Neil deGrasse Tyson Is Wrong About Thor’s Hammer


I hesitate to even type that title because, dang, who really thinks they’re smarter than Neil deGrasse Tyson? The answer is materials scientist Suveen Mathaudhu who says that Tyson got it all wrong when he estimated Mjolnir’s weight. The disagreement arose over this tweet from Tyson.

According to Mathaudhu, Tyson has made a flawed assumption in stating that the hammer is made of neutron-star matter, so his estimate isn’t even close.

“The critical mistake Tyson makes is thinking that Mjolnir was forged of the core of a dying star, when it was actually forged in the core of a dying star. It’s well documented that the hammer is made out of ‘Uru,’ a fictional metal from Thor’s native realm of Asgard.”

He then goes on to cite the official Marvel “Thor’s Hammer” trading card which states that Mjolnir weighs all of 42.3 pounds. So how could Uru possibly be so light and strong? Mathaudhu proposes the following theory:

“Perhaps Uru is the ‘holy grail’ of high-pressure physics: a form of metallic hydrogen,” Mathaudhu says. “Some predictions of the density of metallic hydrogen fall into this range, it requires extreme conditions to form, and could be a tremendous energy source. It’s thought to be present at the core of planets, such as Jupiter, and at the core of suns – which are stars, after all.”

It’s okay, Neil, we all still love you anyway.

(North Carolina State via io9)


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