How sharp is a snikt!? The true power of Wolverine’s adamantium claws has been the subject of many a nerd fight. Arguments like these inevitably lead to the testing of sci-fi boundaries: if Wolverine’s claws are sharp enough to cut through just about anything, are they sharp enough to cut through even… Superman’s skin? No more arguing, no more speculation (at least not as much). Let’s figure this out once and for all.
In my latest Because Science, I’m taking a closer look at Logan’s blades. Just how sharp are they? What makes a blade sharp in the first place? Blades and knives cut through an exertion of pressure, defined as a force over a certain area (like pounds per square inch). How much pressure a material can take before splitting is usually correlated with a property called ultimate tensile strength. A material with a high ultimate tensile strength, like steel, is very hard to pull apart. So, we need to estimate how much pressure Wolverine’s blades can slice with, and then see if that pressure can overcome the strength of Supes’ skin. The conclusion of my episode above should end nerd fights forever (I won’t hold my breath).
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