Energy=Magic?

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Thread: Energy=Magic?

  1. #1
    Member Stormcat's Avatar
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    Energy=Magic?

    The real key word that triggers my rage is the word "energy". When people start talking about positive or negative types, for instance, negative energy what are you talking about? What do you mean? Let's think about it, what does energy mean? Well, we know what it means, you know, energy from petrol when it's burned and moves a car and makes it move, it's like this. "This room has positive energy." Now, where the f*ck is it going, then? It's not moving. It's covering up such woolly thinking, such pathetic nonsense.



    And with those words, the great Stephen Fry opens this discussion on energy and perfectly surmises why I can't leave this plot hole in my story wide open!

    My Story features magic users. Except, it's not really magic, it's controlled energy manipulation. All matter has energy, rest is even considered energy! Wikipedia has a handy little chart describing all the various types of energy as well as the various equations used to calculate said energy. I want my "magic" to be as scientific as possible, to further my Knowledge vs. Superstition motif I'm going for in this story.

    My problem seems to be my writer's brain and my student's brain aren't collaborating on what exactly this energy manipulation can be used for. I've looked into various superpowers and some of them I just can't connect to any "science plus handwave", they seem too absurd! I want them to follow the laws of science, but at the same time, be just fantastic enough the casual observer would think it be magic. Can I get some help?
    Somewhere... Beyond the sea...

  2. #2
    In Dr Who they substitute a 'sonic screwdriver' for a wand to do the magic with, though they don't call it magic, a 'tool' of some sort might be useful, and 'superpowers' don't have to be spectacular, things like opening locked doors can be very useful. Jaunting, do you know 'Tiger tiger' ? It is being able to move yourself to a place you can visualise. Telekinesis, being able to move things from a distance, seems like a possible, but it would only look like you were doing it by thought alone. The premise of using the energy seems to lend itself to movement.
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  3. #3
    Energy isn't a 'thing' in itself, but a property of matter. Change the configuration of some system of matter and you've changed the energy. Maybe do a short course in thermodynamics if you really want to abide by current scientific understanding.

    Or you could say something like magic is just energy that does not obey conservation laws (hand waving by saying scientific sounding things), making it possible to change systems of matter without putting in energy (but getting plenty of energy out).


    Disagree with Mr Fry about the use of positive energy: it's not meant to convey the scientific concept of the potential to do work, but rather the psychological and behavioural effervescence associated with thinking positively. Not magic. Given its Greek root means something like active and work, it seems suitable for both.

  4. #4
    Member Stormcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olly Buckle View Post
    In Dr Who they substitute a 'sonic screwdriver' for a wand to do the magic with, though they don't call it magic, a 'tool' of some sort might be useful, and 'superpowers' don't have to be spectacular, things like opening locked doors can be very useful. Jaunting, do you know 'Tiger tiger' ? It is being able to move yourself to a place you can visualise. Telekinesis, being able to move things from a distance, seems like a possible, but it would only look like you were doing it by thought alone. The premise of using the energy seems to lend itself to movement.
    The only problem I can see with telekenesis is that air is a very poor conductor of energy, so making stuff fly around would take heaps of energy and you probably couldn't even lift items heavier than a few ounces.
    Somewhere... Beyond the sea...

  5. #5
    Energy can be conducted? Hey Terry D! You know about this?

    https://www.explainthatstuff.com/con...of-energy.html

    It WOULD take a lot of energy to perform telekinesis but you're already way into handwavium.
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  6. #6
    it's controlled energy manipulation
    It makes me think 'weaving energy and matter together, like weaving spells'.

    Telekinesis may be difficult, but how 'super' do you want your super powers to be? Being able to abstract a small piece of paper could have a big effect on a plot line and still sound possible.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Olly Buckle View Post
    It makes me think 'weaving energy and matter together, like weaving spells'.

    Telekinesis may be difficult, but how 'super' do you want your super powers to be? Being able to abstract a small piece of paper could have a big effect on a plot line and still sound possible.
    In order for it to sound plausible, first one must actually understand the science. Does pitchblende contain energy?
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  8. #8
    energy is e
    magic starts with m and ends with c

    I'm wondering if there might be room for e=mc^2 somewhere, but with mc being something about magic.


  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by moderan View Post
    In order for it to sound plausible, first one must actually understand the science. Does pitchblende contain energy?
    I don't believe this, sounding plausible is a feat that the most ignorant charlatans pull off quite regularly, and yes, everything contains energy in some form, but why did you pick on 'pitchblende' ?
    Visit my website to read and connect to my 'soundcloud', where you can listen to stories songs and more
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  10. #10
    Well, some people still believe in a flat Earth so i guess it depends who you want to sound plausible to.

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