A few years ago, if you were to use the names “Thor” or “Mjolnir” no one would really understand what you were saying, save a few Norse mythology buffs. Nowadays, thanks to the mega-popularity of the Marvel movies, Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is a household name, as is his magical hammer Mjolnir.
As anyone who’s seen the first Thor movie or the second Avengers will know, one defining feature of Thor’s mighty hammer (other than being able to call down lightning) is that only one “who is worthy” can wield Mjolnir. Generally, this is a title reserved for only Thor (and the Vision, in the movies at least) and as such, Mjolnir is a hammer no person can pick up no matter how strong they are, even if they have a robotic suit of armour like Iron Man.
Mjolnir’s built-in security feature is possible thanks to some form of Asgardian magic, and as such is generally seen as only possible in the realm of fantasy, like comic books, myths, or blockbuster films. One man, however, has found a more mundane and scientific method of creating a functioning Mjolnir, and only he can wield the hammer.
Using electromagnetics and a fingerprint scanner, YouTuber Sufficiently Advanced has constructed built a replica of Thor’s hammer that is entirely unmovable, unless you’re him. Within the hammer’s head is a electromagnet transformer pulled from a microwave, which when in contact with a metal surface, electrically creates a magnetic field that essentially makes the Mjolnir replica feel like it’s far too heavy to move. The electromagnet itself is automatically turned on whenever someone touches the hammer’s handle, via a touch sensor, thus creating an effect similar to whenever someone other than Thor tries to wield “real” Mjolnir.
Attached to the handle of the hammer, and what essentially makes Sufficiently Advanced capable of lifting the hammer where all others fail, is a fingerprint sensor that is able to detect his unique signature. With a wave of his thumb, the electromagnets turn off and the hammer can be picked up. Sure, that doesn’t really make Sufficiently Advanced any more “worthy” than anyone else, but it does make for a pretty cool effect, just like in the movies.
Wanting to showcase his nerd-tastic invention to the world, Sufficiently Advanced took to the streets of Venice Beach, California and challenged passersby to try and lift his magical hammer. And just like in the party scene of Avengers: Age of Ultron, no one could lift Mjolnir save its owner. Take a look at the video below to see the hilarity ensure, while also getting an inside look at the technological wonder below.
Featured image courtesy of: Doug Kline