Wednesday, July 30, 2014

San Diego Comic Con: Science and Cosplay

This last weekend, the Physics Central team traveled to San Diego to get people excited about physics. Of course, many Comic Con attendees need no convincing on that front (like Chewie! He loves our comic books!). Science and comics (not to mention science fiction) go hand in hand, mutually influencing and inspiring each other. We saw a bunch of science-themed costumes, and discovered that many of the cosplayers are actually scientists in disguise.

Multiple incarnations of the 10th, 11th and 12th Doctors were seen at the Con. Physicist Brian Cox did a BBC series on the science of Doctor Who, although it's currently unavailable online. Here's a trailer, though.
The original Flash—real name was Jay Garrick—was a physicist. 
On left, two superheroes who rely entirely on smart engineering to gain their "powers." Batman and Iron Man are great examples of how a great superhero doesn't just have powers—he or she must know how to use them to solve problems.
There were quite a few sightings of costumes inspired by the physics-heavy video game Portal
It's hard to over emphasize how much Star Trek and real-life physics are intertwined—largely because the show inspired a generation of scientists. In the original series, a member of the above race, the Gorn, fought Captain Kirk on the planet Cestus III. He also likes Physics Central's Spectra comic.
Science inspired costume of the permanent kind.
On right, a very convincing Phil Plait*.
In addition to the many science-themed costumes, we found that some of the costumed folks were actually scientists in disguise.
Steam punker by night, engineer by day.
Wonder Woman has super strength and a chemical engineering degree. 
This accelerator physicist got into the Comic Con spirit.
When Alice isn't tumbling down rabbit holes, she's working on getting her PhD in engineering.
A trio of scientists in disguise: Oberyn Martell from Game of Thrones (cosplayed by an archaeologist); the 10th Doctor (computer scientist); and a tribute to a very specific episode of Doctor Who (played by an astronomer, who credits the Doctor with fueling her interest in space). 
Comic Con was overwhelmingly awesome; if any of you readers made it out and saw some science connections, let us know about them in the comments.

*That is actually Phil Plait.

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