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Vibranium is a fictional metal from the Marvel universe, with interesting properties, it "possesses the ability to absorb all vibrations in the vicinity as well as kinetic energy directed at it."

It became the subject of an argument between myself and some friends earlier today, that if one were to have boots made of such a metal, could one fall from any height without injury?

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    This comes kinda close to a science question so I'm hesitant to answer, but: vibranium boots would not protect your legs bones from the force of the rest of your body slamming down from above. – KutuluMike Apr 24 '15 at 13:27
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    Originally posted on Physics but closed because it's a "what if" about fictional equipment. – Kyle Kanos Apr 24 '15 at 13:42
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    Also in Winter Soldier Cap jumps what looks like about ten stories and lands on his vibranium shield with only mild discomfort. Of course that could be chalked up to his super soldier serum enhanced healing and constitution and a normal person would be more seriously injured. – Monty129 Apr 24 '15 at 13:52
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    @Monty129 IIRC, he also jumps down onto one of the helicarriers and lands in a kneeling position, without using his shield to cushion it. The jump is from a ridiculous height. – phantom42 Apr 24 '15 at 14:16
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    Wrong continuity. You want a pair of boots that can do that, talk to the folks at Aperture Science. – Mason Wheeler Apr 28 '15 at 20:56
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No, you cannot jump from any height. The vibranium would have to nullify all kinetic energy.


You could however jump from a greater height. From the wiki, if the source is correct, it only reduces it the amount of kinetic energy by absorbing it. The amount higher depending on how much is absorbed.

Quote from the Wiki -

"A different variety of Vibranium found in Wakanda absorbs soundwaves and other vibrations, including kinetic energy."

Second quote from the Wiki -

"The Wakandan isotope possesses the ability to absorb all vibrations in the vicinity as well as kinetic energy directed at it. The energy absorbed is stored within the bonds between the molecules that make up the substance. As a result, the more energy vibranium absorbs the tougher it becomes. There are limits to the capacity of the energy that can be stored, although the exact limitations are not yet known."

  • From above - "kinetic energy directed at it" - Make sure you land on them feet.

Wiki Link

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    @Draft Changed the answer to make more sense, thanks for the input. – Clyde Apr 24 '15 at 15:24
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    the problem is that even landing on your feet, the kinetic energy of your torso would be distributed into your femur and shatter it long before it reached your boots – KutuluMike Apr 28 '15 at 20:19
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    @Miachael Edenfield - The kinect energy would originate from the ground pushing back up against your body when you touch the ground. IE from your feet. That's why I stated at the end, make sure you land on your feet. – Clyde Apr 28 '15 at 20:24
  • But you're the one that's moving, not the ground ;) – OrangeDog Apr 28 '15 at 22:22
  • From a real physics point of view, the whole idea of absorbing kinetic energy is unclear since KE depends on your reference frame, and it can't just be resistant to changes in KE energy or Captain America wouldn't be able to accelerate and decelerate his shield to carry it with him...maybe the idea is just that it distributes kinetic energy evenly across the entire surface? And/or that every collision between it and another object is perfectly elastic sort of like an even better Super Ball? – Hypnosifl Apr 28 '15 at 22:26
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One could not fall from an indefinite height because the acceleration of the body would have nothing to do with the strength or absorption capabilities of the boots.

If I were falling at a 60 m/s, weighed 80 kg, and stopped in 1/4 of a second, applying newton's second law of motion gives us a force of a bit over a ton and a half. Your bones would probably snap, and there would be nothing the vibranium could do.

  • If you're in a suit completly made out of vibrantium, and since that matter absorbs any type of vibrations you wouldn't feel a thing – Oak Apr 28 '15 at 23:05
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    Compression of your flesh inside the suit would be a problem. – Kevin Matheny Apr 29 '15 at 2:23
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    but you'd have to consider that the cause of the deceleration is the kinetic movement of the ground towards you, movement that is magically absorbed by the vibranium and not transferred to you. It acts as a buffer. (No one said it was real physics) – njzk2 May 8 '15 at 17:00

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