The Physics of Spider-Man’s Webs

by Rachel Baker on April 29, 2014

Have you ever wondered whether or not Spider-Man’s webs could actually be functional and work? Well, thanks to wired.ccom, we are able to check out the physics behind the webs.

Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of Spider-Man is his ability to shoot webs. Now, let’s be clear. Spider-Man’s webs are a technology based super-power. Forget what you saw in previous Spider-Man movies. His webs don’t just come out of special holes in his wrists. Those movies were wrong. No, Peter Parker developed these devices using his brain (or maybe he stole them).

Web Strength
The first thing to consider is the strength of these webs. There are several methods that could be used to estimate the web strength. Let me just consider a case from a previous movie that shows Spider-Man using his webs to catch a falling car. What kind of tension would the webs need so that they don’t break? Oh, just find the weight of a car? Nope. That’s not good enough. The webs not only support the car, but also slow the car down.

Let’s say that a falling car has a mass of 2,000 kg and for 1 second before being stopped. This means that I can use the momentum principle to find the momentum of the car in the downward direction.

Read the Full article:
The Physics of Spider-Man’s Webs | Science Blogs | WIRED.

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