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Probably the WEIRDEST Sci-fi related question ever posted!

  1. Sep 7, 2009 #1
    Hi there,

    First off, I hope this is the right place for this post. It's not a homework question so I can't really post it there. But it is a research based question.

    Ohh and my apologies that my first ever post should be to ask for help from you knowledgable peeps. It's just I'm way out of my depth on this one.

    First a little context.

    I’m an aspiring screenwriter currently writing a dark sci-fi story. It concerns one man’s life mission to achieve omnipresence. But sci-fi or not I need the science to be grounded in reality.

    I want his method to concern breaking his entire body down to atoms (hence why I’m basing my queries around general physics) and then scattering himself to the cosmos. Bear in mind the character is psychologically unstable so he obviously can’t achieve omnipresence (which is what drives him insane) he just thinks he can.

    Which leads onto my question. Albeit a strange one :)

    How could he achieve this (or believe himself to be achieving it)? What is the science involved? What machines/equipment/reactors would be required? Put simply, how does one break down a human being into atoms and then scatter them to the universe? Are there belief systems based around this? That we all belong to a vast cosmic oneness when we die?

    Anything would be helpful. I appreciate any of your input.

    (Told you it was a weird one :). Oh if this is the wrong place then could someone kindly move me on.... or just beat me with sticks. Whatever the protocol is here :) )
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2009 #2
    There is a simple way of achieving this goal. Just transfer an enormus amount of energy to the human body and you´ll get atomization and scattering. For example lie near a huge termonuclar explosion when exploding. Easy :)
  4. Sep 7, 2009 #3
    Thanks, zaphys. So if a termonuclear (is that thermonuclear) explosion where triggered in a reactor with the main character inside that would work?

    What would happen to the atoms then once he was vaporized?
  5. Sep 7, 2009 #4
    Of course, to be said that its a non-sense willing to be omnipresent in the universe as one is one when him/her atoms are liked as a pseudoclosed system (biological living) and as universe is infinte.
  6. Sep 7, 2009 #5


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    Swallow a Tsar bomb.
  7. Sep 7, 2009 #6
    To the atoms nothing but to some (few % of all) that may fusse, but nothing in general. It would cinematically work ;)
  8. Sep 7, 2009 #7
    Yeah. As I said, it's not that he'll ever achieve omnipresence or that it's even possible. It's more that he'll gradually go insane and die trying.
  9. Sep 7, 2009 #8
    Good then for your script.
  10. Sep 7, 2009 #9
    Having googled Tsar bomb, I'm guessing that might be logistically a little cumbersome .... or impossible even. :)
  11. Sep 7, 2009 #10
    So in keeping with the fragile psychological state of my main character, would it make sense (in his deluded head) that if he blew himself up using thermonuke in space then his atoms would be scattered over the universe thus achieving (in his mind) some kind of omnipresence?
  12. Sep 7, 2009 #11
    Of course. it'd make sense even for a common audience :)
  13. Sep 7, 2009 #12
    He should detonate in the deepest space possible too, otherwise many of his atoms will just settle on the planets and sun.
  14. Sep 7, 2009 #13
    Cool. Thanks, Zaphys.

    As you said, it's basically cinema so as long as the science holds up to an extent I'm okay with that. Nothing wrong with a bit of artistic license.

    I believe it's better known as Movie-logic :)
  15. Sep 7, 2009 #14
    Yes nice to help you I´ll be willing to see the movie :D
  16. Sep 7, 2009 #15
    Thanks, Academic. Anywhere in space that might be poetic place to detonate? Some cosmic tourist trap? :)
  17. Sep 7, 2009 #16
    Can't he simply find a expiring black hole, calculate the time of its super explosion and jump in right before it explodes (but he should not reach it before the explosion). Since he would not die until he is inside the black hole, and as the black hole explodes he would be nicely and evenly distributed in the space. There is a nice scientific explanation of that phenomenon in or just buy his book "death by black hole" may be very inspiring for your work
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  18. Sep 7, 2009 #17


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    Good news! It's a suppository.
  19. Sep 8, 2009 #18


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    Not easy to select place, if you wan't to be scattered throughout the Universe your atoms have to be fast enough (see escape velocity).

    Technically it is impossible though - as the Universe grows with the speed of light, he will be always left behind...

    Swallowing Tsar bomb was a poetic metaphore :wink:
  20. Sep 8, 2009 #19


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    I feel I should point out that as long as you can write convincing insanity, any means at all should suffice for the method -- depending on plot details anyways.

    My imagination paints a picture of a man who starts off with a reasonably accurate understanding of science, but starts to take a tour down crackpot lane -- his psychological need begins to replace empiricism as the justification for scientific theories. e.g. when he realizes Special Relativity would forbid him from every occupying any space outside of his future lightcone, he rejects it and starts to pursue more fringe theories.

    So down these lines, the thing you don't want is accurate, mainstream science: instead you want to go dredging for some nutcase theories that wouldn't contradict his desires.

    I confess I don't know enough examples crackpottery to suggest anything, though.
  21. Sep 8, 2009 #20
    Thanks everyone. Although I'm not quite there yet, all this is helping.

    The point is this is Sci-fi, so anything is possible. If I need him to find a blackhole he can build a "blackhole detector". Failing that a "BlackHole Generator".

    This is fantasy, sci-fi movie logic, so feel free to suggest anything and then it will be up to me to make it seem plausible within my mad little universe.

    I kinda like the blackhole idea at the moment, since I read up (and listened on youtube) as to how your body, battling between two opposing gravitational forces, would be ripped to atoms and reduced to a swirly. Then a super explosion....and bam!

    Although how exactly would one know the exact second of super explosion.

    Oh and how could one purposely create a blackhole (remember movie-logicwise :) )?

    I know scientists say the H cylinder thing could achieve that, but I wonder if that's just paper talk.
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