It’s a question many comic book fanboys and girls have often wondered and argued about. Yes, the object in question is Thor’s hammer. It has divided friends and families. The argument has become so common that it was even touched upon on an episode of ‘The Big Bang Theory:’
While legend has it that Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir, was so heavy that only those who were “worthy” can pick it up, astrophysicist and science superstar, Neil deGrasse Tyson, decided to explain how heavy the hammer could really be.
Tyson took to Twitter to explain his findings:
If Thor’s hammer is made of neutron-star matter, implied by legend, then it weighs as much as a herd of 300-billion elephants
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) February 5, 2013
Unfortunately, he left it up to us to calculate but thanks to Slate.com, they did the math multiplying the maximum weight of an elephant by 300 billion. The result?
Mjölnir weighs 4.5 quadrillion pounds! That’s 4,500,000,000,000,000 lbs or approximately 2,040,000,000,000,000 kg for those of you on the metric system.
To prove that his calculations were correct (and that he’s worthy of holding the hammer!), Tyson provided photographic evidence showing he used the proper resources for his scientific hypothesis:
Just an FYI: Thor was kind enough to lend me Mjölnir so that I could make the proper measurements. twitter.com/neiltyson/stat…
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) February 6, 2013
It’s easy to see why Tyson is such a superstar in geekdom. Not only has he given scientific explanations of comic book storylines but has given credence to the legitimacy of these arguments.
Now if he can only answer why Hawkeye never runs out of arrows…