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Photons and neutrons [Pseudo-science warning]

  1. May 14, 2008 #1
    Before you go on: I had no idea were to actually post this, as I found no other good forums on the net where you could discuss physics. If a mood locks or moves this topic, I fully understand. Please don't flame the thread though. Leave that to the mods :)

    After playing the game Mutants and Masterminds yesterday, a friend of me started a discussion of me regarding the character "Quick", who's able to move at speeds of 4000 kph (2500 mph).

    Now, these things are true about the character in the pseud-scientific universe we play in:
    • He's described as being of pure energy
    • He gained the ability to move at such speeds from a photonic boom (a stream of photons hitting eachother at an exact angle near him)
    • He has the potential to move near the speed of light ( c ), but hasn't moved faster than 25 000 kph this far)

    We discussed, through our small scientific knowledge, how this could be possible and I proposed the following idea:

    Neutrons have an electric charge of 0 (or at least approaching 0 as far as I know) and could thus be replaced by photons (as they too have an electric charge of 0). This would occur when the photons of the "photonic boom" hit at a precise angle nearby and thus swallowing him in the stream and replacing his neutrons with photons.

    This would allow the photons to grab the protons and the electrons surrounding them and push them into a high speed movement. The atomic forces should prove resistant enough to keep the atoms themselves togheter at such "low" speeds as 4 000 kph, altough higher speeds could prove a problem.

    Now, what we couldn't even get our minds around, is how such a thing would even be possible! So I'm looking for some suggestions, input and comments about the idea in general.

    Other explanations are of course welcome too, if you can whip up something that's much better than mine (which problably made some of you cry and want to ban me from this forum :)).
  2. jcsd
  3. May 14, 2008 #2


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    Heh. I've got my M&M book right here beside me...

    I doubt you'll get much of an answer here, as this kind of thing requires a tremendous level of woo-woo handwaving and suspension of disbelief.

    Try http://www.herogames.com/forums/. Hero Gamers looove to look at the nuts & bolts of characters.
  4. May 14, 2008 #3


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    Welcome to PF, Gemstone.
    As Dave said, this is outside of the boundaries of science. On the other hand, I understand your desire to achieve some scientific authenticity in your fictional world. I read and write science fiction, and I want my science to be believeable. Bottom line is, you pretty much have to forget it. You can come up with some stuff that will fake out non-scientists (which a lot of charlatans do for profit), but it will never be real.
    I just realized what time it is; I'm off duty and must close up shop. Will resume this ASAP (but it might be a while; W has supper waiting).
  5. May 14, 2008 #4

    Chi Meson

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    The first point: if he is made of "pure energy," this implies that he is made up of light, or at least made up of a field (electric field, magnetic field, strong nuclear field, etc). Anyway if he is made up of light, then he must travel at the speed of light, and nothing else.

    Other than that, since it is not science, then "anything goes." No one is right or wrong if it is all made up anyway.
  6. May 14, 2008 #5
    He's described as being as being of pure energy, which implies he could be partial energy and just looks like being energy.

    Let me ask the question then, would it be possible to bind photons into an atom? what kind of forces would that require?
  7. May 14, 2008 #6


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    Well, atoms absorb photons all the time, the energy of which goes into either exciting the electrons into higher orbitals or into kinetic energy of any molecular bonds. But that's pretty run-of-the-mill.
  8. May 14, 2008 #7
    now that's called idiocy from my part. was I did mean to ask is: is there any know state were a photon can replace a neutron at all? Seeing how they share electrical charge
  9. May 14, 2008 #8
    Neutron have additional properties, like mass, spin, weak charge, and they are made up of quarks wich are themselves electrically charged. Not very easi to find anything suitable for your purposes.
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