Physicists sit in a laboratory or in front of a computer screen and work with numbers and equations, right? Wrong! Not in the wide world of fiction anyway. Here are some rocking physicists that break all of the stereotypes.
5. Peter Parker (Spiderman)
Peter Parker was once bitten by a radioactive spider and was given incredible spider abilities. What is often forgotten about Peter is that he was a science whiz before he was imbued with incredible powers. If you watched the movies, those classes he was not attending? Those were physics classes. It’s funny how being given super powers can interfere with your studies. With such useful superpowers (not having to get off the couch to get the remote), Peter Parker would be higher up on this list if he didn’t exhibit the maturity of a 13 year old much too often. Teen angst aside, superpowers+physicist=awesome.
4. Samantha Carter (Stargate Series)
Samantha Carter is the astrophysicist member of SG-1, an elite four-person force in the Air Force. They use the stargate, a giant ring capable of creating stable wormholes, to travel all over the galaxy and even to one other galaxy. Sam is the physicist that understands all of the relativity and wormhole physics behind how the stargate works. Oh yeah, did I mention she is also a highly trained killing machine? In SG-1 she is a Captain and then is promoted to Major in the USAF. That means she knows how to handle any weapon you give her, operate any vehicle she finds herself in, and survive on an alien planet running away from an enemy for as long as she needs to. Samantha Carter is definitely deserving of a place on this list.
3. Bruce Banner (The Hulk)
Ok, so every Hulk movie sucks, but that doesn’t mean Bruce Banner does. He is the inventor of the Gamma Bomb, basically a super nuclear weapon that outputs immense amounts of gamma radiation. Good old Bruce gets hit with the radiation when the bomb is tested and BAM! Hulk. Bruce has to constantly live in fear, avoiding everybody and everything that could upset him, because, trust me, you don’t want to see him when he gets angry. Shy and mild mannered Bruce has the capability though, to throw tanks around like we throw around Hot Wheels. If that isn’t awesome, I don’t know what is.
2. Angus MacGyver (MacGyver)
We all know what MacGyver is famous for. He can somehow make a hand grenade out of stuff he finds in somebody’s file cabinet. But have you ever stopped and wondered where he learned all of his skills? A chipper young Angus (awesome name too) left home to head out to the esteemed Western Tech University majoring in physics and chemistry. I can attest that not every physicist has the ability to fashion napalm out of cleaning chemicals, so it takes an especially awesome one to pull off the kind of stuff that MacGyver does in his spare time. In case his inherent knowledge of the construction of everything isn’t enough, MacGyver goes all over the world fighting bad guys without a gun. That’s right, not only is he dismantling terror cells that the US government couldn’t take care of with some special forces, he is doing it unarmed. One word: Awesome
1. Gordon Freeman (Half-Life Series)
Those of you unfamiliar with the Half-Life videogames, you are missing out. Those of you that are, you knew our man Gordon was going to top this list. Gordon was a theoretical physicist working at the Black Mesa Research Facility when his research team accidentally rips open a hole in spacetime, bringing in aliens from another dimension. These poor aliens are confused, so they do what any sentient species would do when faced with a new environment; try to destroy everything. In response, humanity tries to destroy the aliens back. Poor Gordon, a physicist untrained in any kind of combat, is caught in the middle, wanted dead by both sides. So he does what any physicist would do, kill anybody that stands in his way with whatever he can get his hands on (a crowbar is surprisingly effective). Next to Master Chief, Gordon Freeman stands in the halls of video game history as one of the most deadly protagonists. If that isn’t an awesome title for a physicist to have, I don’t know what is.
Did I forget somebody? Let me know, leave a comment.