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How would Magneto work?

  1. Jan 3, 2017 #1
    He seems to move metal around freely. I could imagine that he could do a push pull type of action, but thats about it. Even then, he would need to be able to alter his mass to avoid being repelled.

    Is it at all possible that a source of magnetic fields freely controls the field lines in such a way to completely determine the trajectory of magnetized objects at a location far away?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 3, 2017 #2


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    How would he work? He wouldn't. He works in the marvel universe because he can create magnetic fields of arbitrary strength anywhere within his vicinity.
  4. Jan 3, 2017 #3
    Yeah, there are definitely energy conservation issues.
  5. Jan 3, 2017 #4
    I know the answer is "it's fantasy" but I like these types of questions. I think we can rephrase it to ask how somebody might plausibly have a similar ability.

    We do have prosthetic devices now which people can learn to control (more or less) like a normal functioning appendage. What if, instead of a hand that opened/closed and grabbed stuff, we equipped a person with an electromagnet whose strength they could control in a similar fashion?

    I have no idea why we would do it or what the advantage would be.

    -Dave K
  6. Jan 3, 2017 #5


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    Well, in the world of sci-fic magic, sure. That's exactly what he does, AND he does it with out any corresponding reaction on his body. In the real world, this is just silly.
  7. Jan 3, 2017 #6
    I always assumed it had nothing to do with magnetism. He seems to be able to manipulate all metal, not just magnetic ones. He also seems able to apply forces that are far too strong for magnetism. Hasn't he stopped bullets in their tracks? Those are very small, very fast, and not magnetic.
  8. Jan 3, 2017 #7


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    Since it's all just magic anyway I hadn't really thought about it but those are excellent points.
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