in the movie. The first is hand made by Robert Downy Jr/Tony Stark and another engineer supplied by his captors, allowing him to escape and return to America. When he returns Stark shuts down his weapons manufacturing operations since he realises his products are used by the ‘bad guys’, not just by his country men. He starts to make a new suit which would enable him to fly. The suit wasn’t originally meant to be a weapon, it just turned out to work well as one. During development of the suit he finds that his weapons are still being used by the ‘bad guys’ so he decides to take matters into directly into his own hands. Finally there is a show down were he fights a bad guy who has his own supped up suit.

The first suit is made by hand from steel, and kitted out will a Gatling gun and missiles to enable escape from warlords.
Iron Man first suit

The third suit is produced after the first test flight of the development suit, both of these are made with a fully automated CAD/CAM system available in Tony Stark’s mansion.
Iron Man final suit

Iron Man’s suit it powered by the ‘Arc reactor’ which appears similar in design to a Tokamak fusion reactor. The first miniature version which he builds is capable of generating 3 GW of power (3 gigajoules per second).

My only complaint is that it’s claimed that Iron Man’s final suit is meant to be made from gold-aluminium alloy. Tony Stark does still prefer the name ‘Iron Man’, after first hearing the name he says it’s `catchy’, probably he would be embarrassed to be referred to as gold–aluminium alloy man. In the movie it is shown that suit can withstand many rounds of ammunition, which would be much more consistent with the suit being made from a very-ultra-high-strength steel armour which has recently been shown to be superior to other armour. The switch to gold–aluminium alloy was to solve a problem of icing at high altitude, were ice would form on the suit and power would be lost. Unlike an aeroplane the icing should not effect the power production of the suit, since it doesn’t rely on a turbine, but a portable reactor. Also the suit doesn’t have any aerodynamic control, like wing flaps, to be affected by icing, instead relying on thrust control, so the problem could better be solved just by making sure that the joints remain ice free by heating them.

O.K. there are only 2 problems with this movie, the other being the conspicuous product placement for burger king… which would have been more believable if he had eaten a whopper rather than a cheeseburger.

Magneto redux

In my first post about Magneto I failed to discuss the inventive way he escaped from his plastic prison. His accomplice seduced the prison guard, sedated him, and gave him an injection of some metallic liquid. Magneto then ripped out the metal from the guard and used it to burst out of his jail.

Magneto Escapes
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It’s very cool that Magneto has the ability to telekinetically manipulate ‘metals’ in the X-men movies, although the mechanism isn’t investigated, in the movies he can’t manipulate non-metals and is imprisoned in a plastic building in the second movie. We don’t know if he can manipulate stainless steels and non-magnetic metals or if he can be subtle enough to manipulate phase-transformations.

Bridge from X-men

One thing I don’t understand is why he moves the Golden Gate bridge to allow his army to get to Alcatraz island, surely he could just have easily taken a ferry, and not left the road open to thousands of soldiers to also get there. Obviously he knows enough to work hardens the steel bridge, since it can support it’s own weight without using the suspension cables which can be seen snapping as the bridge is moved.

The next X-men movie is seems to be all about Magneto (according to the IMDB).