Author Topic: Pushing and Pulling: Related to Magnetism?  (Read 963 times)

Andrew the Great

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Pushing and Pulling: Related to Magnetism?
« on: May 22, 2008, 05:08:58 AM »
Most of us in the past have assumed that the way steel pushing and iron pulling work is through some sort of magnetism. Then the other day, I was rereading MB1 and found the part where Kelsier is stealing atium from Keep Venture. He pulls on a safe, then jumps out a window or balcony or something. Then he continues pulling until the safe hits the wall and brings him to a stop. Then he pulls it up and over the edge.

I was thinking that if it was magnetism, this wouldn't work. The safe would just get stuck against the wall. The idea that comes to mind as an alternative is that burning steel or iron gives you this mental rope thing to pull on, which would have the same effect described. Not that it really matters, but I just noticed it, and I think others were thinking it involved magnetism too.
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SarahG

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Re: Pushing and Pulling: Related to Magnetism?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2008, 03:42:09 PM »
My first inclination is to think it IS like magnetism, but that Sanderson got a little confused when writing that particular scene.  With a mental rope, why would the safe slide across the floor and bump the wall, rather than being pulled straight out the window?  I know it's heavy, but my impression is that steelpulls work very fast, pulling things with a sort of jerk, so if Kelsier's steelpull is strong enough to lift the safe up over the windowsill eventually, why wouldn't it be strong enough to jerk it straight through the window?
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Andrew the Great

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Re: Pushing and Pulling: Related to Magnetism?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2008, 07:39:39 PM »
The wall is stronger than the push, and the safe is heavy. This is the problem encountered with the magnetism theory as well. If it were magnetic it would have gone straight through the wall.
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Pushing and Pulling: Related to Magnetism?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2008, 07:45:41 PM »
Allomantic Pulls and Pushes still follow vector physics. Gravity is pulling the safe down, and if the diagonal vector he applied didn't have enough of a vertical component to counteract gravity, the safe would just move sideways.

And maybe to get it out the window he flared his metal. The pull vector is still a diagonal one, except the horizontal component is completely countered by the wall so it moves up the wall instead of through the wall.

And I think a (variable to account for flaring) magnetic vector pull could work the same way, so the safe's movement isn't evidence against the idea.

[EDIT: Never mind, see below.]
« Last Edit: May 22, 2008, 07:54:45 PM by Ookla The Mok »
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SarahG

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Re: Pushing and Pulling: Related to Magnetism?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2008, 07:48:44 PM »
But the diagonal vector would have to be towards the wall and up, right?  Rather than towards the wall and down?  I think Andrew's point was that Kelsier at this point seemed to be BELOW the window.  Am I correct?
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Pushing and Pulling: Related to Magnetism?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2008, 07:53:30 PM »
Never mind the part about it hitting the wall. I just looked in the book again, and it says that the windows are floor-to-ceiling. There is no wall that the safe has to go over. (Thank you Amazon Search Inside.)
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SarahG

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Re: Pushing and Pulling: Related to Magnetism?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2008, 08:14:24 PM »
Ookla, you're absolutely right.  I should have checked my references, before I pretended to know so much. :-[

As I reread the scene, though, I noticed this, which would tend to support Andrew's mental rope theory:

Quote
He jerked in midair, swinging down towards the side of the building as if tied to the safe by a tether.

It doesn't seem to me like a magnetic pull would jerk him up short like that, then let him swing down.  Rather, it would pull him back toward the window.  But hey, what do I know of physics? ;)
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Pushing and Pulling: Related to Magnetism?
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2008, 10:32:53 PM »
Well, he jerked in midair when he turned on the Burn, right? So it's like the "magnet" turned on suddenly, and since the safe was so heavy it had an immediate effect on his acceleration vector. The horizontal component of his acceleration vector became pointed toward the safe, but gravity was still pulling him down (the vertical component of his acceleration vector). So that produced the swing. His starting motion was outward, so the combination of the acceleration vectors and his original motion means that he travels in an arc.
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Re: Pushing and Pulling: Related to Magnetism?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2008, 01:53:46 PM »
it seems to me that the mental rope and magnetic force would produce the same affect.  Each would need to take into account any other factors involved, ie gravity, momentum, mass, etc.  If the wall was able to resist the forc upon it, the safe would either flip over it (especially if only the bottom part of the safe was up against the wall), Kelser would have started to launch back up towards the safe, or he would have just stopped in midair.  The only reason why I doubt the magnet theory is that Allomancy seems to affect all metals, and not all metals have magnetic properties.
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Andrew the Great

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Re: Pushing and Pulling: Related to Magnetism?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2008, 03:15:08 PM »
The quote sarah gave is actually why I thought it might not be magnetic in the first place. I agree with you though, darx, that doesn't really makes sense that it affects all metals if it's magnetic.
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Re: Pushing and Pulling: Related to Magnetism?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2008, 04:31:29 AM »
Given enough energy, most if not all metals will gain some magnetic tendencies, just from the electric charge. Burning iron and steel could do something like that.