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Brandon Sanderson / 15/16th Metal mystery (SPOILERS AHEAD)
« on: January 28, 2011, 02:41:06 AM »
As was suggested to me, I created a new thread on this subject (the old thread I reference is located here:


Perhaps we're looking at this problem the wrong way.

We're talking about metals, things that have existed in OUR world, things our scientific community understands in great detail.

Things we ALREADY have great knowledge bases about, like the Periodic Table of the Elements.

Instead of looking solely toward the book, we should look toward modern Chemistry.

The Ars Arcanum - and the description of the usage of each metal in the books - holds clues about them.

For Example:

When exposed the same type of radiation (burning metals?), different chemical elements/compounds will give off energy of differing intensities (allomantic powers?) and at different frequencies (allomantic pulsings?), producing visible light of different colors. If the metals do give off metal in pulses, then it's possible that the flow of power seems constant because the pulses themselves are of sufficient strength as to lapse so marginally that the lapse is hardly felt. (see: reference image below)

Perhaps it's worth going back through the books to find the description of the pulsing of each metal, and then compare this with the properties of their real-life constituents?

Does Brandon have a secret love of chemistry that he's chosen to share with us? :=)


That is an example of a sine wave, used to measure the frequencies of different types of sound and light.

If you're measuring energy that's given off in pulses, as sound and light theoretically are, then what's to assume you can't measure allomantic powers the same way (especially if those pulses are produced by a reaction with well-known and publicized metals)?


Sorry. I didn't realize this thread was already quite old, but I couldn't pass it up. It reminded me of one of those brain teaser puzzles I read as a kid.

Bear in mind I don't have the correct percentages of each of the metals handy, so at this moment it's not possible for me to do a detailed analysis of each of the allomantic metals.

HOWEVER... several things immediately stuck out to me as I read this book. And some of the pushing metals are actually composed of the pulling metals

The PULLING metals are chemical elements; the PUSHING metals are chemical compounds; that is, the PUSHING metals are actually more than one element.

Iron - used in pulling metals toward you (or you to them, if they weigh more than you)
Steel - used in steelpushing (coinshot). Steel is typically comprised of part iron, and part of several other elements or chemical compounds:

Quote from: wikipedia
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten.[1] Carbon and other elements act as a hardening agent, preventing dislocations in the iron atom crystal lattice from sliding past one another. Varying the amount of alloying elements and the form of their presence in the steel (solute elements, precipitated phase) controls qualities such as the hardness, ductility, and tensile strength of the resulting steel. Steel with increased carbon content can be made harder and stronger than iron, but such steel is also less ductile than iron.

Tin - Used to enhance the five senses (although taste was never explored in the book iirc)
Pewter - Used to enhance strength, although using pewter can also dull the senses (this is why pain is dulled when burning pewter)

Quote from: wikipedia
Pewter is a malleable metal alloy, traditionally 85-99% tin, with the remainder consisting of copper, antimony, bismuth and lead. Copper and antimony act as hardeners while lead is common in the lower grades of pewter, which have a bluish tint. It has a low melting point, around 170230 C, depending on the exact mixture of metals.[1] The word pewter is probably a variation of the word spelter, a colloquial name for zinc.

And look at that. Pewter is composed not only of tin, but also of copper! Another connection? Perhaps. But it's comprised partly of tin.

Zinc - riots emotions
Brass - soothes emotions. I think Brass is the pushing metal here because Vin described soothing someone's emotions completely as leaving them devoid of emotion, as though it simply left them.

Quote from: wikipedia
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc; the proportions of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brasses with varying properties.

Interesting. Brass is comprised of copper and zinc.

Copper - hides allomantic pulses
Bronze - allows detection of allomantic pulses

Quote from: Wikipedia
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive, but sometimes with other elements such as phosphorus, manganese, aluminum, or silicon.

Fascinating! Starting to see the pattern? The next metal in the ars arcanum is aluminum; the previous one was copper. Bronze is a combination of copper and often tin, but sometimes aluminum. Brass was a combination of copper and zinc (zinc before it, copper after it on the ars arcanum). So there's a deliberate pattern here. It ties into the way the metals are listed. Bear in mind I had to switch some metals to make my list fit, so it's possible I could be wrong. However, if you look at the next metal pair, then you'll see that they don't quite fit.

Aluminum - destroys allomantic reserve
Duralumin - enhances the next metal burned

This pairing doesn't make sense at first glance. Aluminum destroys an allomantic reserve; shouldn't duralumin, by being an opposite, grant a reserve? Let's put this another way.... since immediately renders the use of a metal reserve at 0% of its potential, then duralumin immediately renders the use of a metal reserve at 100% of its potential. That's why it burns out all currently-burning metals instantly but why aluminum depletes a reserve immediately.

Atium - See into other people's futures
Malatium - See into other people's pasts

Gold - See into your own past
Electrum - See into your own future

Kelsier was right to say that Gold was oddly paired with atium because they didn't appear to be complementary... because they weren't! Look at how straightforwardly opposite atium/malatium and gold/electrum are!

The thing that stumps me about the elements is that atium didn't exist until the Lord Ruler came into play, and I'm pretty sure Atium wasn't a component in Duralumin.

But what if Atium was actually another element undiscovered on this world? We know it came from underground, in geodes (crystals) - instead of ore rocks - so it's unusual that it would display the property of a mineral rather than a metal. Perhaps the crystals merely LOOKED like crystals, but were something else? Maybe atium is something super rare, like:




So I need some more information, if someone can help me look. I need the chemical compositions of malatium and electrum, and the precise compositions of the other allomancer's metals.

It may not be as complicated as having to look up the properties of each of the elements listed and see how they react with their pairs but it would be handy to have the percentages right.


ugh... nevermind. Man I feel dumb. I see there's already a poster released that spoils the last two metals.

Ironically, the post author references my birthday in that post....

Well, I suppose that leaves some remaining mysteries, then. What Hemalurgic and Feruchemical powers do the remaining metals offer, and where do you put the spikes to grant Hemalurgic power? We know putting a spike into the ear lobe grants the ability to pierce copperclouds, spikes in the eyes grant super tineye vision, an iron spike in the left shoulder gives pewter-like strength. What about the spike that pierces the heart? Zane had one through his chest; so did Penrod.

Brandon Sanderson / Mistborn: Zane and 'God' (Here be spoilers!)
« on: January 23, 2011, 09:51:37 PM »
Never a more creepy passage have I read in a book:

"You know what's really funny about all of this?", God said. "You were never insane."

This, coming from the evil voice in the young kid's head who told him to kill EVERYBODY. Everyone except Vin.

"Well of course I didn't tell you to kill her."

I'm left scratching my head like O_o and anxiously continuing 'The Well of Ascension'.

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