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Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, according to Odin's enchantment, can only be wielded by those deemed worthy.

Does this only apply when the hammer is subject to gravitational pull? What happens when it's in outer space away from any pull? Would those unworthy be able to wield it?

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    Who knows how much mass the hammer itself has. It could have it's own, noticeable, gravitational field. – Sponge Bob Jul 12 '12 at 16:44
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    +1 : I came here after watching a Big Bang theory's episode talking about this. Knew I'd find this. – Voldemort Feb 25 '13 at 21:58
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Let us assume normal physics. The trappings of the Thor comic relies on the old adage about sufficiently advanced technology being like magic. The only thing in normal physics we know of that might cause this kind of spacial locking is quantum levitation. It is not simply being heavy, because his hammer has been used to pin people in place without crushing them.

This suggests that, like in the above video, Thor's hammer can 'turn on' superconductivity, and perhaps is so advanced that the geometry of the locking is stronger and effective even in a smaller magnetic field.

If this is the case, you'd have to go far into space before the effect would stop working. And it would always be relative to the nearest strongly-magnetic source.

It also means that you might be able to overcome the locking with local magnets, if this is in fact the mechanics behind the hammer's ability to stay motionless when without Thor's grasp.

It also can explain the ability to toss the hammer. See the video and use your imagination.

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    +1 for assuming normal physics with comics and it making sense. – AncientSwordRage Feb 3 '12 at 9:16
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After reading some of the answers here, and further Google (re)searching, I came to the following:

There are two parts to wielding Mjolnir.

  1. Lifting Mjolnir

  2. Wielding Mjolnir (possessing Thor's power)

Before wielding Mjolnir, it needs to be lifted. As portrayed in much of the modern comics and movies, unless you are worthy, the hammer won't budge from where it is (Excluding the axe/hammer version of Mjolnir). But in most cases, there is gravity in place. When there is zero gravity, it can be moved.

Two examples of this:

Ironman and Red Hulk are two characters that encountered Mjolnir in outer space, and were able to move, grasp, and even use it on Thor.

Ironman encounters Mjolnir in space, grabs it, and moves it.

Ironman encounters Mjolnir in outer space.

Upon entering Earth's atmosphere, gravity pulls Mjolnir towards the ground, and Ironman can no longer move it.

Mjolnir enters Earth's gravity

Red Hulk is able to swing Mjolnir in space. Although there may have been a loophole also that Rulk actually took possession of the hammer from Thor.

Red Hulk uses Mjolnir in space

However, being able to lift or move Mjolnir doesn't equate to being worthy nor is the same as wielding it. The inscription on the hammer states: Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.

The inscription on Mjolnir

It doesn't say that it cannot be lifted. It states that it be held AND if is worthy, shall possess the power of Thor. So we can interpret Odin's enchantment to generally apply to those that lift it and are worthy. For the cases when it can't be lifted, it is a side effect when gravity is present.

TL;DR

So, in short, yes it can be moved in outer space, but not wielded.

The worthy can lift and wield it. The unworthy cannot lift it when gravity is present, but they can move it absent a gravitational pull. They also cannot wield it nor possess the power of Thor.

Sources:

  • Ooh, pretty pictures... – Omegacron Mar 12 '15 at 15:04
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    This doesn't make sense to me - Mjolnir can't be lifted by brute strength, so the issue isn't that it is too heavy (or has too much mass) to lift. Thus, being in space shouldn't affect a character's ability to lift it - it should remain stationary when anyone other than Thor tries to move it, even in space. If being in space allows other characters to use it, then the issue is weight/mass, and brute strength should be enough to lift it, wherever you are. – Wad Cheber Jun 10 '15 at 20:52
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    @WadCheber In addition to your excellent, excellent point, if the issue IS weight/mass, what exactly is it that makes the TABLE worthy to lift the hammer? – Mark Dec 14 '15 at 15:08
  • @Mark What makes the ground worthy to lift the hammer? By that logic, Thor's hammer is sitting safely at the centre of the nearest large gravitational body. – wizzwizz4 Sep 28 '16 at 6:26
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    As noted I the Wiki link, non-sentient machinery has been able to lift the hammer without notable difficulty. Plus, a table and the ground are not lifting the hammer, certainly not in the sense of moving it with respect to its surroundings (it is technically moving while setting on a table, as Earth is moving through space). – RDFozz Jun 28 '17 at 0:04
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I think DampeS8N's answer provides a more thorough explanation, but even assuming that the hammer can't be lifted on Earth by the unworthy simply because it's too "heavy", that somehow the mass of the hammer is felt by anyone who isn't meant to wield it, then the same would apply in space.

In space, you may not feel the force of gravity from a large planet, but the laws of mass and inertia still apply. So if someone who isn't worthy of wielding it tried to pick up or swing the hammer, they would just swing themselves around the hammer instead of moving the hammer itself.

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    +1 for the hilarious mental image your answer created :) – Aditya M P Feb 1 '12 at 18:24
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    This doesn't jive with the sources provided by @sunpech but this is the correct answer from a physics perspective. – KennyPeanuts Sep 2 '13 at 10:00
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The will of Odin overwrites the physics, if the all father has decreed only the worthy can wield it, then, outer space or not, the hammer is unwieldable ( not immovable ) by Odin's will, there is no room for puny human physics loopholes to the contrary.

According to Odin's enchantment only the worthy can wield it, just being able to lift it it doesn't mean they can wield it, the same way a caveman can use a Sniper gun to club somebody in the head, the unworthy are unable to use the true power of the Mjolnir. To them it is nothing more than a simple hammer.

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    True of the older Thor comics, but for some time now there has been a thin layer of hogwashy-sciencey-wiencey technology-as-magic stuff over the Thor mythos. Probably to better mesh his world with the otherwise technologically based Avengers he likes to hang with, along with a larger push by Marvel to maintain a pseudo-scientific envelope around all the magic in their universe. And especially in the recent movie, and probably even more-so in the soon to arrive Avengers movie. Additionally, the immovability of Mjolnir is a common plot device, even used to pin Loki in place in the recent film. – DampeS8N Nov 22 '11 at 12:30
  • @DampeS8N : Thank you, I am from the old school, magic did not need to be based on science. – Arjang Nov 22 '11 at 20:46
1

No, only by Beta Ray Bill, but he doesn't need to, because Odin made him his own.

-1

In my opinion, the hammer can't be lifted not because it is heavy but because it has a sophisticated technology (micron/nano technology?) that deems the worthiness of the person holding it through some algorithm and releases gravitons (particles responsible for gravitational force) to counter the force applied to lift it. The amount of gravitons are just equal to balance out the force applied and hence doesn't affect the weight of the hammer. So, in space, gravitons have no effect as there is no other massive object to which it can bond and hence can be swung by anyone. But it still can't be lifted as the concept of lifting doesn't apply in space. Lifting means raising something from a platform, be it the ground, table etc that has a huge enough size to be considered a stable platform.

Again, the hammer can't be wielded by unworthy people anywhere. By wielding, I mean to say activating the energy like lightning bolt from the hammer.

  • Welcome to the site. Do you have any evidence to back up your answer? Answers based on opinion aren't really suitable for this place, answers need to be fact-based or evidence-based, – Moogle Dec 14 '15 at 15:14
  • There is only theory based on my observations in comics and movies. I have used my own scientific approach to give an explanation to the answer. I have openly said that it is my opinion. I have not stated that it is fact based. There is absolutely no answer possible for fictional stories – Vijyes Yechuri Apr 29 '16 at 16:42

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