November 08, 2015
A long time ago someone asked a philosopher a question, and his response was "That question is a meaningless noise." The point being it was a string of words which didn't make any sense.
A lot of science fiction double-talk is meaningless noise. I've run into a few lately. One was "temperatures below absolute zero". Temperature is a measure of the amount of randomized kinetic energy possessed by the atoms in a mass. If it's a gas, that resuts in pressure on the container. At Absolute Zero, there is no energy at all; the atoms stop moving and the pressure is zero. How can there be anything less than that? It would require negative energy which is another meaningless noise.
Another was "anti-graviton". Three of the four forces have now been united, the triumph of modern physics. The Electric Force, the Strong Force, and the Weak Force are all mediated by particles, respectively the photon, the gluon, and the weak vector bosun.
Physicists would really really like to make gravity fit into the same model, with a hypothesized "graviton" being the mediating particle. But in the only theory of gravity we have, General Relativity, gravity isn't actually a force. It's a side effect of non-Euclidian distortion of space time caused by the presence of mass.
In other words, there is no such thing as a graviton. Anyway, the mediating particles for the three forces don't have anti-particles, so even if there is such a thing as a graviton, why would it have one?
I myself made up one a long time ago: polarized sound. See, thing is, sound is a longitudinal wave, and you can't polarize longitudinal waves. (Light, by contrast, is a transverse wave and those polarize nicely.)
It ain't a term, but ice power (e.g. Gray in Fairy Tail) has always bothered me. Cold isn't a thing, it's the absence of a thing. To warm something up (Natsu) you add energy to it. All well and good. Making heat is not only completely acceptable, it's impossible to avoid at least some of that happening. (See the Second Law of Thermodynamics.) But freezing something means draining energy out of it. Where is that energy going?
The usual handwave is, "Well, it isn't our universe so our physical laws don't apply." Yeah, right. Or if not that, then "Shut up and look at the boobs, you nerd."
If you've got magic that facilitates the transfer of energy, then adding heat (generating fire) isn't fundamentally different from removing it (generating ice, though of course there's more to ice than just the cold). You're taking energy from one place (wherever the magic comes from?) and moving it to another place. It doesn't even necessarily have to violate the conservation of energy, though it's not like most magic in the show holds to that principle anyway.
It may even be easier to move the energy in that direction. Grey can make a LOT of ice and has very fine control over it; Natsu has plenty of oomph but still can generate fire only in limited ways.
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at November 08, 2015 12:29 PM (v29Tn)
"and the weak vector bosun."
It's a naval force.
Posted by: Brett Bellmore at November 08, 2015 12:49 PM (l55xw)
Posted by: Wonderduck at November 08, 2015 05:32 PM (a12rG)
Now I'm imagining a story where the "good guys" and their deities have a secret, vested interest in letting the "bad guys" exist, because they need the users of death & destruction magic to keep the mana in balance, so they can keep using healing & creation magic. (I would be unsurprised to find out that someone has written a world like that already.)
Posted by: Mikeski at November 08, 2015 11:01 PM (hAtXl)
Posted by: ubu at November 09, 2015 11:14 AM (SlLGE)
Posted by: Jordi Vermeulen at November 09, 2015 12:42 PM (9BWts)
It's like Leprechauns watching the pots of gold disappear and getting heat, cold, wind and rain in place. "We have weather already, thank you. Stop taking our magic!"
Posted by: topmaker at November 09, 2015 04:03 PM (6stZH)
For that matter, suppose the cooling effect doesn't stop at your skin? Instant hypothermia, you could be almost completely incapacitated, and even die without prompt care. Just a few degrees would be enough to render you unconscious.
Likewise, raising an opponent's body temperature a mere 5 degrees C would almost instantly incapacitate them, and very quickly lead to brain damage unless reversed.
Really, when you're playing around with magical heating and cooling, and not littering the area with corpses, you're looking at something just as selective as the MCSA. Something that's heating and cooling inanimate objects, but very carefully NOT heating or cooling living flesh.
Posted by: Brett Bellmore at November 09, 2015 04:09 PM (l55xw)
Posted by: Brett Bellmore at November 09, 2015 05:50 PM (l55xw)
The way I worked out involved opening a portal to the bottom of the deepest trench in the ocean, and letting some of the hyperpressurized water spray through it into the terrestrial environment. The sudden pressure release would make gases trapped in the water vaporize, and the abrupt absorption of heat energy to enable the gases' expansion would chill the area to near or below the freezing point of water, most likely freezing the water itself into ice, and probably anything else nearby.
Anyone with more scientific knowledge than me care to speculate if such an act, were it possible, would in fact cause the spray of ice that I envision? I'm certainly not a physicist, and have no idea if there is some gap in my understanding that would result in a different effect, like a disappointing stream of very cold but not actually freezing water.
Posted by: Tatterdemalian at November 09, 2015 10:56 PM (4njWT)
A typical fire hose is rated for 200-500 psi. You can use it for crowd control, pushing people around.
A typical water jet cutter is rated for 30,000-90,000 psi. You can use it to cut things out of steel plates.
The bottom of the Marianas Trench is about 16,000 psi...
You won't be so much "coating people in ice" as "making instant Soylent Green."
The last thing you'll get is a "disappointing stream"...
Posted by: Mikeski at November 09, 2015 11:29 PM (hAtXl)
"[...] the pressure would easily be enough to fold it up and suck it through. Cooool."
Posted by: Mikeski at November 09, 2015 11:43 PM (hAtXl)
Posted by: Wonderduck at November 10, 2015 06:35 PM (a12rG)
Posted by: Siergen at November 11, 2015 01:09 PM (De/yN)
Enclose all spoilers in spoiler tags:
[spoiler]your spoiler here[/spoiler]
Spoilers which are not properly tagged will be ruthlessly deleted on sight.
Also, I hate unsolicited suggestions and advice. (Even when you think you're being funny.)
At Chizumatic, we take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately.
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