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The Avengers: Endgame Might Be Fantasy But Technological Disruption Is Real

Updated: Nov 22, 2019

As originally published on Forbes.com



I am not a big movie goer but for some reason I began to receive calls and texts from across the nation, asking if I had seen Marvel’s AVENGERS: Endgame. I knew the movie was set to come out, as no one can avoid the continuous mass marketing and product placements across media platforms. Subconsciously, I questioned how memorable of a movie this would be for me... but I took their advice and went to see the movie on the Opening Sunday, two days after it premiered and had already broken records.


As we got to the theatre, I was looking around at the fans dressed in their favorite character costume.  I saw a kid in Iron Man cosplay, someone else wearing a cape and numerous people sporting that ubiquitous Captain America T-shirt. As I sat at the bar and ordered a drink (Yes, in New Orleans there are bars in the movie theatre) a guy sat next to me and he had on a whole Thanos glove with the stones and all! I tried not to stare but kids kept coming up to touch his glove and he explained that he had seen the movie 3 times already.


As I watched the movie and observed people’s responses to certain scenes, I noticed how much STEM was incorporated into the plot. At the start, Mad Titan Thanos has already wiped out half of the universe after having collected the Infinity Stones - which possess reality-altering powers and are embedded in his gauntlet. Beloved heroes die, and now Captain America is tasked with going back in time to place the stones in their original locations and prevent the villain Thanos from collecting the Stones, killing superheroes, wiping out half of humanity.


A few prevalent STEM concepts jumped out at me, for example:


Physics of Time Travel: this area of science is what takes center stage during Avengers: Endgame as it becomes an important plot mechanism. Time Travel finds its roots in Albert Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity, discussing traveling forwards in time. However, there is no scientific basis yet for traveling back in time.


Quantum Mechanics: the second most important scientific field for the movie would have to be quantum physics. This is because the heroes take a tip for Ant-Man to shrink to the subatomic realm and navigate the Quantum Realm to pull off a time-heist. The movie treats the characters as subatomic particles, who are then free to go back in time.