Huge press coverage for Physics Summer Student Ashley Back's paper entitled 'Could Bruce Willis Save the World?'
Ashley Back, currently a summer student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Sussex, has received huge press coverage worldwide for a paper he recently co-wrote entitled 'Could Bruce Willis Save the World?'
His group studied the method used by Bruce Willis' character in the 1998 film Armageddon, to prevent a massive asteroid from destroying the earth. In the film, a nuclear weapon detonated towards the centre of the asteroid, splits the asteroid in half so that the two halves pass either side of the earth and no disaster occurs. They calculated the energy required to move the two halves far enough apart so that they would clear the earth, across the distance shown in the film, and then compared this to the energy yield of the largest nuclear weapon available in 1998 ('Big Ivan'). The result was that 'Big Ivan' fell short by over 1 billion times in supplying enough energy to save the Earth.
After the press release was issued at the beginning of this week, they have received a lot of interest worldwide including print coverage in the Leicester Mercury, a radio interview with BBC World Update and Newstalk Radio, Ireland, a Skype interview for Sky News, and a Google News search brings up about 80 different online articles based on their press release. Articles are also included in thisisleicestershire, The Telegraph Online, The LA Times and The Mirror. It also made news further afield in the Bankok Post, MSN Philippines, The Jakarta Globe, the China Post and lots of Australian news sites.
Ashley Back is due to begin a SEPnet-funded PhD with Dr Jeff Hartnell from Sussex.
Read full press release