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OCT
8
2 YEARS

Are Bond Gadgets Really Possible? Neil deGrasse Tyson Evaluates 007's Famous Toys

Invisible cars? Man-slicing lasers? The famed astrophysicist tackles which of the famed futuristic devices are actually plausible.

James Bond: Octopussy (1983)

While we marvel in 2012 over the longer screen and cool camera on our iPhone 5 (well, those of us that have them), James Bond has been flashing much more advanced tech for the past 50 years. He's amassed quite the enviable collection of gadgets and gizmos, thanks to his inventor friend Q, but how many of them would actually be plausible here in the real world?

According to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, at least a few of them are possible (though getting someone to manufacture the items may be a bit of a challenge).

Speaking with NPR, Tyson ruled out Bond's magnetic wristwatch from Live and Let Die, at least in so much as it not actually being able to ward off bullets -- since they're made of lead, not metal. Thanks for that, Q.

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He did, however, say that Goldfinger's diabolical laser, which was meant to cut Bond in half with its steady stream of heat, would be something that could be made ("but why not just shoot him?" he asks).

As for the Vanishing Aston Martin, that's more of a work in progress.

"I want one of those. Whether or not it's an Aston Martin," he says. "I mean — so first of all, there are invisible things in the world, and they're called transparent, OK. Glass is essentially invisible to the light that we see with our eyes. It's not invisible to other forms of light, like ultraviolet or infrared. The cameras on the other side of the car have to look at every possible angle that you would be viewing the car, from your side. And we haven't figured out really how to do that yet."

Listen to the full interview here.