Hey guys, welcome to our podcast! We’ll be discussing all topics physics related and cool, including quantum physics, particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmetology! Cosmetology? Sorry, cosmology. From the smallest things in our universe to… well, our universe! Join us as we tackle fascinating topics such as the giant waves that make us exist, different planets with conditions similar to earth, how to time travel, and so much more…
Tony and Nebula in space, 50% of the population snapped away, the Avengers in distress. Join us as we explore a fact-checked physics retelling of the adventures of our brave heroes through space and time! Listen to our first ever episode to the right.
Iron Man – Mr. Thomas
Nebula – Ms. Barich
Captain Marvel – Ms. Crompton
Black Widow – Ms. Ambi
Hawkeye – Mr. Morwood
Hulk – Ms. Baf
Thor – Peter Clarke
Rocket Raccoon – Ms. Nair
Antman – Mr. Toszegi
Thanos – Jason Taggart
AShamaluev Music- “Melancholy”: https://www.ashamaluevmusic.com/dramatic-music-1
Derek & Brandon Fiechter- “Space Music – Into the Unknown”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qqcxb8sc38E
Kitty Kallen- “It’s Been a Long, Long Time”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP0tHmoc1rs
Pro Sound Effects- “European Capitals – Surround City Ambience Sound Effects”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qqcxb8sc38E
Secession Studios- “Sad Violin Music for Two- Tremolo for Two”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ0_v2q7j_4
Special thanks to our amazing science officers at PHS and Waterloo IQC.
Scene 1: Benatar
Welcome to Let’s get PHYSICal with your STEM girls Ria and Maggie! This will be a podcast series on all things physics (but only the cool parts that we care about!). We’ve worked very hard on our first episode and it’s definitely a special one! So without further ado, we present Avengers: Endgamma.
Narrator: In a very, very far place, many hundred lightyears away and following their great defeat by a giant purple chin, Tony and Nebula are playing table football in grief.
Inside ship. IRONMAN and NEBULA are gathered around the table, flicking triangles
between each others’ hands.
Tony Stark (flicks triangle): Oops i missed. Your turn.
Nebula: beep beep, boop.
Tony: No. This is how you flick.
Tony: Good job. Now see, you scored a point. By the Novikov self-consistency conjecture which eliminates the grandfather paradox, you get to go again.
Nebula flicks but misses.
Tony: Aw, you missed this time.
Nebula: Ugly gravity.
Tony: I forgot, you’re not used to good gravity, I guess that’s why they call you Nebu- (gasps) Excuse me- I’m just suffocating. Anyways, let me explain how this ship, the Benatar, simulates Earth-like gravity because Einstein’s theory of general relativity dictates that I am MASSively smart and can bend spacetime with my mind. So, we begin with the _______. (sound fades)
Narrator: Tony begins to spew jargon and physics buzzwords out of his shawarma hole. The gist of his speech is that gravity can only come from a mass. Since the Benatar is only a ship and does not appear to have the same amount of mass as earth, it needs to simulate gravity to have the same effect on its passengers.
Tony: There are two currently possible ways to simulate gravity.
Narrator: Let’s first look at rotational motion. If you take a string with a ball attached to the end and you spin it around in circles, then the ball will rotate at a constant speed, but with a velocity that is always changing direction. Now, due to the ball’s inertia, it has a tendency to keep moving in the direction that it is moving, so why does it continue to rotate? Well, the string exerts a centre-seeking force on the ball known as the centripetal force, which tries to pull the ball inwards, causing the ball to accelerate towards the centre of rotation and change direction.
Tony: Yeah, unhun, so you spin right round, baby right round.
Nebula: oohhH, Aaaaa.
Narrator: This is essentially the effect that gravity has on objects. The moon, which orbits the earth, is always falling/accelerating towards the earth, and the earth is always falling towards the sun. We could hypothetically build a cylinder shaped or torus shaped spaceship that spins at such a speed that the centripetal acceleration is approximately 9.8m/s^2, thereby causing the passengers of said ship to experience a force similar to earth’s gravity. The other way to simulate gravity is through linear acceleration, which simply involves a ship constantly accelerating in one direction at 9.8m/s^2. You could think of it as an elevator in space, carrying passengers up, while they feel like they’re being pushed to the floor. Of course, it doesn’t matter which direction, since there is no up or down in space.
Tony: Passengers, due to their inertia, would feel as if they’re falling towards the other side of the ship at a rate of…guess.
Narrator: However, the Benatar employs neither of these methods, so how is it able to simulate gravity? Well, there are a few juicy theoretical options to choose from! Technically speaking, one could spread a bunch of mass at the bottom of the ship, perhaps a small but dense form of matter such as a neutron star, causing the floor to exert an attractive force on the passengers. Of course, there would have to be exactly the right amount of mass to emulate acceleration due to gravity on earth. And, if the mass is too much, the ship could attract many external bodies of mass which could either become satellites or crash into the ship. Additionally, the structure of neutron stars only remains stable by neutron degeneracy pressure. If the pressure is too low, it will end up collapsing into quark matter or a black hole, but more on that another day. So…maybe not the best option. What if we went a different route? Let’s think about photons for a minute. What is a photon? It is basically a massless particle which represents the smallest unit of light and is a carrier of the electromagnetic force. Now, let’s go back to the gravitational force. What if there was a particle for gravity, similar to the photon; a massless particle that carries the gravitational force. This theoretical particle, known as a graviton, could be used by the Benatar to utilize gravity without having to deal with that lousy mass stuff. Well, I guess that settles it.
Tony: Ow, my eyes!
Narrator: In a flashing ball of light, Brie Larson appears.
Captain Marvel: Yes, it’s me. Captain Marvel!
Nebula: Ms. Marvel?
Captain Marvel: Captain Marvel. Don’t you remember? I was possessed by engine technology that killed my alien friend Mar-Vell and now I’m an overpowered space gal who fights hoodlums all over the universe! I’m here to save you guys.
Tony: How did you materialize from a ball of light? Why?
Narrator: Good question, Tony. Let’s consult Marvel mythology for a second. In the comics, Captain Marvel gets cosmically powered. She changed her name to Binary and travelled the universe. As Binary, she was able to connect herself to the power of a white hole. This means that she could generate or control any type of radiation or gravity, and shoot photon beams out of her hands. She could also fly anywhere in outer space without any protective gear. In this scene, she’s probably just controlling electromagnetic radiation to give that cool flashy effect and make an entrance. (Benatar leaves) Captain Marvel carries the Benatar back to earth.
Scene 2: Avengers HQ
Narrator: Back on earth and following the giant snap, ScarJo leads the remaining Avengers through a team bonding powerpoint mandated by HR to deal with mourning the pixelation of their deceased teammates.
Black Widow: (given up on the projector) OK, Just so everyone is clear, Thanos DID deliver on his promise. 50% of all living organisms are now snapped into oblivio-
Thor: rrruuuuuuugjn! Me so angery!
Hulk: Calm down, Thor. Zen my dude. Ever since I became one with my green counterpart I’ve been able to dab on that sadness!
Black Widow: I cannot believe I had a romantic plotline with the Hulk that everyone forgot about, LOL-
Thor: How can you laugh! We failed… all my friends are dead. ;(
Hulk: Hey, take it up with HR. Speaking of, where is Nick? Oh, that’s ri-
Rocket Racoon: Rocket Racoon in the hizzle. Wassuuuuup?
Hulk: 50% of all living organisms. Up as in heaven…..amirite?
Tony: No- that’s incorrect. If 50% of all living organisms were snapped away, that would mean that statistically, half of our vegetation would be gone too. And my beet garden is doing just fine.
Hulk: Fine, 50% of all sentient beings. Wait- how does the snap even work?
Rocket Racoon: The snap zapped our friends out of existence and created a ground zero energy surge.
Tony: That’s illegal because matter cannot be created nor destroyed.
Narrator: Well … the conservation of matter doesn’t hold up great in high energy states. Our friend, Tony, may be referring to the conservation of energy which states that energy cannot be created nor destroyed, only converted.
Rocket Racoon: Actually, when Thanos snapped, he turned the mass into energy. Thus, energy surge.
Narrator: If you’ve heard of e = mc**2, that’s the mass-energy equivalence which allows this definition to include some collective of energy and mass being conserved, but please, don’t even get me started on momentum….
Hulk: but how did he convert our friends into energy?
Nebula: The infinity stones must possess the ability to manipulate the interactions between the higgs field and the quarks within our friends to get rid of their mass.
Rocket Racoon: Ah Nebula, I almost forgot you existed as a character….
Narrator: Me too. Speaking of, you might often forget many things that are there simply because they are too small! Physicists call these super small things the standard model, basically the lego blocks that make up our universe: including different types of electrons, quarks, and bosons. It turns out that there are (as of now) 17 fundamental particles, and that these particles are actually-
Nebula: Fields. Quarks, which give mass to our atoms are simply manifestations of these energy fluctuations at various points in the quark field.
Narrator: This is true. These fields can be thought of as giant swimming pools stretched across every point in our universe with an infinite amount of kids in them. At every point in the swimming pool, different dilutions of child urine are present and ever-changing. Similar fluctuations in the quantum fields actually explains why quantum properties like uncertainty and superposition exist. Moreso, the interactions between these fields make up our reality!
Nebula: Quarks, on their own, have no mass. In fact, on their own, all of the fundamental particles are massless and travel at the speed of light.
Nebula: But thanks to their interactions with the Higgs field, the quarks inside our proton weigh some 8.8 Mega electron Volts.
Narrator: Or as our Engineering friends would say, 10 MeV. The Higgs Field is another one of these swimming pools that some of the fundamental particles interact with. Energy is actually equivalent to some combination of momentum and mass with the speed of light factored in. When a massless quark travelling at the speed of light interacts with the Higgs field, you may visualize this as opening a pack of gum in school. All your school mates crowd around you and make it harder and harder for you to pass through. Similarly, the Higgs field essentially slows down the particle and by the aforementioned equation, less momentum is accounted for by mass.
Nebula: Yes, but that only accounts for about less than 5% of our friends’ actual mass. The rest of that mass is actually accounted for in the energy holding the particles together.
Narrator: Nebula is referring to two other forces that are responsible for piecing your parts together! Focusing on the proton and neutron, let’s examine the strong nuclear force. It turns out that this force is represented by a field as well, otherwise known as the gluon field.
Nebula: 99% of the mass of a proton is actually the contained energy with these massless gluons by energy-mass equivalence.
Narrator: The gluon as a field experiences fluctuations just like all our other forces. So how does it keep the quarks together? Well quarks also have something called colour, it’s like electric charge but there’s six variants and it’s for quarks. A quark and it’s opposite colour or antiquark create a colourless combination, which forms all stable protons, neutrons, and quark mass. It turns out that between a quark and its opposite colour counterpart, with energy, a flux tube is created that is able to suppress the fluctuations in the gluon field. This flux tube is also able to generate different variants of quarks and antiquarks but in general, it is what keeps protons together. There’s also the W and Z bosons which are force carriers of the weak force holding protons and neutrons together. These energy interactions, confined, is what gives us mass.
Nebula: So when Thanos snapped, he manipulated the Higgs field, releasing the mass and quark bonds within the subatomic particles. This liberated the energy and allowed quarks to disperse away at the speed of light.
Narrator: Well actually, he could have just increased the temperature of their bodies to around 1 trillion K instantaneously. But this way works too…Why this release of energy didn’t completely destroy everything? We’ll never know…
Rocket Racoon: Wow Nebula, how useful of you to speak when it’s convenient for the plot!
Tony: Yeah, now that we have that sorted, can we go find Thanos and ask for our friends back or what?
Thor: Raaaauuuguhhgh I gonna kill him!
Narrator: So they find Thanos and it turns out that Thanos actually destroyed the infinity stones. Thor does kill him but that’s not too significant to the plot except Thor is an alcoholic and a Fortnite addict now, we’re not sure which is worse. Anyways, not so far away something very small and very strange happens…
Scene 3: Tony Stark/ Antman time travel
Antman: Ah! I can’t believe it took so long to beam me out, Scotty! I really have to pee…Hello? Hello! Where is everyone?
Narrator: Ah you see, Antman was trapped in the “Quantum Realm”. What that is? We have no idea…. Nonetheless, he’s back now and he has a great idea for the avengers.
Antman: So basically, we all turn ourselves really small, and then time doesn’t matter anymore!
Nebula: Do you even entropy?
Tony: That wouldn’t work, quantum fluctuations mess with the Planck Scale which triggers the Deutsche Proposition.
Narrator: That’s right… what did he just say? Let’s break down that sentence a little bit so we can understand the terminology.
Quantum fluctuations: we already talked about that, it’s just the random change in energy level at any given point in spacetime. This happens all the time, so no worries.
Planck Scale: For those not familiar with quantum, basically this guy, Max Plank, said that energy is quantized. Or in other words, broken down into small discrete values. He’s the guy who determined that the energy of a photon could be described by its frequency multiplied by some constant roughly equivalent to 6*10**(-34) J/s. Anyways, the Planck scale is more generally a small unit used to describe quantum time, distance, etc…
Finally, the Deutsche proposition: So when time travel occurs, there’s this big paradox that everyone refers to as the Grandfather Paradox. Say you time travel back to your Grandfather’s time and kill him before the birth of your mother. You will have never been born and so he will have never had grandkids, so he will never have been killed and you would still be here. Clearly you can see the inconsistency. Many scientists have proposed theories to avoid this inconsistency.
Simply put, the Deutsche proposition assumes that a quantum particle travels back in time. Since as we’ve examined before, nothing in the quantum world is certain, and one can only determine its physical properties probabilistically (see Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle). Thusly, if the quantum particle travelled back in time and somehow interfered with the event that caused it to time travel, there’s a hypothetical 50/50 distribution of it going back in time to destroy itself and not going back in time at all. Turns out that apparently 50% is enough so the paradox is gone now? This one’s a real doozy.
Nonetheless, after understanding the constituent terms of that sentence. We still have no idea what Tony means…If you have any good guesses, be sure to share with us on social media!
Rocket Racoon: So I guess we just have to be careful not to screw around with our past selves, eh?
Hulk: Well the stuff you change in the present would have nothing to do with the past! Think about it like this: if you’re going to the past, then the past becomes your present and the future your past. If you’ve already experienced everything, then why would you change any of that!
Narrator: Bruce is referring to the many-world theory in which there are universes parallel to ours and every decision we make creates a new version of our universe. But in that case, the Deutsche proposition would really be redundant since the multiple universes would take care of the grandfather paradox anyways! But then in that case, you wouldn’t be saving the world of your original timeline anyways and there would really be no way to save the world in all universes and time travelling to save another one could really be considered self-delusion.
Natasha: So how do we time travel?
Hulk: We could take advantage of general relativity. As proposed by Einstein, gravity is the bending of spacetime by mass. If we could find wormholes that take us from one place in space to another instantaneously, it’s equivalent to time travel!
Narrator: You may have seen the three-dimensional representation of General relativity before, but basically thinking of spacetime like a sheet of fabric, masses are like marbles which create troughs in the material. If spacetime is this sheet, a wormhole would be a hole in this sheet that would connect you to another hole.
In physics, there is something called the lightcone. Basically, if you graph the speed of light against a graph of distance and time, you get a conic-like shape where the speed of light in all directions is the boundaries of the regular travel of objects with mass. If one travels instantaneously to a point outside this cone, once they accelerate, due to relativity, their own axis of travel is tilted. So when they teleport back to the past, they would be able to appear x time in the past. Anything that travels faster than the speed of light can just as easily go back in time. So that’s how it’s ‘equivalent’ to time travel, although the avengers would have to travel very, very fast outside the lightcone.
Tony: But Hawking’s Chronology Protection Conjecture disproves that.
Narrator: Actually yes, finally name dropping something relevant! Hawking’s Chronology Protection Conjecture basically postulates the following dilemma: say you have two wormholes 3 light years away in time and bring them close to each other so that if you go through one, you appear out the other 3 minutes in the future. If you can travel through the wormhole, so can light and other particles. Hawking says that all these particles will travel through the wormholes continuously and contribute to the mass more and more, so that eventually, a giant blackhole is formed!
By examining another phenomenon we may be able to find an alternative! Maybe we ourselves can travel faster than the speed of light? If we had something like a warp drive then our relative axis would skew proportionate to the speed of travel. Although right now there isn’t really proof that wormholes exist, and some have theorized that negative energy is required for faster than light travel.
Nonetheless, this is all mumbo jumbo…
But something you should know for this part: a world-line is the path of an object that traverses 4-dimensional space-time (time being the additional dimension).
Hulk: -But maybe by creating a massive rotating object, technically, we’re able to create a Closed-Timelike-Curve where your world-line creates a loop and you end up in your past.
Narrator: Yeah, and if you weren’t spaghettified by a blackhole, you could totally leverage that rotating mass to theoretically ‘time travel’. In fact Einstein-Rosenbridges propose that points exist beyond a blackhole because the math works and there may be a white hole on the other side where nothing can enter but everything sucked in by a blackhole exists. If this is the case, this could act like a wormhole, but still no observable evidence :(.
Tony: Hang on, give me a second. Alexa, Get me an inverted mobius strip and find the Eigenvalues of that accounting for spectral decomp.
Narrator: Not again! So a mobius strip is a shape which only has one edge. You can create this by taking a strip of paper, twisting one end 180 degrees and taping the two ends together. Even without the topological background, one can easily visualize this. What do you get when you invert this? A mobius strip. Cool.
Eigenvalues are simple linear algebra. Without getting into too rigorously defined jargon: eigenvectors are non-zero vectors within a given n-dimension vector space that changes at most by a scalar factor when a linear transformation is applied to it. You can think of this as multiplying a vector by a matrix to get double that origin vector as the product. The eigenvalue is then the scalar multiple, or in this case, 2. From Prof. John Donohue: “In quantum mechanics, the eigenvalues of a measurement operator define the possible results; for example, the matrix corresponding to the resonant frequencies of an atom has eigenvalues corresponding to those energies/frequencies. The spectral decomposition is a way of looking at a quantum state in the basis of its energy spectrum”.
Spectral decomposition is just factoring matrices.
Put those three together and this may just be the mad ravings of a lunatic.
Antman: Uhm… Why don’t we just use Pym Particles.
Natasha: What does that do?
Antman: Beats me!
Baby Antman: baby sounds.
Hulk: Johnny Johnny?
Rocket Racoon: Oh not again, what’s the issue now?
Hulk: It must be the EPR Paradox, instead of pushing Scott through time, we pushed time through Scott.
Narrator: You probably want a definition now:
EPR stands for Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen, these three guys who thought that quantum entanglement was illegal because it appeared to them that entangled systems violated the law stating information could not travel faster than the speed of light. Simply put, entangled particles are two particles whose physical properties and information are dependant on each other. If you observe one particle, you gain some information about the other, no matter how far away. The problem is, this paradox is false because the information within this system is inherent to both particles. It’s not travelling at all!
Imagine you have a nintendo switch and you put each remote in a separate box without knowing which is which. You give one box to your friend and you keep the other and fly to Spain. When you open your box in Spain and you find that you have the left remote, you know right away that your friend in Canada has the right remote. Information did not travel, and this can be stimulated even in a non-quantized system.
Hulk: Just send him back through again.
Hulk: SKSKSK and I- oop.
Antman: (in an old man voice) Whaddya mean?
Hulk: All back to normal!
Black Widow: What now?
Tony: Alright guys, I figured out a map to navigate the quantum world and time travel.
Narrator: Okay, well that was a real Deus Ex Machina moment. Nonetheless, our heroes reassemble- actually, speaking of heroes, I think we’re missing a couple.
Thor: belches. You may be getting old of the comic relief from the limited characters so I am back on the team!
Hawkeye: Remember me? It’s Hawkeye. I think I had a thing with Natasha but you forgot about me for 3 movies and I turned evil and killed a bunch of japanese businessmen after my family got snapped into oblivion. I’m good now and ready to join the team!
Narrator: Okay! Now that everyone’s back, they each give us some exposition on the infinity stones which are dispersed throughout various points in time and in each of their respective story plots. The characters travel in groups to retrieve the stones and re-snap their friends into existence.
Scene 4: Time Travel Scene Fragments
Narrator: Meanwhile, Tony and Antman are in New York City, 2012, looking for the space stone.
Tony: Ah, Stark Tower just isn’t what it used to be. Must be because of all those property taxes. Anyways, let’s stay on task.
Antman: You mean like how I’m staying on your shoulder?
Tony: Yes and you’re very heavy, yknow that right? Whenever you shrink down, your size changes, but your mass stays the same. You’re very very small, but very very dense, like a neutron star or your intellect.
Antman: Hey, my feelings didn’t shrink either! Now listen, I need to get to that briefcase, so I’m going to have to jump now.
Tony: Wait, but-
Narrator: Antman jumps off of Ironman’s shoulder, successfully propelling himself into the briefcase containing the space stone. Unfortunately, while Tony’s shoulder was able to exert a force on Antman’s small but dense body to make that happen, Antman exerts an equal and opposite force on Tony’s shoulder, causing him to lose his balance and fall backwards, off of Stark Tower.
Narrator: Iron Man begins to fly. But, how exactly? There are four forces to consider when thinking about flight: lift, weight, drag, and thrust. Lift is an upward force that counteracts the weight of a flying object which is generated by air molecules flowing around the wings of the object, creating a pressure difference between the top and bottom sides of the wings. Iron Man, however, has no wings (must not drink redbull!), so he uses chemical thrusters to counteract the force of gravity instead.
Now let’s look at the numbers for a second. Assuming that the combined weight of Tony Stark and his iron suit is around 95kg, or 931.6N, his thrusters would have to generate 931.6N of force just to counteract his weight and get off the ground. But thrusters that size don’t usually have that kind of power. Anyways, lets just assume that Tony has some crazy good thrusters.
Even then, there is no way he could achieve horizontal flight. Drag is the air resistance felt by a moving object. To counteract it, Tony has to apply a sideways thrust. But his thrusters are at the bottom of his feet. He has to turn sideways to be able to apply thrust in the proper direction but in doing so, stop thrusting upwards.
Thus, our dear Tony, who cannot rely on lift to do anything for him, has to choose between flying up or flying sideways and falling to his death. Keep in mind that he also needs to carry enough fuel to maintain any of these actions for longer than a few seconds, but not so much that the mass of the fuel he is carrying makes it harder to counteract the force of gravity at all. Basically, Iron Man is fake?
Narrator: Let’s see how some of our other pals are doing. Nebula and Rhodes are on Morag trying to get to the power stone stone before Starlord. Thanos discovers future nebula since they’re both on the OS, and kidnaps future Nebula.
You’ll never get any information from me – Ah! Beep beep boop..
Thanos: Ahhahaha, I will scan your memories for information and find all of the infinity stones!
Narrator: oooh… Nebula’s got a real Electra complex!
Thanos: eugh yuck, not that. Show me the stones!
Narrator: Now, you may be thinking to yourself. What about that grandfather paradox we discussed earlier. Yes, so basically to avoid this convoluted many-dimension plotline, Novikov’s Self-consistency conjecture hypothesizes that anything that has happened will have already happened, and if you travel back to the past, your past self will have already been influenced by the actions of your future self. This works with the grandfather paradox because it postulates that the universe will correct itself, whether that be hitting your future-in past self with a bus before they can stab your grandfather or having your grandfather survive, the natural and unknown forces of the universe will correct itself.
Does this mean that free will does not exist? Yes. But it also means that the future timeline will have already been affected by Thanos gaining this information, meaning that the entire beginning of Endgamma had already happened under the assumption that Thanos kidnapped Nebula and found the stones.
But I guess we can just stick to the many worlds theory that the movie follows along with…
Thanos: Thank you new Nebula, I’m going to have Old Nebula time travel to the future and pretend to be you so we can snap everyone again.
Narrator: And so he did. But once again, with the many worlds theory, when he travelled back to the timeline the avengers did, they didn’t actually go to that universe, they just created a parallel universe that they are now in too. So once more, they are leaving a complete universe behind but whatever.
On a separate note, in a separate universe, Black Widow and Hawkeye are on the planet Vormir, searching for the soul stone.
Hawkeye: Uh oh, Red Voldemort just told us that in order to obtain the soul stone, we have to sacrifice someone we care about.
Natasha: I’ll jump off the cliff, I have no family or anything else to live for!
Hawkeye: No, I love y-
Narration: Black Widow falls to her death…at a rate of approximately 9.81m/s^2. It makes you wonder, why does every planet they visit in this universe have exactly earth like conditions? I mean they can always breathe, walk the same way they do with earth’s gravity, dress in their everyday superhero costumes without feeling extremely hot or cold, and usually don’t get cancer from visiting these planets, meaning that there is a magnetosphere and atmosphere to protect them from radiation. What are the chances?
According to the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, it is estimated that there are around 17B earth sized planets in the Milky Way alone. But this doesn’t account for any other important features of those planets, such as the atmosphere and temperature. The pickier we get with our factors, the fewer planets there are to choose from. IN fact, the rare earth hypothesis suggests that there is likely only one planet in the universe that has all of the necessary earth like qualities: Earth. The specific planet that we’re on right now, Vormir, is supposedly barren, so it might be more likely to exist than a fertile planet.
One other thing though, Vormir is the 6th planet in its solar system, and if its star is anything like ours, then it is most likely not in the goldilocks zone. The goldilocks zone is the sweet spot around the orbit of a star where you are neither too close nor too far from it. Unless there is some large source of heat coming from the centre of Vormir, or Black Widow and Hawkeye have some very good quality jackets, they would both freeze to death. But I guess it is just Black Widow who is dead for now…
Scene 5: Final Battle
Narrator: So the Avengers create a new Iron Man gauntlet that holds the infinity stones and Hulk wears it and snaps their friends back into existence. Oops, it turns out Old Nebula is here too and Thanos obliterates the Avengers HQ.
Thanos: Ahahaha! Who’s ready to get stoned?
Thor: Not me! RAAAAUUUUGHHHH Hulk Smash!
Narrator: Do not be alarmed, the Hulk is not back, it’s just Thor stealing his character.
Thanos: You are all weak and cannot fight me, and actually, I change my mind. Instead of getting rid of 50% of all people, why not all 100%! I’m going to make a new Universe where people like Hawkeye never knew of another, so they won’t kill or do anything bad ever!
Narrator: And so they have a long and hard to follow fight. Since their friends are back, Scarlet Witch, who is vastly overpowered finally shoots some energy and traps Thanos. Tony somehow gets ahold of the Gauntlet and snaps Thanos’ army away. Suddenly, a character we forgot all about makes a heroic return:
Captain Marvel: Hey y’all, guess who it is! I know I barely contribute to the plot of this movie at all, but I’m back with a snazzy new haircut.
Narrator: Captain Marvel flies through Thanos’ warship, the Sanctuary 2, destroying it in the process.
Thanos: What? But, how?
Narrator: Let’s think about it. She may have a low mass, but if she accelerates enough, she could destroy anything. Her powers allow her to encase herself in some sort a s protective aura that is impenetrable. It’s why Thanos was able to punch her so hard that she flew over the battlefield, but she came back seconds later and didn’t seem to be phased. So, hypothetically, if she can withstand any sort of force, then provided that she starts accelerating early on (maybe just before she enters Earth’s atmosphere), then she could increase her velocity and thus her momentum to a point where she is essentially a bullet or cannon ball to whatever she collides with, but she won’t feel the effects. You’re probably wondering. Could she not just fly through Thanos? We don’t see why not. If she can penetrate through large ships, she can penetrate through Thanos. He is powerful and massive but no match for the power of momentum! In fact, why doesn’t she just do that right now?
Captain Marvel: Good idea. Hey Thanos! You better set your phasers to “inelastic collision”
Thanos: AHHHHH NOOOO!
Narration: Thanos is obliterated. By the way Tony Stark dies, but it’s a happy ending for everyone else. They travel back in time and restore the infinity stones to the correct spots. Captain America goes back in time to dance with Peggy, but he really could have done that before anyway. It’s not like saving one universe did anything to all the other versions of all the other people on earth. Nonetheless, a sweet moment is shared between the characters as our journey across space and time is finally drawn to a close.
Thanks for listening to this first installment of Let’s get PHYSICal. Thanks to everyone who has helped in the production of this episode. Stay tuned on PHS Network and our social media to be updated on future episodes.
Science officers: Ms. Valerio from PHS, Prof. John Donohue from the Waterloo IQC, and Dr. Barak Shoshany from the perimeter institute for helping us answer all of our science needs.