A scene in "Avengers: Infinity War" in which Thanos suddenly falls while wearing infinity gloves. Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War hide caption
A scene in "Avengers: Infinity War" in which Thanos suddenly falls while wearing infinity gloves.
If you have watched the Marvel movie "Avengers 3: Infinity War", you may remember the scene where the opponent Thanos filled his metal gloves with all infinity gems, and with a flick of his fingers, he was wiped out. Half the population of the universe.
This scene triggered some off-camera dramatic events at Georgia Institute of Technology. Biophysicist Saad Bhamla was skeptical of the reality of sex with gloves on.
"I thought at the time that Thanos couldn't use that infinite glove," Bamla said. "I bet it's like the softness of our skin has something to do with it."
Bhamla co-authored a new study on finger snaps, which was published by the Royal Society last week. He said that the popping sound is easy to explain.
"If I snap my fingers, the sound is when your finger actually hits the fleshy part of your thumb or hand," he said.
But Bhamla and his team wanted to learn more about the physics involved, so they put the sensor on the finger, then put on rubber gloves, applied lotion, and put a metal thimble on the fingertip.
When they tested different variables, they shot high-speed video. After analyzing the video, the scientists determined that skin-to-skin friction and the compressibility of our fingers are the keys to movement.
This means that it is not suitable for metal gloves. Sorry, Thanos. They also found that the whimsical capture ability was really fast.
"Angular acceleration is about 1.6 million square degrees per second," Bhamla said.
This is about 20 times faster than blinking, and even faster than the arm movement of a professional baseball pitcher, Bhamla said, which is considered to be one of the fastest rotational movements the human body can perform—until now.
"We, you know, these scientists are by no means any athletes-we hardly go to the gym-we are snapping our fingers and breaking the record for these professional athletes," Bamla said.
Therefore, it may be time to abandon the phrase "faster than a blink of an eye" and start using "faster than a finger."
The audio for this story was produced and edited by Ayen Bior and Christopher Intagliata. Wynne Davis adapted it to the web.