U of M Professor to Speak on “The Physics of Superheroes”

Posted on October 28th, 2014 by

Dr. James Kakalios

Dr. James Kakalios is not your average physicist and his public lectures are anything but average. Kakalios will visit Gustavus Adolphus College on Wednesday, Oct. 29 to deliver his popular lecture, “The Physics of Superhero Comics” at 7:30 p.m. in Wallenberg Auditorium. The talk is free and open to the public.

Kakalios is the Taylor Distinguished Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota, where he has taught since 1988. His class “Everything I Needed to Know About Physics I Learned from Reading Comic Books” is a popular freshman seminar. He is a highly sought after speaker, whose trademark wit penetrates the yawning atmosphere of public speaking platforms for an incredibly funny, immersive learning experience.

In 2005, Kakalios published the popular science general audience book, The Physics of Superheroes, which has been translated into German, Italian, Spanish, and Korean. His Spectacular Second Edition was published in 2009 and then in 2010 he published The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics.

The Spectacular Second Edition of Kakalios' book The Physics of Superheroes.

The Spectacular Second Edition of Kakalios’ book The Physics of Superheroes.

In 2007, he served as the science consultant for the Warner Bros. superhero film Watchmen. He appears on the DVD version of the film in a special feature that discusses some of the science behind one of Watchmen’s central characters—Dr. Manhattan. In 2009, Kakalios made a video with the University News Service on “The Science of Watchmen,” which has been viewed more than 1.6 million times and in 2009 won a regional Emmy Award in the “Advanced Media: Arts/Entertainment” category. In 2012, he served as one of the science consultants for the Marvel Entertainment American superhero film The Amazing Spider-Man.

Kakalios, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, has given talks at many high schools and colleges and universities, as well as such venues as The Library of Congress, the American Physical Society, the Aspen Center for Science, the Comic Con International, the first National USA Science and Engineering Festival, among others.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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