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Thread: Energy=Magic?

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Stormcat View Post
    hmm... I suppose the potential energy could only be converted into kinetic energy, and the cup would either fly around the room or explode.
    Both of those need energy, if you are robbing the cup of energy for another purpose, like charging your phone, wouldn't it simply crumble as the forces holding it together were take away? If the cup is sitting on a high shelf there is potential energy, knock it off and it converts to kinetic which causes it to break when it hits the floor, the amount taken up 'flying' is minimal.
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  2. #22
    Actually there's no such thing as 'potential energy'. That's a calculation based on an object's physical properties and the amount of energy potential varies based on what sort of energy it could be converted into. Form instance, you can look at the cup's mass and the height of the shelf and calculate the amount of kinetic energy that would be released if it fell. That calculation would be different if the cup was on a higher, or lower, shelf, but nothing changes in the cup itself. It has no more intrinsic energy just because you move it. Likewise, based on the materials the cup is made out of it has a certain potential to release heat energy if it were burned (again, based on the material the cup is made from it might take far more heat to burn it than would be released). If the mass of the cup were somehow converted into energy (say by coming in contact with an equal mass of anti-matter) it would release energy based on the calculation E=MC2. In that respect every bit of matter has a potential to generate energy, but no hidden reserve of energy that can be tapped without some sort of conversion taking place.

    The answer to my question is, the cup would need to disappear. Poof! Gone. Which actually is a pretty fair solution to the problem. If your magic users somehow had the ability to convert mass into energy via E=MC2, they would have access to tremendous power. A small task would require the sacrifice of a small amount of matter, say a button or a small stone, but a major task might require the conversion of a larger, denser object like a gold candlestick.
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  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Stormcat View Post
    The energy in this story comes from the energy that already exists all around us. from the potential energy of the coffee cup next to your computer to the radiation energy beamed down upon us from the sun.

    As for the transmission, the magic-users can convert the energy forms with their minds to whatever form it needs to be. Convert kinetic energy from your foot tapping into electrical energy to power your phone, that sort of thing.
    right tool for the job.
    transducer.
    there's reasons for the bags,
    staffs,
    etc.
    jussayin'

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    Actually there's no such thing as 'potential energy'...
    Potential energy is as 'real' as kinetic or heat energy. They are all defined in terms of their potential to do work (at least classically)and all are a property of a system by virtue of its configuration.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by epimetheus View Post
    Potential energy is as 'real' as kinetic or heat energy. They are all defined in terms of their potential to do work (at least classically)and all are a property of a system by virtue of its configuration.
    Not really. I can measure heat (temperature) or kinetic energy (force), but I cannot measure potential energy. It is a calculation. That's because potential energy doesn't exist within an object, it exists within a system. A cup on a shelf contains no intrinsic energy in the absence of gravity, or motion. So, for the purposes of the OP you can't 'tap into' potential energy.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

    Visit Amazon and the Kindle Store to check out Reflections in a Black Mirror, and Chase

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  6. #26
    Member Stormcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    The answer to my question is, the cup would need to disappear. Poof! Gone. Which actually is a pretty fair solution to the problem. If your magic users somehow had the ability to convert mass into energy via E=MC2, they would have access to tremendous power. A small task would require the sacrifice of a small amount of matter, say a button or a small stone, but a major task might require the conversion of a larger, denser object like a gold candlestick.
    This makes sense, and I think you've helped me figure out where the "missing" energy comes from (not to mention this provides a good way for them to dispose of garbage).

    now my problem is, what sort of tasks can the magic-users do with this newfound energy?
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  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    Not really. I can measure heat (temperature) or kinetic energy (force), but I cannot measure potential energy. It is a calculation. That's because potential energy doesn't exist within an object, it exists within a system. A cup on a shelf contains no intrinsic energy in the absence of gravity, or motion. So, for the purposes of the OP you can't 'tap into' potential energy.
    I think you may be right, i need to look this up a little: i'll count it as 'story research'.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by epimetheus View Post
    I think you may be right, i need to look this up a little: i'll count it as 'story research'.
    He is right, Potential energy comes from the position of the object and is not actual energy until it is released. The apple hanging in the tree has potential energy, when it breaks free from the tree it shows the energy in the form of motion, and when it hits Newton on the head this is converted into sound and heat, but as long as it is in the tree this is only a potential.
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  9. #29
    Member Stormcat's Avatar
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    hokay, so I'm reading This Blog Post about making a rational magic system and it includes a bit about "scientific" magic systems. For those who don't feel like clicking on the link, it includes a bit at the end which says: (paraphrased) "The magic system doesn't have to be totally scientific, but totally logical and consistent."

    So far, based on Terry D's suggestion, the "cost" of the magical energy is the amount of matter needed to convert into energy (which vanishes upon consumption). Now I need to figure out an approximate "scale of power". I guess going back to scientific laws could help, but to my knowledge there aren't any that deal with the direct conversion of matter to energy.
    Somewhere... Beyond the sea...

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