Sometimes in movies, you’ll see a lot of crazy science. Science that looks real, but ultimately isn’t. That’s because filmmakers hire real scientists to come up with fake science so that the movie is more believable. It’s the ultimate cop-out when a movie’s fake science makes no sense and even an everyday joe doesn’t believe what he’s seeing.
So to come up with laboratories, web strength and the Decay Rate Algorithm in The Amazing Spider-Man, the filmmakers hired University of Minnesota physics professor James Kakalios, who also wrote the 2010 book The Physics of Superheroes. In the video above he’ll explain everything you wanna know. Like how the algorithm is based upon Gompertz Law, which is a real equation used to predict human mortality as a function of age.
Kakalios’ colleague used a version of Gompertz Law in a 2008 paper, so he just used that as the basis of his equation of the film. But how did he make it look different? He added on some expressions from the reliability theory of aging and longevity and tossed on some “mathematical glitter.” The math in the movie made my head hurt, so I’m going to go out on a limp and say this worked. Good job, Kakalios! [Wired]