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From the Ars Arcanum: The blue lines of iron-sight and steel-sight seem to hold a lot of information. For example, Oudeis provided evidence before that Ranette's use of iron may have given her the ability to identify other metals, simply using her ironsight. Maybe this is because she's an iron savant? With this in mind, what if there is more information to be gleaned about metals and their relationship to iron and steel sight? The Ars Arcanum quote above leads me to believe that the size of the blue line is directly correlated to the "size" of the metal source and that the brightness of the line depends on the "proximity" of the metal source. A lot of quotes from the original Mistborn trilogy seem to back this up. However...I've found inconsistencies in the quotes from the original trilogy AND I want to propose that the word "size" is incorrect. I'd argue that "mass" makes more sense instead and would fit better with Ranette's metal identification skills. This quote shows that proximity does in fact have an effect on the brightness/illumination of the blue lines. It reminds me of the Doppler Effect. As you move away from the metal sources the color dims like the sound of the waning Doppler Effect. We also have a mention of width, but nothing to the effect of size or mass. The next quote helps us here better. Here we see that the size of the metal dictates the thickness of lines. Seems pretty straightforward, and confirms the Ars Arcanum, right? The bold sentence (emphasis mine) contradicts the Ars Arcanum. The word "faint" should be replaced with "thin", because a size, small, is referenced afterwards. Here Kelsier is confusing the correlation of the illumination of the blue lines with what should instead be a description of the blue lines thickness. Either Kelsier is misinformed or Brandon made a mistake here. Whichever it is, this led me to think more about what the full description of the blue lines really means. There is plenty of evidence (which I won't quote here) throughout the books that shows that the illumination of the blue lines is indeed correlated with proximity. I have no problem with this observation by the author of the Ars Arcanum or the other characters in the book. However, I believe that interpreting thickness as "size" is incorrect. All the evidence in the book shows that proximity and illumination vary while the thickness of the blue lines never varies when an person is burning iron or steel and looking at their blue lines. At least, there is never a description of the thickness changing. This, to me, is because the mass of an object is fixed. Yes, size matters too, but it's more than that. It's quite common for size to be misinterpreted when commonly talking about mass. Here's how Wikipedia defines mass with regards to physics: Does this sound familiar? I think so. It sounds a lot like how the iron and steelsight actually works. When Vin is first testing out her steel push with Kelsier on the top of the Luthadel wall, she notices that there is a limit to how how high she can push. Her steel-line fades in color, but she never comments upon the thickness. This is because the mass of the coin doesn't change. It's fixed because of the metal the coin is made out of. But what would happen if she uses a coin with a higher mass? The "size" is the same, but the mass increases...would the thickness of the steel-line increase and thus allow Vin to push herself even higher? I'd argue yes. Let's think about this slightly differently. As we move down the periodic table of elements, each element has a higher atomic mass. Thus, the same number of atoms for gold, for example, will have a higher mass than the same number of atoms for iron. Now let's compare the same size unit for these metals: a cubic foot of iron weights 491 pounds while a cubic foot of gold weighs 1206 pounds. All because the mass of the atoms of the two elements is different. Would we really expect equal steel push strength on both of this slabs of metal? I'd argue no, because I think steel pushing specifically relates to the mass of the object you're pushing against. Thus size is irrelevant. But mass is important. Let's pretend Vin uses a gold coin instead of an iron coin to push herself. I'd argue that since the mass is different but the size is the same, she'd observe a thicker blue line AND be able to push her self higher. What implications does this have on the whole for Scadrial? Well, a weaker coinshot could artificially inflate their powers by using coins with a higher mass relative to a stronger coinshot using simple iron coins. Thus they'd appear to be stronger than they actually are, because everyone thinks steel pushing is all about size of the metal source instead of mass. This reminds me of arbitrage in finance. If someone were to discover this, they could take advantage of this information. Which brings us back to Oudeis' insight on Ranette's ability to determine which metals are what simply by using her ironsight. Is she identifying metals because of each metals unique mass as seen through the blue lines of her ironsight? Yes, if you ask me.