Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Is 'Iron Man' suited for reality?

Robert Downey Jr., who gets our vote as the best-dressed super hero, will be stepping out in “Iron Man 2” on May 7.

We asked Emory’s resident sci-fi movie expert, physicist Sidney Perkowitz, if Iron Man is suited for reality. We were a bit surprised by his answer:

“The idea of an Iron Man suit actually is in the works,” Perkowitz says. “The U.S. military has put plenty of money into building something called an exo-skeleton. A walking kind of Iron Man that is stronger than the average soldier, I think can happen.”

Injuries from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are spurring research into mechanical limbs that are integrated into neurons, he adds.

What about the arc reactor used in Iron Man? Sci-fan fans should watch the video interview, above, with Perkowitz.

Perkowitz is on the advisory board of the Science and Entertainment Exchange, a National Academy of Sciences program that aims to make mass entertainment more scientifically accurate. He’s also the author of “Hollywood Science: Movies, Science and the End of the World.”

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