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Another question from a sci-fi writer

  1. Jul 22, 2008 #1
    Hello all!

    And again, thank you for letting me ask these questions. And thank you so much for all your ideas, suggestions, and critiques.

    In my novel, there exists a steel room. The only way into and out of this room is a rather thick steel door. The room the door opens up to is made of the same substance as the door. The door fuses itself seamlessly to the room when it shuts.

    This is science fiction, dear friends. Allow for some ‘Yeah, this could work if only the universe functioned this way’. The hero has the power to tap into the energy of the particles residing in the Bulk or on other Branes and, through the willful creation of superstrings that link other Branes to our Brane, can transfer energy from foreign Branes to ours and vice versa.

    The hero needs to get through the door to the corridor behind.

    This is the question: What’s the best (read coolest) way to do it?

    I was thinking of trillions (one for each molecule) of self-contained micro-nuclear explosions around the edge of the door caused by tapping into another Brane and transferring a high energy particle stream into ours which causes the molecules on the outside of the door to fission (all extra energy gets transferred back to another Brane by the hero’s abilities). At which case, one simply needs to pull or push on the door to open it.

    Any better ideas?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 22, 2008 #2


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    Am I correct in understanding that this is a "prison-break" type of scenario?

    If the hero can transfer particles from one brane to another, maybe he could transfer his own particles into a brane wherein the room and the door do not exist, then back into this brane at a location just outside the door? It gets him out of the room without opening the door, which would get his captors scraching their heads. Of course, this brings up teleportation, which may be a xcan of worms you don't want to open (or have the worms exiting without opening...well, you know what I'm driving at), and could also result in a moment in which part of the hero's brain is in one brane and the rest is still here, so he dies.

    As an alternative, there must be some controll mechanism by which the owners of the door can oepn and close it when they wish. Since the act of pushing a button or turning a doornob with one's hand is an application of magnetic repulsion, perhaps he could manipulate a magnetic field to act as though a hand were activating the controlls, and let the door open the way it was built to.
  4. Jul 22, 2008 #3
    Your teleportation idea is good Lurch but, to keep things simple, I'm avoiding it like the plague (also, I really don't want this novel to have anything in common with the movie 'Jumper'). So far the hero can 'levitate' objects and bring them to him, and eventually, he'll be able to teleport them (as long as he has line of sight with the object), but there is no teleporting of the hero himself.
    And the door is sealed shut permanently, there is no button or mechanism, and there are no windows. The hero could not see where the button is or even knows how to work the system. In the room there is a light bulb hanging from from the ceiling however, if that helps...
  5. Jul 23, 2008 #4
    A room like that, where the door can seamlessly fuse with the walls and thus cease to exist as a door... And a light bulb. I'd think that the technology level as advanced as this should offer a lighting solution on par. It's this kind of fuzzy logic that has always frustrated me as a reader.

    Otherwise, what you have isn't giving us very much to work with. What would MacGyver do?

    Hmm. If he has some psychokinetic potential, how about overlapping that with psychopersuasion? Option 1: Tricks a passerby into releasing him. Option 2: bring a limited consciousness to the wall and persuade it to create an exit. That would be an unreasonably powerful ability, so you'll want to balance it with a consequential problem, such as the ethics of giving awareness to an inanimate object that now has to live with itself. Maybe that could result in some kind of interpersonal issue he'd have to deal with. -I think this would be more interesting if he discovers it accidentally, and needs to figure out how to keep it under control.
  6. Jul 23, 2008 #5
    I'm having a hard time figuring out how his powers would work and what would be considered realistic for such an ability. The only idea I come up with is the ability to transfer mass to the bulk and make matter permeable, or himself insubstantial.
    Hmmm... If he can create strings maybe he can collide them inside our brane creating a 'mini brane' or pocket of space in the location of the wall opening a hole in it?

    Considering the sorts of ideas you are using you might want to check an RPG called Mage: The Ascension for ideas on things your character and perhaps other characters can do. If you've never heard of it Mage is essentially a game of magic users whose 'magic' comes from an inate ability to manipulate the various facets of reality (e.g. space, time, entropy, ect).
  7. Jul 24, 2008 #6
    Thank you all for answering, it really helps out! And don't worry OAQfirst, the lighting solution has been addressed. The light bulb was there just to give you guys the opportunity to say something like: he can take the electricity from the light bulb and follow it backwards along the electron trail, or something like that.

    I think TheStatutoryApe is on to something when he says: If he can create strings maybe he can collide them inside our brane creating a 'mini brane'... I like that, somehow, colliding branes never occurred to me. Sounds intriguing. Hope Lisa Randall approves. lol!

    I was wondering something... You know that 500 trillion watt laser that the National Ignition Facility uses? How does that translate into GeV's? And how does that much power affect matter on the atomic (or smaller) level. What would the hero have to absorb, for lack of a better word, to be able to output that? In my novels any energy can be absorbed and transformed into any other via superstrings connected to other branes:ie kinetic energy can be transformed into electric, and so forth.

    A very, very simplified example of how the abilities work in my novel, that most people would recognize is Dragonball Z... When Goku makes that ball of energy in the palms of his hands and shoots it outwards... In my novel that could be explained by Goku first opening up a conduit (how does quantum well sound?) to another brane. He then creates a field that will contain the energy that is pouring in from a neighboring brane, once the field is filled to capacity, he then opens his palms, bursting the field bubble that contains the energy, and the energy pours forth outwards.

    Anyhoot, any comments would be really appreciated.

    And again, thanks for all your time!

  8. Jul 24, 2008 #7

    Ben Niehoff

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    Perhaps he could discover that the door is a single crystal, with all its atoms aligned. Then he could very carefully align his own atoms to fit through the gaps, and walk through the door.

    Of course, it might be best if he finds some way to open the door, because if you let him walk through walls or teleport, you will have a lot of difficulty challenging him later. If he's stuck somewhere and the reader knows he can teleport out, it will feel very contrived.

    I suppose he might be able to find the door opening mechanism by using the light source to hack into the network,
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