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Thread: Riddle me this...

  1. #1 Riddle me this... 
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    I was hoping someone could help me out - I'm writing a bit of fantasy and so far whenever I have to invent a type of magic or add lore to the world, I try to base it on something a little more solid than just my imagination, give it substance and such. I have two scenarios that I would like to get some scientific views on, so hopefully someone can help. I love physics, I'm just not smart enough to follow most of it, haha.

    Scenario 1: Our hero creates a small 'orb' with the ability to break apart any item to more basic elements, but does not damage said item. If he were to insert his hand in this orb for instance, it would split his bones, muscle and veins apart, but leave his hand intact when he pulls his hand out again.


    I've been looking at (and trying to understand) quantum states - could this be used to explain the above type of magic? I would not try to explain it to the reader, just mention it (maybe dedicate a very brief description) but don't want to seem as daft as I really am in case I'm way off!


    Scenario 2 (probably not going to be used, but interesting anyway): Our hero creates one side of a portal on a planet, and another on the surface of a sun. Would the gravity from a sun crush the planet and suck it through the portal? What sort of forces are we talking here? I love the idea that it could potentially be calculated, but I don't even understand the math, let alone attempt it.


    Any help would be greatly appreciated, especially dumbing down all the complicated bits!


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  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman Secular Sanity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Potty View Post
    I was hoping someone could help me out - I'm writing a bit of fantasy and so far whenever I have to invent a type of magic or add lore to the world, I try to base it on something a little more solid than just my imagination, give it substance and such. I have two scenarios that I would like to get some scientific views on, so hopefully someone can help. I love physics, I'm just not smart enough to follow most of it, haha.

    Scenario 1: Our hero creates a small 'orb' with the ability to break apart any item to more basic elements, but does not damage said item. If he were to insert his hand in this orb for instance, it would split his bones, muscle and veins apart, but leave his hand intact when he pulls his hand out again.


    I've been looking at (and trying to understand) quantum states - could this be used to explain the above type of magic? I would not try to explain it to the reader, just mention it (maybe dedicate a very brief description) but don't want to seem as daft as I really am in case I'm way off!

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, especially dumbing down all the complicated bits!
    Hmm…that’s a toughie. Let's see...how 'bout order purely from entropy itself. You could make it where the orb turns off the normal attraction between molecules, which gets rid of the energy term, and just leaves the entropy term—turning off any potential energy contribution. There’s nothing saying that entropy can’t be reduced in one area as long as in another area a lot more entropy is produced. So, you’d have to take in account the entire system because the overall net energy has to increase. Maybe having it give off a significant amount of heat energy elsewhere. Perhaps, making it the cause of global warming itself.

    Just a thought.

    Random | Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Department of Chemistry,UC Berkeley | Berend Smit


    Daan Frenkel does a lot of work in this area. You could get a few ideas from his work.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daan_Frenkel


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    Oh nice, I'll have a look at that, thank you for the quick reply! I'll have a read once I have time tonight. Should I name you in the acknowledgements or kill off a character with your name? Plenty of those that I still need names for, haha. Thanks again.
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Nuh, okay...
    Generally I like my fantasy to be fantasy - the minute the author introduces "sciency stuff"1 to "explain" it it sorta wrecks the suspension of disbelief for me2.
    Having said that, the "quantum orb" could be a (highly) localised "field" wherein possible states of the universe are reified: i.e. inside that orb any possible "event" becomes real (presumably which of those possibilities is decided - consciously? unconsciously?4 - by the user/ victim/ actual owner/ random chance)
    I'll muse on the portal thingy and (probably) get back to you.

    1 Of course Pterry managed to get away with it partly because his "fantasy" was as much a satire on the modern world as it was "swords and sorcery". "Quantum" -with the implied scare quotes - was used to explain lots of stuff: its use was partly a piss-take of the over/ mis-use of the word by woomongers. (I won't even mention how real-world funny "peppermint" and "sex appeal" are when applied as names of resons3).
    2 How seriously would people have taken Elric if Stormbringer had turned out to be a double-talk technobabble "quantum-bound negative entropy state"? 5
    3 Reson itself being doubly funny...
    4 Plot point - the owner gains increasing control over time?
    5 Then again, JMS got pretty close to making it "science" rather than magic/ demonology... but he did leave out the Star Trek techbabble.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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    Forum Freshman Secular Sanity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Potty View Post
    I'll have a read once I have time tonight. Should I name you in the acknowledgements or kill off a character with your name? Plenty of those that I still need names for, haha.
    No, Iím good.

    Thanks, though.

    Dywyddyr is good at coming up names. He might be able to help you with that.

    Have fun!
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    Hi Dywyddyr, you're absolutely right, I don't want to make things too technical (I wouldn't be able to, either!), but I do find it helps me visualise and continue writing if I do a bit of preparation for a scene or something I'm having trouble with. I'm by no means an established author so this is just me trying to focus and keep myself interested enough to finish the damn thing. This is more so I can create limits in my mind as to what I'm allowed to have my characters do, or maybe putting a name or brief description to a spell that has some merit. I like the option

    I'll read up a bit on the links you added, thank you
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    Quote Originally Posted by Potty View Post
    I was hoping someone could help me out - I'm writing a bit of fantasy and so far whenever I have to invent a type of magic or add lore to the world, I try to base it on something a little more solid than just my imagination, give it substance and such. I have two scenarios that I would like to get some scientific views on, so hopefully someone can help. I love physics, I'm just not smart enough to follow most of it, haha.

    Scenario 1: Our hero creates a small 'orb' with the ability to break apart any item to more basic elements, but does not damage said item. If he were to insert his hand in this orb for instance, it would split his bones, muscle and veins apart, but leave his hand intact when he pulls his hand out again.


    I've been looking at (and trying to understand) quantum states - could this be used to explain the above type of magic? I would not try to explain it to the reader, just mention it (maybe dedicate a very brief description) but don't want to seem as daft as I really am in case I'm way off!


    Scenario 2 (probably not going to be used, but interesting anyway): Our hero creates one side of a portal on a planet, and another on the surface of a sun. Would the gravity from a sun crush the planet and suck it through the portal? What sort of forces are we talking here? I love the idea that it could potentially be calculated, but I don't even understand the math, let alone attempt it.


    Any help would be greatly appreciated, especially dumbing down all the complicated bits!

    My imagination is usually running wild, so i will give it a go.

    Scenario 1; A mass spectrometer comes to mind. But in stead of using it to magnetically pick apart matter, it could create and bend x-ray to infrared light to visible light, and portray it in the orb as an independent entity, while actually just separating different wavelengths of different sorts of tissues from one another.

    Scenario 2; Wormholes, or connections in "subspace" are so far as we know impossible. But if you be honest. It wouldn't put all the gravity of the sun on the planet, It would put the gravity of the size of the portal on the sun, on the planet. Which is limited to the size of the portal i would say. Also, the smaller the portal on the planet side, the bigger the gravity could be per per surface, while it wouldn't matter as a whole. The sun has about 28 times earths gravity, and 28 times gravity on a surface a few meters across. It would not be noticeable.. it would start sucking up air, at quite some speed though. (about 300m/s), still, this would only be noticable when you are very close.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  9. #8  
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    Kelea; now there's a good character name.

    New theory - Electromagnetic pollution causes global warming!
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