Radio waves and the superhero Dr. Manhattan

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If you’re on the DC side of the Marvel/DC debate, there’s a high chance that you’re pretty darn obsessed with all of the superheroes they have brought to the table. You might be fond of Wonder Woman and her lasso of truth, you might try to produce your own Bat Signal to get Batman round your crib, you might paint yourself green to look like the Green Lantern, or you might want to be as fast as The Flash. However, you can’t deny that Dr. Manhattan trumps all of those guys – because he not only pretty darn super, but he’s also a scientific phenomenon. Yep, check out everything you could possibly need to know about radio waves and the superhero Dr. Manhattan…

Who is Dr. Manhattan?

If you’re scratching your head wondering who Dr. Manhattan is, it may be because you know him by another name… Doctor Jonathan Osterman. Born in Germany in 1929, Jonathan and his family moved to New York City and away from Jewish Persecution when he was just 10 years old, and he later becomes obsessed with physics and science. While studying at Princeton University, Jonathan attended a lecture on electromagnetic waves (i.e. radio waves) and the theory of relativity by none other than the legend that is Albert Einstein, which sparked his fascination with radio waves, as well as the ‘intrinsic fields’ of objects. He later graduated with a Ph.D. in atomic physics.

Where do radio waves fit into it?

Of course, we’re all pretty fascinated with the idea of radio waves and physics – but where does this fit into his superhero life? And how the heck did he become a superhero in the first place? Well, during one of his many experiments to remove the ‘intrinsic field’ of these physical objects, Jonathan accidentally leaves his lab coat inside of his high-tech test chamber. As he reaches in to grab his coat, the door closes behind him, and he gets stuck. With no way to override the doors or the system in place, Jonathan is subject to huge bouts of radio waves – which take away his intrinsic field and blast him into pieces. Sadly, he is pronounced to be dead. However, as the weeks and months passed by, the other scientists noticed strange goings on in the lab – and before too long, Dr. Jonathan Osterman’s conscious comes back to life, with a discombobulated body that has managed to piece itself back together. Yet, he’s not quite the same. For starters, he’s blue!

What powers does he have?

After being exposed to all of these radio waves and making a return to the world particle by particle, Jonathan soon realizes that his experience has left him with incredible superpowers that make him omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. Basically, he’s reincarnated as a god! He doesn’t age, he knows everything, and he can travel through dimensions. There really isn’t anything he can’t do. After discovering these new powers, Jonathan Osterman becomes Dr. Manhattan, and the hero for the popular comic series, TV series and film adaptation.

Does the science check out?

There’s no doubt about the fact that Dr. Manhattan is pretty darn cool -but does the science check out? Could this superhero have been transformed by radio waves alone? Well, the answer is yes! Dr. James Kakalios worked on the movie adaptation of Watchmen and used his knowledge to ensure the movie used real physics and science within it. He noted that a person could potentially take away their own intrinsic force – but does not invite anyone to do it. Don’t worry; we’re not planning on it.

If you’re just as obsessed with Watchmen as we are, you were probably wondering how Dr. Manhattan obtained his powers! Well, it seems it’s all down to electromagnetic or radio waves.

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