Scrawny scientist builds working 'Thor's hammer' only he can lift

In the Marvel films and comics, Thor has a hammer that only he can lift. It has special magical properties (not explicitly explained) that prevent others from picking it up and use it for evil, DIY or evil DIY. Here's Iron Man trying to lift it, for instance.

Maybe he'd have more luck with an iron.

But now a scrawny scientist has built a working version of Thor's hammer, Mjohlnir, that only he can lift.

Allen Pan, an electrical engineer, decided to make his own version of Thor's hammer, presumably after others kept taking his massive tool and not returning it.

To make the hammer immovable by anyone but him, he installed electromagnets inside the hammer, activated by anyone touching the handle. This means that if he places the hammer on a large metal object (e.g. a locked manhole cover, as below) when anyone tries to lift it the electromagnets inside the hammer turn on, sticking the hammer to the metal object. The only way to move it is to override the electromagnet by having Allen's thumbs, as he's installed a fingerprint scanner onto the hammer's handle which only responds to his thumbprint and will turn the electromagnet back off.

The result is impressive. He effectively has his own version of Thor's hammer which only he can lift, as long as he always puts it down (like an evil supervillain version of a litter lout) on a locked manhole cover, or another large metal object.

He is currently working on a way to make it fly through the air on his command, and send lightning bolts at his enemies.

Spiderman with a gun

This isn't the first time scientists have recreated superpowers. Last year Darpa (an American military organisation) created gloves designed to allow the wearer to scale tall buildings and glass walls. How they work, and the proof they work remain classified. However there have been several attempts, like this one from students at Utah, that prove it can be done (if you're happy to wear a big, clunky suit, that is).


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