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Can You Lift Thor’s Hammer in Space?

Because of its curious, immovable properties, there is maybe no weapon that fascinates nerds more than Thor’s hammer. Everyone knows that it can make itself impossible to lift in accordance with worthiness, but what everyone asks about are  the possible exceptions. Under what conditions could you lift the hammer? Could you lift Mjölnir…in space?

Mjölnir’s most famous property is that it can somehow make itself impossible to move. When you try to lift something off the surface of a planet, there are two forces acting against it, weight and friction. Weight is the object’s mass multiplied by the gravitational field of whatever planet you happen to be on, and the force of friction will be some component of the normal force pressing on the object perpendicularly, multiplied by a coefficient of friction dependent on the material. But what happens when you go to a place where neither gravity nor friction really apply?

In my latest episode of Because Science, we’re putting the hammer down and figuring it out.

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