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The laughing, nerdy question about Marvel Cinematic Universe’s mega-jumping 2018 film “Avengers: Infinity War” led to the discovery of the nature of human hand mechanics, as science apparently works that way today.
George Tech’s researchers in biomolecular technology were apparently interested in seeing a key finger click at the end of the “Infinity War” so they decided to start researching it. Needless to say, there are plenty of spoilers below.
At the end of the film, Thanos – the super evil of the film, played by Josh Brolin, who used heavy CGI – snaps his fingers in his hand with an extremely powerful “infinite glove” and kills half the population of the universe.
Although the scene was mainly based on the creation of an even more passionate sequel to the film, it raised a complex question for Georgia Tech’s college student of chemical engineering, Raghav Acharya: how the hell does a finger click work?
As it turned out, no one had delved too deeply into the real mechanics of complex motion. So Acharya dove in.
During his research, Acharya and his team discovered the concept of a “gold-fiber friction zone,” which is probably borrowed from the term astrophysics used to describe the theoretical inhabitability of planets. – determines how finger clicking works under different physical conditions.
Like Ars Technica found that the experiment was based on fast video footage in which people click their finger five times under different physical conditions. One person snapped his fingers while holding a lubricated nitrile glove (too slippery); the other used rubber thimbles on the thumb and forefinger (too much friction); yet another had metallic thimbles on his thumbs and forefingers underneath nitrile glove (also too much friction).
Naturally, the subject of the experiment, who clicked his fingers unimpeded, showed the researchers that such a movement was the ideal bed for Goldilocks just right.
“Finger clicks are basically a latch-like mechanism,” Ars summarizes: “where energy is loaded into a mass spring system held in place by a latch. When the latch is released quickly, all stored potential energy is released in a short time.
The researchers hope that this biomolecular breakthrough will lead to further research into the complex mechanics of the hands and provide applications for prosthesis design and “bioinspired robots.”
But as a by-product, the researchers also found that Thanos probably couldn’t click his fingers this way when he wore a metal, gem-coated glove.
“Our results suggest that Thanos couldn’t snap because of his metal-armored fingers,” Acharya said. “So, these are probably Hollywood special effects, not the actual physics.”
Read more: “Why Thanos couldn’t click his fingers in the Infinity Glove” [Ars Technica]
More great gloves: “Facebook is introducing gloves to help you “feel” VR objects“
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