Slightly More Plausible Barriers Than Force Fields

In summary, a material that becomes tougher or less penetrable whenever a strong electric current is passing through it is more plausible than a force field. There is no material that becomes much tougher than a plain old chunk of metal, but a flexible barrier made of this material could be more effective. If they haven't been developed already, flexible barriers could be created using current technology.
  • #1
Lren Zvsm
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I am contemplating writing a science fiction story involving flexible barriers that can be erected in a very short time. Force fields are pervasive in science fiction, but from what little I've read, they're not very plausible.

Is there a flexible material, or class of materials, that becomes stronger or less penetrable whenever a strong electrical current is passing through it? If so, is it conceivable that such materials could be developed in the future if they haven't been developed already? Would this be more plausible than a force field?
 
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  • #2
Yes, I think such a material is vastly more plausible than a force field. Is there such a material now? I'm not certain. There's definitely no material that becomes much tougher than a plain old chunk of metal though. However, I think your idea would be excellent for applications where flexibility issues trump shear toughness and durability.
 
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  • #3
Lren Zvsm said:
if they haven't been developed already?
One can suspend particles such as iron in a fluid, and subject them to a magnetic field.
The solution will turn from a liquid to a sort of a solid.
Depending upon the size of the particles, one has a ferrofluid, or a magnetorheological_fluid.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetorheological_fluid
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrofluid

Also, another avenue to pursue, perhaps, is using a paramagnetic salt solution, or some other solution, for your story, whereby through ingenious engineering and physics, the solution turns more tough and rigid and acts as a force field. Maybe the ingenious engineering and physics is utilizing an ultra high current frequency of some sort. Here at least the panels can be transparent. And the frequency can be variable so that the opposition cannot break your code for the barrier and render it useless.
 
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  • #4
I can imagine a fluid or sand like material containing trillions of nanobots that link together mechanically to form a solid like structure. By selectively turning some off you could form openings or change the viscosity or create hidden dangers such a spikes or traps.
 
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  • #5
You could have some version of the Macross (anime) pinpoint barrier, where there isn't actually a complete barrier in place, but a defensive system capable of intercepting every incoming projectile before it crosses a designated boundary.
 
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  • #6
The electric flyswatter. Not really "stronger" but it is a "less penetrable barrier" when electrified.
 
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1. What are some examples of slightly more plausible barriers than force fields?

Examples of slightly more plausible barriers than force fields could include electromagnetic shields, energy shields, and kinetic barriers. These barriers use real-world principles of physics and technology to create a protective barrier.

2. How do electromagnetic shields work?

Electromagnetic shields work by creating an electromagnetic field around an object or area. This field can deflect or absorb incoming energy or projectiles, providing protection against attacks.

3. Are energy shields possible in real life?

While energy shields may seem like a concept from science fiction, there are actually some real-world technologies that could potentially create a similar effect. For example, plasma shields, which use ionized gas to create a barrier, have been proposed as a potential defense system for spacecraft.

4. How do kinetic barriers differ from force fields?

Kinetic barriers, also known as impact shields, work by using materials that can absorb or disperse the kinetic energy of incoming objects, such as bullets or projectiles. Force fields, on the other hand, use energy fields to deflect or repel incoming attacks.

5. Could we ever see these types of barriers used in our daily lives?

While these types of barriers are currently only seen in science fiction, advancements in technology and materials could potentially make them a reality in the future. However, the practicality and cost of implementing such barriers would need to be carefully considered.

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