Rules for Buckyballs

In summary, the author is writing a science fiction novel in which two children and a bitter maid (via scientific accident) are scanned and copied through a tear in the membrane separating our universe and his make believe universe. The game is designed to train participants to control the motion of objects with their will. The purpose of the game is to deliver scrolls urgently needed by the protagonist's society
  • #1
I am completing a science fiction novel. The novel takes place in a universe that is twin to ours. Two children and a bitter maid--via scientific accident--were scanned and copied through a tear (created by resonance) in the membrane separating this universe and my make believe universe.
In this novel, I want to create a game. The game takes place inside a stadium, which is really a giant tube. Spectators may view the game outside the tube, though participants within can see nothing, to include that they cannot see through the tube, or even see the tube that they are within.
There are only two participants in the make believe game I have named, Buckie Ball.
The participants must enter, each one into their own buckie ball pod. The goal is for each participant to gain expertise in using their own will to control "the will" of the buckie ball when it comes to a slit, or even when other, smaller buckie balls are emitted with "wills" designed to bombard the larger ones.
I realize it's mere fiction. Still, I would really appreciate help from the science community. What hard rules must I implement as I write this chapter, rules to make this 'believable,' if that is even possible?
Also, another terrible problem. In my novel, pacifism has become a matter of strict obligation--and is sternly enforced by a morally superior governor's appointment of her own, Pacifist Militia. Thus, many citizens are now living in hiding, lest she cast them away--over the Lonely Ocean to the treacherous castaway isles.
The purpose for the Buckie Ball game in my novel is odd, and maybe not even possible to pull off, while keeping it believable. The game is really the way the outcasts are training individuals to control these buckie balls, so that they may be used to deliver a multitude of scrolls needing urgently delivered, but delivered in a manner where the buckie ball operators will not be detected.
So, how do I pull that off? How do I get the buckie balls outdoors, excite them into superposition, and have my character's using their training to navigate them as they drop the urgent scrolls throughout Hero Island?? Must I create travel tubes--because, then these would be detected...ugh. I REALLY believe that this novel MUST have buckyballs written into it. The name of the novel is, The Quantum Accident!
Physics news on
  • #2
Participants controlling the motion of objects with their will is very soft science-fiction, unless you give the participants some tools (e. g. electrodes measuring their state of mind and then moving the balls around accordingly).

If the participants were helmets (also blindfolds?) and the whole buckyball motion thing is just like a computer game, then that is perfectly possible, but then I don't see the application aspect.
  • #3
This comes in very handy. Yes, it is soft science fiction, as it is a novel written for children. It is designed to gain young reader's interest in science--to spark their imagination, their interest in science pursuits, and it uses ridiculous comedy to teach moral lessons. I'm not going for a nobel winning, world changing novel as Asimov, Wells, Bradbury, or any of the other hard sci-fi authors. Be that as it may, I care deeply about my reader--I am an early forms education teacher, in the
U. S. Thus, I care about my students, and I care about the youngsters who may read my novel. Therefore, bouncing this off minds such as yours means more to me than I can express--I am grateful for your response: extraordinarily grateful.
Now, they will have a panel within the highly complex pod; the pods are large enough to fit a grizzly bear, so we are talking about trying out the double slit experiment with asteroids--which I had read could be feasibly accomplished, were the asteroids isolated from the time of emission to detection.
I am a literacy major--not a science major. However, because I love to read, with the exception of accounting, every subject is my favorite--including science !
Still, I have never specialized in mathematics, nor in science--thus, I end up doing A LOT of independent reading and research, just to pen this novel. I've been working on this, while also teaching--which takes up most of my time--for six years, now. I have been fairly successful at writing generally believable science into my novel, mostly due to Hawking's books, and in particular, his introduction to me of Kurt Gödel's 'incompleteness theorem,' which conveys to this layperson's mind: Godel worked hard to prove how impossible it is to prove all true statements, even in the arena of arithmetic.
Because of Gödel's idea, I began to imagine. I began to imagine a way to help cultivate in children a love for science through a story, where Gödel's idea seemed to tell me that the sky was not the limit--Godel inspired me to write a sci-fi book for youngsters, yet it was Hawking who inspired me to be cautious about making it as believable as is possible when sitting about, 'making things up.'
Here is what I want to draw on from your response to this post: something virtual, as in gaming. Although Quantum Accident takes place during the months leading up to Pearl Harbor in 1941, the universe making up the majority of the story's setting is not an identical twin to our universe, and planet Earth--the two systems are as 'fraternal' twins, which accounts for the fact that, unlike some children's fantasy which employs magic to move characters into make believe worlds, in my novel, the age of both systems (universe's) is nearly identical--save that one is microseconds 'older.' It means that the number of the year on one planet is the number of the year in the other. So, not only do the characters experiences rely on science AND NOT magic, but the events going on on planet Earth are paralleled on this twin planet. And, the twin planet possesses aspects of reality that are not present on planet earth--such as waters that radiate with a bluish hue that is not destructive, as the radiation of, say, radium, etc. Thus, virtual gaming as a means of delivering a set of scrolls without ever being detected by the 'bad guys' may not be as far fetched as it obviously would be on Earth, back in 1941.
Tell me: is there any way to design a fictitious buckyball, such that it might be used as a vessel that escapes detection whenever excited into superposition?? Or should I just cut this chapter??
  • #4
My main problem is this: how do I excite the bucky pod into superposition without: destroying the creatures using their will to manipulate the panel within AND without the presence of a detectable tube for creating vacuum?? Is there ANY way to do this, fictionally speaking, that would make it believable enough as not to be laughable to the science community??
This is the ONLY chapter in my novel that all my research has failed me! I mean, I'm thinking that the only option is to creatively destroy the chapter: Buckie Ball:-/
  • #5
Hoverdasher said:
which I had read could be feasibly accomplished, were the asteroids isolated from the time of emission to detection.
But they cannot. Even if you could magically cool the whole experiment to ridiculously low temperatures and eliminate any electromagnetic field: you cannot avoid gravity.
Hoverdasher said:
Yes, it is soft science fiction
Okay, then just don't bother about physics. Explaining physics that does not work is the worst possible option. Just use whatever is suitable for your universe, and don't start explaining why your universe is like that.
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  • #6
You are beginning to sound soft. I'm not ready to destroy the chapter just yet. There must be a means. And, I do not explain--as an author, I SHOW. I know you are up to the challenge--come on. If I must "not bother with physics," then I must eradicate this chapter, period.
How about--the pods are controlled as some pod inside a television game system--yet, via the curvature of space-time, there exist slits through which scribes--which have weight and take up space and are not in a superposition state--might be fired through, thus delivered to the citizens, without the outcasts ever being detected. Would this work?
  • #7
In this manner--the scrolls ARE as buckyballs, er, well--not quite: they are small enough to alternate between objective material (particles) states and wave-energy states?? they are emitted through slits between the strings I've read about that sometimes pair up and overlap. Probability is what the characters are trying to overcome--they are challenging 'the most likely' results, using the tools and panels at their disposal to cause the 'most unlikely,' and even 'the impossible' to occur...hmm.
  • #8
Here is a challenge: in the world of make believe, can resonance create enough tension within those paired strings, AND could those come into contact with the twin universe's planet--AND could this cause a temporary superposition state of the surrounding material matter--just temporary enough, to emit those scrolls between slits in the paired strings, which in a matter of microseconds would reach their full load, thus breaking off from the planet to their ultimate destruction?
Could resonance suspend gravity by superimposing an entire planet for a brief spell, thus effectively removing the 'm' from all your gravity equations...and, could this occur with the pair of strings taking the brunt of the impulse of momentum, such that the planet and its creatures suffer minimal damage.
As for super cooling--such an event would remove all heat--very briefly--save the heat absorbed by the unfortunate pair of strings (with the unfortunate natural harmonic frequencies)...
Oh, ugh. Hmm.
  • #9
spheres of very light supermagnets that surf the magnetic field?
  • #10
OMG--you are totally who I believed you were! My hero! I feel I ought to name one of my creatures after you, man! Sheesh. Why did I not think of it.
Ahh, totally mean it: YOU=MY HERO!
(a.k.a. K. L. Johnson)--Katie, for short. Hoverdasher is merely the name of my quantum professor--the one who reluctantly gathers youngsters for touring his memoirs--literally. I mean, the creature actually 'experiences' each traveler with time as it is, whether it was, or has not yet occurred...relative to his young touring guests, who arrive to enter his vessel: Apprenticeship--from our own modern era--as well as more novel modern eras, which creatures such as myself and yourself have as of yet never experienced...well, Hoverdasher's guests have experienced them--actually, each guest leaves knowing more than I will learn in an entire lifetime, to include two complete and unified theories of everything--everything that is matter, and everything that actually matters! (I'm cracking myself up, over here...)
Did I say, you are my hero, totally...
Once I finish my degree, I'll hold a PhD in literacy--I say--let us pretend. Alright, then. The now is past and the future is arrived: A round of A+'s for you, Sir!
  • #11
You have to admit, though--the idea of the twin quantum strings coming into contact with Delcimer (the twin planet), altering its rate of rotation, AND experiencing unwelcome transmissions from creatures below, who are manipulating transmitters that emit energy at frequencies almost perfectly matching those of the twin strings, not so perfectly those of Delcimer, though just enough to increase amplitude such that, in conjunction with the changes induced by Delcimer's contact with these highly tense strings, such that Delcimer superimposes for mere microseconds, and sustains little damage, due to the strings' absorption of the awful, awful increase in amplitude...etc.
You have to admit that, well--at least it sounds very interesting. I wonder, hmm. What if...what if...

No--too awful. Too complicated to SHOW any reader, let alone how complicated it would be to write, and not neglecting to mention how much like my readers being made to fill in two-hundred-thousand sum tables...or to count the edges, faces, and vertices of every conceivable form to include irregular forms! How could I! Your idea is clean. It is elegant. This is what my readers shall get--instead of getting dropped into a hole with the density of 20,000 black holes and 150,000 neutron stars, cubed!

I'll admit. Sometimes, I do get carried away.

You will laugh when I tell you what my next book is...I've already started it; and it is a grown-up book.

Ok. Here goes.

I've been cheating on my current novel, QA. Behind her back, I've been composing a story about a man from our era who is convinced beyond doubt that his IS, Socrates! Of course it is not the deans and professors who come and sit with him beneath the alders...engaging him with their many questions. No, they are above all that. Instead, the young undergraduates are the ones who take the old man seriously. And I mean, they take him terrifically serious! It involves no science fiction, but it does cover most of the philosophy humans have pondered throughout recorded history--and some philosophy never pondered: novel philosophy:-)
  • #12
Thanks, again, john101

OMG--look at the time! I need to get to work! This chapter just may write itself, and what a dread that would be!
  • #13
Here is a final question. The Quantum Accident. Hmm. Because my children's sci-fi novel is nearly complete, and I do have a publisher ready to consider it--I wonder about the title. I mean, what do you think:

Do you think a title with the word, Quantum, in it--do you believe this may be hackneyed to death? Perhaps, I ought to be striking up new ideas for its title??

There is a cello in the novel, perhaps a title relating to all the hubbub surrounding, String Theory

Or, perhaps something involving division by zero?

Maybe, a title pulled from all the rumors trickling down to this small layperson's confounded ears, per mathematicians calling out for necessary, additional dimensions...novel math languages, and the likes--and to think: we are STILL not down to brass tacks, when it comes to properly modeling the atom.

Oh. And, bother titles. I've got to get writing.
  • #14
I've got a little bookshop with a childrens section. As I sort and shelve books I think I would take a second look at a book called The Quantum Accident.
  • #15
john101 said:
I've got a little bookshop with a childrens section. As I sort and shelve books I think I would take a second look at a book called The Quantum Accident.

Well, I will. If you are saying that there already exists a book with that title, I have scores of back-up titles, such as, The Fruits of Victory, and Professor Hoverdasher Recalls his Memory, or simply, Memoirs of a Quantum Professor. I can assure you, the two books, if they do share common title, they are absolutely not the same book! Mine is unpublished, just completed--took me six years to complete it. This final chapter, Sir Buckie Ball, is not the last chapter in my 103,000 word sci/fi novel for children; it is merely a chapter I have always wanted to play around with...
  • #16
Plus, I feel my current title, with the word, Quantum--may make it a bit hackneyed.
  • #17
No. Not at all. I'm not saying there is another book with that title. I'm saying that I sort so many books (it's a secondhand book shop) I often just glance at titles. Most are predictable. Some are interesting. The interestingly titled books I pause to read more of, or 'take a second look' at.

'Professor Hoverdasher Recalls his Memory' is interesting too.

edit add: I've re read my post and can see how I could have put that sentence better. My apologies. I'm looking forward to reading your book. :)
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  • #18
Wow, you are amazing. So do you believe original title alright, or worth second glance? I'm ready to submit after Sir Buckie Ball... and any changes in title...
  • #19
Well, my interest in The Quantum Accident possibly stems from my interest in Physics. It also fits in the Sci-Fi genre. I like it.

Professor Hoverdasher Recalls his Memory seems to me more whimsical and at the same time topical as kids no doubt experience someone in the family with a memory problem. Perhaps not as Sci-Fi as the other one.

I, personally, think a short title is better in the long run, for young adults. Little kids seem to like long funny titles.
  • #20
If getting your book into stores is a goal you should do some research into how publishing works. Unless you're going for a self publishing model (which requires you to do a lot of non-writing related work yourself that you may not be qualified for or have the industry muscle/contacts to excel at) you'll need to find a publisher. Generally things like titles are decided upon by the publisher, in consultation with the author sure but along with cover art they are far more a marketing decision than an authorial one.
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  • #21
Ryan_m_b said:
If getting your book into stores is a goal you should do some research into how publishing works. Unless you're going for a self publishing model (which requires you to do a lot of non-writing related work yourself that you may not be qualified for or have the industry muscle/contacts to excel at) you'll need to find a publisher. Generally things like titles are decided upon by the publisher, in consultation with the author sure but along with cover art they are far more a marketing decision than an authorial one.

I must complete two chapters before thinking about getting my book into book stores. Still, I thank you for your post, as I should certainly go to extreme lengths, now--that I may avoid the administrative tasks you have outlined, relating to self publication models.

I covet, DAW.

As Rudy Rudiger dreamed about playing football for the Irish at Notre Dame, so I dream of one day having my manuscript accepted for publication by DAW Publishing House.

Though, I've more than one egg--as well as a multitude of other baskets in which I might place them.

Thus, should I receive say, hmmm: should I receive one dozen rejection letters from DAW Publishing House, then I shall turn to other publishing houses.

Each have already been carefully selected and placed about my abode as an array of splendid flowers. They are as spires standing with sturdy stems-- valiant soldiers, they are--all housed within vases of diverse shape and size standing guard in strategic areas located at confidential coordinate distances from the one point in my world, which has dimension: my literary wardrobe safe (which is the point). (Ha)

I must FIRST complete "Sir Buckie Ball," and "Up Against the R. A. F." These are two of the three final chapters I need to complete prior to seeking a publisher or agent.

The third? Well, the novel opens with a prologue, 'Disambiguation," and it ends with an epilogue, "Compendium."

I completed "Compendium" a couple weeks back.

As for the other two, well--let me just say this: a believable chapter detailing a father from the U. S. who is attempting to convince the Royal Air Force to conduct a south to north flyover with their own fleet of Meteor aircraft--across the continental United States for the express purpose of assisting a father in framing a personal problem, as per his two unconscious children resting alien-like in twin beds in a hospital in the twin cities of Minnesota--well, good luck to me on making that chapter into something 'believable!'

It would seem easier to compose the other chapter; the chapter where human-sized bucky-pods--designed for training purposes in time of war via the nasty game of "Double Slit Extermination"--well, this just seems more engendered to plausibility, than penning a chapter about a father showing up in Europe for the express purpose of going up against the R. A. F.

All I have to say is, "Oy! I'm in for it, now."

As for publication and the decision of a house to name my novel something other than its given name--well, here is what I have to say about that.

Literary agents and publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts are similar to, er, well: to fairies dancing about on the heads of so many stick pins poked into the map of some planet that cannot be proven to exist--e. g. Planet Delcimer.

If I should ever receive a letter from a publishing house that does not regret to inform me yadda yadda--

If I should ever receive that mythical letter that does congratulate me after having decided to publish my book...

Such an offer would place my book's title and cover into their proper perspective--suddenly. For now, I call my book by name, Quantum Accident.

On the day someone decides to publish my book, I will call my Editor by his or her name, and do just as he/she asks--down to the last detail, from revisions to omissions to beginnings and endings, and yes, to title and book cover design!
  • #22
For my chapter on bucky balls, I have decided to design a game of collision used for training in time of war on a planet named, Delcimer. The training is embedded within a game where both the empirical and non-empirical collide as opponents work to move their pods through one of the two slits at the end of a long shaft. The game will be called: "Agree to Disagree."
The training will be facilitated by a creature named, Sir Buckie Ball.
In this manner, I am exposing and hopefully inspiring youngsters to explore the science behind such events as, the double slit experiment, and the dual nature of certain discrete particles.
I simply refuse to do disservice to the science community by attempting to design a make believe game involving human-sized buckyball pods that the two human children enter and experience what Hawking described in the Grand Design--and to do so with such erudition as to somehow make it believable! I have no such scholarship. I am not at liberty to design such a game. However, I am able to introduce ideas that inspire youngsters to do their own investigating, their own imagining and designing, etc.
Let me know your thoughts...
  • #23
Floating in a ball in a vacuum you might be able to maneuver with electrostatics. Touch an edge with a conductive pole and it should pick up a charge. Use two conductors one positive and negative (insulated). Like charges repel opposite charges attract. Generate the charge by rubbing feet on a smaller carpeted ball (maybe PVC). Maybe generate the charge directly on the cage and build up the opposite charge holding another part of the ball.
Generating a shock with carpet and the static cling in laundry are physics experiments/experiences most children have access too.

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