SPOILER ALERT: Untangling ''Spider-Man 2'''s fusion confusion. EW answers some burning questions regarding the Spidey sequel

By Jennifer Armstrong
July 02, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
  • Movie

Before he goes bad, ”Spiderman 2”’s Doc Ock creates an energy source using fusion. We drop the science on the evildoer’s doings.

Is Ock’s device a scientific possibility or comic-book fantasy?
Actually, Ock’s experiment is ”not too far from being reality,” says the American Physical Society’s James Riordon. Fusion — when nuclei combine in a power-generating reaction (like the sun!) — is ”one of the most promising areas of energy research.”

Ock’s fusion has a gravitational pull powerful enough to rip the jewelry off bystanders. Ever lose a watch in the lab?
Well, no. ”They are among the most powerful magnetic fields generated in a laboratory setting,” Riordon says, ”but they don’t affect anything outside [the reaction].”

And Spidey’s idea to defuse the device by dumping it into the river?
Overkill. ”It takes a lot of effort to make this thing run at all,” Riordon says. ”You could stop it just by bumping it a little.”