“Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound…"
—Wikipedia description of Superman
Geez, talk about all brawn and no brain. What’s faster: leaping over the world’s tallest building in a single bound or just running around it?
The world’s tallest building is the 828 m (~2,717 ft) tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Burj Khalifa appears to be less than 200 m wide. A world-class sprinter can run 200 m in about 20 s, but Superman, moving like a speeding bullet, can travel this in less than 1.0 s. If he were to leap over the building in a single bound, the minimum amount of time it would take is given by the equation,
t = 2 · [2 · (height) / (acceleration of gravity) ]1/2
= 2 · [2 · (828 m) / (9.8 m/s2) ]1/2
= 26 s.
Even with all that speed, Superman’s a little slow on the uptake. He could run around the building in about one-tenth the time.