Breaking Bad science

Walter White considers himself to be a damn brilliant chemist on Breaking Bad, but does his science hold up under real-life scrutiny? That’s the question posed by the latest episode of Fact or Fictional, the web series hosted by Veronica Belmont.

Guest expert Dr. Jovana J. Grbic, who holds a PhD in chemistry, examines Walt’s fulminated mercury trick, his use of methylamine to cook drugs, and his solution to the dead RV battery (which was not a robot, to Jesse’s eternal disappointment). She even offers some insight into Walt’s personality as a scientist. Watch the video after the jump.

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Some of the science fiction in superhero tales really seems more like pure fantasy — the Hulk and Spider-Man’s origin stories come to mind — but then there are other aspects of the stories that seem more believably rooted in reality. That’s the idea, anyway.

After the jump, read about two attempts to introduce a little more science into the fiction: In an upcoming issue of Action Comics, real-life astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson shows up to help Superman find his home planet Krypton, and in an episode of the webseries Fact or Fictional, Veronica Belmont discusses the plausibility of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier from The Avengers.

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