Lego Batman is the most plausible Batman of them all | Cape Gliding & Grapple Gun | Physics vs Film
Batman is pretty damn cool, but a lot of people have pointed out if he were real it would be completely absurd. The physics just does not check out. He’d go very quickly from being Batman to just battered man… except for one version of The Dark Knight. Yes, lego batman is by far the most plausible version of the character, putting aside that little pesky detail that lego minifigs aren’t actually alive. First up a little detective work, now lego minifigs are 41mm tall and given that Batman in the canon of the comics is 6’2″, that means we’re dealing with a world that is almost 46 times smaller than our own. But remember The Lego Movie was shown to be here on Earth, because that’s the only place in the universe that Lego exists (that we know of) so we’re going to keep standard earth values of things like gravity, density of air etc. so no planet made completely out of Lego here. Regular Batman has been attacked by the laws of Nature on two fronts: gliding with his cape and soaring to the tops of buildings using his grapple gun. Let’s start with that cape. Students from the University of Leicester a couple of years ago did a feasibility study into Batman’s gliding. Taking into account gravity, drag, and a generous estimate for the amount of lift his cape could provide, they found that Batman would be approaching the ground had some 80 kilometers an hour just from the top of a fairly large building. That sort of velocity is fatal. But we can’t just take that result and scale it down by some 46 times for lego batman because the equations of drag and lift are both coupled and nonlinear when applied to two dimensions like we have here. The only way to get a result is from doing the simulation and so I have reproduced that Leicester study exactly but in this time for a lego-sized batman. Lego batman’s terminal velocity is 23 km/h which he achieves in just 10 seconds of flight. This is about the time it took regular Batman to reach 80. But bear in mind that if we scaled lego batman up that 23 km/h would be be just over a thousand. So does that mean that we’ve broken the bat? No, because Lego Batman isn’t made of mere flesh and blood like us mortals. He’s made of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, or ABS. This type of plastic is pretty stiff. It can be squashed by about 2.6%of its dimensions before it actually starts to deform. So using that stiffness and assuming LBM, that’s Lego Batman by the way, comes to a complete stop when landing, which is the worst-case scenario, the pressure acting on his feet and legs would be about a kiloPascal. ABS though has a compressive strength of 42 megaPascals, so LBM has survived. OK so what about that grapple gun then? Well, people have worked out that not only would it be a lethal weapon when Batman tries to catch people with it, it’d probably end up hurting himself as well. A measly three feet per square second acceleration or about a tenth of a g would put a force on both his hand and arm equivalent to powerlifting. And if he were going at some of the rates scene in the movies, then we’re talking at least a dislocated shoulder if not a severed limb. But again LBM isn’t as puny as he looks. Given the strength of ABS and the area of a minifig arm, lego batman could withstand accelerations up to a hundred and thirty thousand meters per second squared. That means he could ascend to the top of a to-scale LEGO model of the Empire State Building in 0.08 seconds. That is impressive. But there’s one thing about lego batman that wouldn’t be that impressive and that is his voice. “Because I’m Batman”. Sorry WIll Arnett, but you should be sounding a bit more like this. But in all other respects lego batman is totally badass! hey guys and gals thank you so much for watching this lego batman video, I hope you enjoyed it. Don’t forget please subscribe to my channel if you want to get more stuff from me, I do physics videos every other Thursday, and you can share this video around that would be a massive help to me.