This guy built Thor’s hammer using an electromagnet and a fingerprint sensor | Youtube

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Arthur C Clarke’s Third Law of Prediction states: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. So it looks like the kitchen table hardware hack is now far enough along, as Marvel’s Thor wielded magic hammer is now real.

A man tries to lift Mjölnir. Photography: YouTube / sufficiently advanced

Created by YouTuber named “Sufficiently Advanced” (can you see what he did, there?), The real Mjölnir attempts to recreate the properties of Thor’s fictional hammer, which can only be held by those who are worthy of Thor’s power.

In the comics and movies, this manifests as an infinitely heavy hammer for everyone except the god Thor himself, who can pick it up easily. Captain America, the nicest guy in comics, can at least make him wobble – and another hero introduced in Marvel Studios’ summer blockbuster even surprises Thor.

The real-world Mjölnir gets roughly the same effect. But rather than being fueled by the words of All-Father Odin, he performs his magic with magnets and a fingerprint scanner.

Place Mjölnir on a metal surface, turn it on, and four 12-volt, transformer-powered microwave-powered batteries activate an electromagnet strong enough that no one without superpowers can turn it off. But if you’re worthy of it, a flick of your thumb on the fingerprint scanner will deactivate the magnets and allow you to pick it up easily. Worthy, in this context, does not mean “kind hearted” but “already registered your fingerprint with the scanner”.

The bowels of Mjölnir.
The bowels of Mjölnir. Photography: YouTube / sufficiently advanced

This is not quite the real thing. You can’t throw the hammer at an enemy and then raise your hand until it comes back to you (again) and it doesn’t work at all on non-ferrous surfaces. But for pranking unwitting members of the audience, it’s pretty effective.


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