Author Topic: Mistborn Physics  (Read 2960 times)

sporkify

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Mistborn Physics
« on: September 23, 2008, 12:55:00 AM »
This is something that has always bugged me:
When two mistborn or two coinshots (or a mix of the two) push on a coin between them, they both get pushed back.  This should occur only if the coin is precisely between them.  Anything else and the coin (as, presumably the coin is lighter than the pusher) should go flying off, leaving the two allomacers more or less stationary.

Yet there are numerous examples of pushing matches; Kelsier+Vin, (that had enough force to flatten a metal coin...) Vin+Random Coinshot, (just before Vin vs Shan) Vin+Zane (while wiping the floor with Cett's troops) etc.  Were the coins so precisely placed in between them on all these occasions? 

(Of course, the cop out in this case would be to say TLR changed physics...)
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VegasDev

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Re: Mistborn Physics
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2008, 02:23:33 AM »
Numerous is a big word for so few instances. Also, Kelsier mentions that your body has already learned to balance, hence the ability to hover directly above a coin; the same theory would apply here. When Kelsier and Zane shoot the coins to get in a pushing match with Vin, their goal is to push the coin exactly where Vin either has to move herself to push the coin at an angle or overwhelm her with their own push. It's not like there aren't plenty of areas where Vin has pushed the coins out of the way or anything.
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Miyabi

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Re: Mistborn Physics
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2008, 06:38:03 AM »
Well you can only push a coin in a perfectly straight line from your body.  Kell mentions that a few times.  So if you are pushing towards someone you are pushing in a perfect line towards them and they push back in a perfectly straight line.

Physics = solved;

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Hero of Ages

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Re: Mistborn Physics
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2008, 07:29:05 AM »
Nice catch Miyabi
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Re: Mistborn Physics
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2008, 07:51:02 AM »
also guys, seriously, it's fiction.  who cares? If you're going to let something like that bug you then heck the whole concept of magic must prevent you from even getting past page 1.
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Mistborn Physics
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2008, 08:07:09 AM »
Yes, but Brandon writes Allomancy like it obeys certain laws of physics. That's one of the most fun things about it.
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WriterDan

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Re: Mistborn Physics
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2008, 06:29:54 PM »
I think you're stressing out about perfection a little too much.

Yeah, okay, maybe the coins, theoretically, should have shot out at a vector perpendicular to a line connecting any two competing coinshots (or otherwise, as noted) because of their component parts, but where's the fun in that?  The push/pull ability is most likely not a one-dimension vector, but has some facial area--that is finite--over which it acts.  Is the force equal across the face?  Or does it drop off to some degree as you reach its edges?  Can a coinshot  play with the distribution of power across the facial area?  How about multiple pushes/pulls acting on the same object?  Does it only work center-of-mass to center-of-mass?  The answer seems to be  that yes multiple push/pulls can be used on a single object as per the scene with the spinning bar from (I believe) The Final Empire.  In that case, is it coinshot's center-of-mass to a point on a metallic object?  Why not just push the coin ten times then before the other guy can push more than once?

I think there are lots of questions we could ask about the magic system that, if answered, would ultimately bog down the story in detail and mess.  Brandon was an English major, as far as I know.  And even though he tries his best to build things according to modern physics (as noted by Ookla), he's probably not going to get into the minute detail that a physics major would.  Granted, this might bother someone who IS a physics major, because they're plotting vectors and equations are tumbling from their head (hey, I admit, this happens to me often.  I do after all rank up there with the geekiest of the geeks), but it should probably just be taken at face value and seen as entertainment.  That's what it ultimately is after all.

What's my big beef, you ask?  Well, since you asked:  the ash-mounts.  It's been noted (by Ookla also, I think, in another posting) that the reason why the Lord Ruler made the ashmounts  was to block the suns rays after their planet had been moved too close to it (instead of just moving it again).  So, the ash fills the sky over the populated areas and keeps everyone from getting charred by a too-close sun.  Problems?  How to balance the amount of ash in the air (from an admittedly natural source) so that enough sunlight gets through to keep a day cycle and allow plants to grow, but blocks enough of the suns rays to keep everyone from baking to a crisp.  Or there's also my personal favorite, finding some way to keep everyone from getting sick after inhaling all that ash.  Inhaled particulate matter would tend to make everyone sick and die very early and nasty deaths.  That's the big one for me, anyhow.

Problems?  Yeah, probably.

Fun?  You bet.

Enough fun to ignore the "physical" problems?  I think that for most, the answer is also:  yes.
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Mistborn Physics
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2008, 07:21:22 PM »
Actually, all those problems with the ashmounts have been dealt with—give Brandon some credit. :) But the characters themselves don't know any different, because it's the world they're living in, so it never comes up.
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sporkify

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Re: Mistborn Physics
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2008, 09:57:37 PM »
Well, I'm not a physics major, but I do suppose it reveals something about my nature that I always consider the physics of magic systems.  (I give a lot of thought to things like WOT's gateways...ie, if you put a gateway opening (horizontally) right under the other end, what happens when you drop something in it?  What if you put one end of a gateway on the bottom of the ocean and the other on land? etc...)  While these may not be essential to the story, they may form plot holes.

For example, while LOTR is considered the quintessential fantasy novel(s) we still wonder why Frodo didn't hitch a ride on an eagle.
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SarahG

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Re: Mistborn Physics
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2008, 10:38:22 PM »
For example, while LOTR is considered the quintessential fantasy novel(s) we still wonder why Frodo didn't hitch a ride on an eagle.

Eagles flying into Mordor before the fall of Sauron would be too conspicuous, and in great danger from Black Riders.
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Re: Mistborn Physics
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2008, 12:18:51 AM »
Or there's also my personal favorite, finding some way to keep everyone from getting sick after inhaling all that ash.  Inhaled particulate matter would tend to make everyone sick and die very early and nasty deaths.  That's the big one for me, anyhow.

Yeah, I was letting it go, but it seems like bloody black lung ought to be the death of anyone living in a world of constant ash that falls frequently enough to paint the walls. I suppose the argument could be made that the composition of the ash is such that it rarely breaks up into such fine particles, but then it ought not stain the way it does...

I figure a good comparison would be coal miners. Who often die of black lungs.

 ::)

Pushing matches don't bother me so much, 'cause I recognize them as dramatic applications rather than physics applications. But there probably ought to be more high-powered ricochets during coin-flinging fights than we usually see... we hear about using a coinpush to knock away coins, but if both allomancers were continuously pushing while at even a slight angle to one another, the result ought to be something like a billiards game.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2008, 12:48:37 AM by Inkthinker »

Miyabi

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Re: Mistborn Physics
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2008, 02:37:16 AM »
Or there's also my personal favorite, finding some way to keep everyone from getting sick after inhaling all that ash.  Inhaled particulate matter would tend to make everyone sick and die very early and nasty deaths.  That's the big one for me, anyhow.

Yeah, I was letting it go, but it seems like bloody black lung ought to be the death of anyone living in a world of constant ash that falls frequently enough to paint the walls. I suppose the argument could be made that the composition of the ash is such that it rarely breaks up into such fine particles, but then it ought not stain the way it does...
Well considering the main disease from ash is black lung disease, which is technically called ultramicroscopicsilicovolvcanoconiosis.  They would have to:

1)be very small pieces of ash.

2)contain silicon.

3)and be from a cone volcano.

Whereas we don't know enough about the ash coming out of these particular volcanoes we couldn't assume the worst for the people.  So really the only risks they would have would be :

bysinnosis - kinda like temporary asthma.
asthma
psittacosis - fever, headache, chills, little bit of blood coughing.

However if we could prove it had silicon or large amounts of carbon they could have :
silicosis - chronic cough
pneumoconiosis - chronic cough


So unless the ash contains large amounts of carbon or silicon they aren't in THAT much danger really.  So if say the volcano just spews ash that is made of other materials then they would be pretty much fine, especially if the ash stuck together well, and if I remember correctly they often talk of it being in large flakes.
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Czanos

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Re: Mistborn Physics
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2008, 02:45:17 AM »
Or perhaps the Lord Ruler changed the human body to be able to take care of the ash when he used the power of the Well of Ascension.
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Miyabi

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Re: Mistborn Physics
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2008, 03:06:27 AM »
Or perhaps the Lord Ruler changed the human body to be able to take care of the ash when he used the power of the Well of Ascension.
I see, ::) Just take the easy way out. ha ha. :D
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Czanos

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Re: Mistborn Physics
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2008, 03:07:56 AM »
Well, Ookla did say that all the problems with the ashmounts were taken care of, and I seem to recall him implying this solution the last time we discussed this problem. (A few months ago, I think.)
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