The Science of Firestorm #6

I have to admit that I was almost done with Firestorm after issue 5 but after seeing a new writer on board for issue 7, I thought I might give it another chance.  I actually liked issue 7 (especially with the teaser for a potential return of Firehawk) so I went back to read issue 6 to fill in the gap.  In so doing I found enough (but just barely) for another science article.  So a month late here it is. 

Nuclear energy

I have been over this issue sort of before when I dealt with the electro-magnetic pulses a while back, but again in this issue there is a bit of a disconnect in terms of delivery of energy.  In the previous issue a Firestorm-like individual decided to use himself as a both the bomb and the suicide bomber at a rock concert.  Without dwelling too much on the similarities to Tom Clancy’s The Sum of All Fears, there is a bit of a tense moment when both Jason and Ronnie arrive to investigate.  Ronnie is in a bit of mental shock afterwards as he is concerned that he is covered in the dust of the dead people.  Fair enough!  I would probably be bothered similarly by this (if not more so), but really the fact is that there would not be so much dust at all from such a reaction.  The release of nuclear energy would be strong enough to essentially vaporize everything so much so that something as finite as dust would not really exist.   To put it in another way, the chemical bond holding pretty much everything together would have enough energy to  break almost instantly.   It is not really bad science, just kind of poorly presented science, but still gets a passing grade. 

Verdict: Good science 


Conversion of energy

The same basic thing happens just a few minutes later, as Ronnie races off to the bottom of a lake to let off some steam.  In so doing he releases enough energy to vaporize the lake.  What happened previously with the explosion was mostly a case of nuclear fusion, but this presumably is more a case of simple radiated heat, convection and conduction.  The previously blast would have released the energy contained within as told by e=mc but in this case it is presumably a more controlled release of energy (as would be the case with nuclear fission.)  Again it is not really right nor wrong, just as before when the things were vaporized here Jason explains that the water which escaped is HO, which would be the case if the energy was released in a more controlled fashion. 

Verdict: Good science

As I said this issue was a little light on science but it still had enough to show the difference between the two types of energy release.  I am not sure how much science there is going to be with the new writer, but issue 7 didn’t have very much.  With the end of Mister Terrific and less science here it might mean a lot fewer Science of … posts.  We will see …

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