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On Beyond Radiation
5.1.2001 by Professor Particle

One of the most important roles played by physics in the twentieth-century has been its inspiration of comic books. What's the Hulk without gamma rays? Spiderman without a radioactive spider? Superman without X-ray vision? Ummmm... okay, so maybe the only real contribution physics has made to mainstream comics is to show that radiation is your friend and doesn't actually lead to radiation sickness. More obscure comics, however, have gone farther to show just how WHIZ! BANG! POW! science can be.

Who can travel through miles of matter in a single bound? Who arrives in a burst of Cerenkov radiation? Neutrina, the Massless Wonder, that's who! You know she's supposed to be around, but where is she? She could be passing through you at this very moment and you would be completely unaware!

Neutrina was sent to Earth by her parents, Protor and Electrina, when her home-planet of Neutronia decayed. The Antares family adopted her family and raised her under the name Amanda. As Amanda Antares, she was virtually unnoticed. As Neutrina, the Massless Wonder, she was virtually undetectable!

In the latest storyline, titled The Solar Neutrina Problem, Neutrina has travelled to Japan to team up with Super Kamiokande. Super-K has learned that the evil organization, SNO, has begun stockpiling heavywater in its secret underground lair in Sudbury. Neutrina was always able to foil their fiendish plans by passing undetected through their defences, but their latest scheme threatens to render Neutrina's powers useless. She travels to the Sun in a desperate attempt to gain power. When she returns, Super-K makes a startling discovery: Neutrina has returned with only one third of her original strength! OOOOO! To top it off, he could have sworn that he saw 2 more figures emerging from the sun, each looking exactly like Neutrina! AHHHH! Super-K is confused! HMMMM?! His mass-sense is tingling! BZZZZ! He's got to act fast before SNO learns of this new information! SHKAPOW! Is Neutrina really massless? Which of the 3 Neutrinas is really his old friend? Will she be able to battle SNO in her weakened state? Get the next issue of "Neutrina, the Massless Wonder" to find out.

The Fundamental Four is one of the lesser-known supergroups. They assemble at their headquarters, The Unified Fieldhouse, and vow to combat those who would dare to break symmetry. Here's an overview for those of you not familiar with the members of The Fundamental Four:

The Electromagnetician (or The Human Coil as he is affectionately called)

The Human Coil can instantaneously assume the shape of a coil by shouting, "Coil on!" While in coil form, he can use his electromagnetician powers to lift heavy metal objects like old cars in junkyards, erase all information on floppy disks in a 5-foot radius, or attach himself to any fridge. Sometimes he can be annoying though. The other members of FF don't let him come with them to the beach anymore because he always yells, "BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!" whenever he steps over a coin.

Weak Wichards (AKA Mr. Fundamental)

Don't let his name fool you. In fact, Weak Wichards changed his name to Mr. Fundamental because villains were constantly pointing and laughing when he announced his name. Weak started out as a petty criminal who specialised in violating parity. Later, he was caught by The Elecromagnetician, and was convinced to unite with him. Now he only uses his mighty massive bosons to convert evil quarks and leptons to good.

The Strong

The Strong forms the nucleus of the group and is the glue that binds the team together. Literally. He is committed to uniting people and antipeople of all colours, be they red, blue, or green. Although the most powerful of the team, his weakness is that he only has a short reach. This means that he is often taunted from afar because people know there's nothing he can do about it.

Gravitational Girl

Her powers are considered the weakest in the group by some, but she is no less valuable than anyone else in the FF. For instance, only she can use the mystical properties of her gravitational lens to see around corners. She is able to combat enemies that are immune to Electromagnetician's powers such as the Swiss. She once defeated the evil knight, Sir Isaac Newton, with a strategically dropped apple to the skull. However, she has come under fire from people concerned that her space-time curvature sets a bad body-image example for young girls.

The Fundamental Four often team up with others when fighting in unfamiliar reference frames. Two of their most popular allies reside in the Fictional Fortress:

Captain Coriolis

He has the ability to spin the water in a toilet in whatever direction he chooses. Okay, not really. The shape of your plumbing, or the force of your pee is strong enough to defeat his measly power, but don't tell the Captain that.

The Centrifugal Gourmet
He can spin your lettuce until its dry. Errr... that's about it.

Alright, maybe there's a reason why real physics ISN'T included in comics.

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