Dr. Reynolds Talks the Science of Black Panther

Video credit: NC State University

“Vibranium, as we know, is the source of the Black Panther’s power. Vibranium is not a real element,” explains ISE Director of Undergrad Programs, Dr. Kanton Reynolds. “Maybe we haven’t discovered it yet. Who knows?”

“The Captain America shield is made out of the same element. The Black Panther uses it not only as a defensive weapon, like a shield but also as an offensive weapon. Now how does he do that? Well the suit itself is made from a particular micro-mesh weave of Vibranium. Think about the alloys or elements that we would compare to.”

“You want something with a high tensile strength to weight ratio. Something that’s really strong but really light. And you think of that you think of aluminum. You want something that’s durable and something that can withstand corrosion, that would be titanium. Maybe it’s a titanium-aluminum alloy that has elements of Kevlar.”

“This is a real technology. If you’ve been here in the lab in Industrial and Systems Engineering at NC State, we have a virtual-reality setup. But most of the time people are wearing goggles in order to help project the image that they are seeing.”

“The Kimoyo beads just takes it a step further so that the holographic image is in real 3d-space which is a realistic application. We are just not there yet scientifically.”

“I really like the idea of having a superhero that also appeals to students of color that are interested in science abnd technology.”