TheLordRuler

theory
Spoiler Alert: Spaceships and potential FTL travel (In Mistborn Era 4)

4 posts in this topic

So we all know that Mistborn Era 4 Scadrial has become a space faring civilisation, and that in Sixth of the Dusk, there is at least one civilisation that has reached this status. Given the sheer versatility of the investiture systems, it is pretty likely that the aliens are in fact Scadrians. That opens up so many questions, but I would like to focus on one specifically: how did they do it?

As mentioned before, it is Scadrials magic systems which probably made them the first space civilisation. I believe that it is a combination of Cadmium, Bendalloy, Ettmetal, and Medallions which have allowed them to enter the space frontier. 

Bendalloy makes speed bubbles, so if you attach one to a spaceship, the math on the wiki page says you would compress 2 minutes of the ship moving at full speed into 15 seconds of actual travel time. The problem with this is that people inside the spaceship will still age, as it is time which is being manipulated. That means that while the spaceship would travel FTL relative to the cosmere, inside the bubble, people would age normally. Essentially, it unpractical space travel and very limited.

BUT, if you also create a smaller cadmium bubble around the structure of the ship ( a C.bubble within a B.bubble), we know from this WoB that the effects will cancel out:

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A slider and a pulser are standing near each other and each put up a bubble. [..] they are near enough that their bubbles would overlap what effect would you have?

Brandon Sanderson

The bubbles would overlap and it would be like a Venn diagram (i.e., outside both bubbles-normal time, in sliders bubble-fast time, in pulser's bubble-slow time, in the overlap-normal time).

This means that the crew wouldn't be trapped inside the speed speed bubble, and so will experience time normally. However, to make this technology even more efficient, the Scadrians would put up ANOTHER cadmium bubble within the first cadmium bubble (C.bubble within C.bubble within B.bubble). This would allow them to travel FTL and not feel the time effects at all! Essentially, they would be able to get anywhere in no time.

I do believe that Ettmetal will be used in the propulsion of the spacecraft, probably through some nuclear propulsion technology. This is what would take the spacecraft to such high speeds. I don't really know how to explain all the other uses, so here's @hwiles comment pulled from 
here:

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Well, first I want to point out that ettmetal can, from what little we've seen, apparently be utilized to store and use allomancy like a mistborn. With the caveat that it can be regulated via as yet unrevealed mechanical or electro-mechanical devices. This opens up the possibility of allomancy being used in automated functions through logic, circuitry, and eventually, full blown computing. This would enable the creation of integrated circuits for detecting/reacting to specific types of investiture, hyper efficient alternating steel pushing and iron pulling drive motors, duralumin over clocked super processors, peweter enhanced cranes and industrial equipment, overlapping mechanically driven time bubble array nuclear reactors...the limits are as endless as they are absurd. Jewelry that makes you feel happy and motivated, towers that provided identityless compounded healing feruchemy to aid stations throughout a city, driverless cabs that speed up or slow down time so you can get where you need to go instantly, or have extra time to work along the way as needed. Ettmetal opens up the ability to essentially have an arbitrarily large team of mistings at the disposal of any task. And it probably has some use for feruchemy as well. Another thing to keep in mind is that while we've only seen hemalurgy used with living beings, it appears to be mechanical in nature. Bind points between human physical manifestations and their spirit webs can be accessed and manipulated using hemalurgy. Lower life forms can be similarly affected. What about a sentient android? What about a toaster? What about a stick? The possibilities dear readers, in my opinion, are endless. The only thing we truly know about hemalurgy is that it's potential has only just barely begun to be recognized and explored...

As for the medallions their benefits are endless: from breath, to healing, to warmth, to weight (which will probably be useful combined with pushing and pulling in space) and the various other technological impacts.

NOTE: I just found out from the coppermind that time bubbles in fact compound if used together. 

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When multiple bubbles occur in the same space their effects are multiplied.[5] When a Bendalloy bubble and a cadmium bubble occur in the same place, their effects cancel out resulting in no change.[4]

The time bubble created by someone burning bendalloy is smaller than that possible while burning cadmium (about the size of a room).[3]

If an allomancer flares bendalloy when forming a speed bubble, time inside the bubble is sped up even more. The size and speed of the bubble is pretty much determined when it's first formed.[6]

This is crazy, and makes FTL travel much, much easier. A normal speed bubble speeds up time by a factor of 8. Compound this with 10 bubbles and you would be travelling insanely fast. 

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Question

So what happens if you have a Bendalloy bubble, and then another Bendalloy bubble inside of it?

Brandon Sanderson

It will compound and double, and it will multiply. Bendalloy is one of the metals from Alloy of Law if you haven’t read it, as this person obviously has, or has read the Ars Arcanum, you’ll find out what it does.

 

WoB is unclear to me, not sure if will double (8x2) or multiply (8x8).

We have no information on Cadmiums factor of change, but we can assume that it will be the same as they cancel, and that it'll also compound. 

Basically, you can use primer cubes each powered by Bendalloy and Cadmium, structured in specific layers. All the Bendalloy bubbles would need to be outside, and you would need about double the amount of Cadmium bubbles to counteract the Bendalloy bubbles and still create their own time-slowing bubbles.

What do you guys think? Any other technology which would make FTL travel feasible or easier for Scadrians?

(This is my first theory, so there might be gaps in knowledge. Feel free to point them out).

 

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I'm glad to see that you gave this its own separate theory. Most of my concerns got dealt with during the conversation over here, so I don't have too much to say.

You would not actually need a 2:1 Cadmium:Bendalloy bubble ratio. You need a 1:1 to have the crew quarters reach normal time, but most extra should be phased out as you increase the number of Bendalloy Bubbles. If you get enough bubbles that the "real-travel-time" is say.. 10 seconds from Scadrial to Roshar, then you don't really need the people inside the ship to be slowed down any, since 10 seconds is quite literally nothing.
Disclaimer: I will admit that that would be a lot of bubbles to make the trip that quick, so the ratio will probably be more like 9:13 than 1:2, but the point stands.

I don't think both bubbles affect time at the same factor of change, but have no proof to back that up. (it just doesn't feel right to me for some reason)

I think the biggest issue with this entire theory is the fact that Cadmium Bubbles are normally the bigger of the two, and for this idea to work we need massive Bendalloy Bubbles.

27 minutes ago, TheLordRuler said:

(This is my first theory, so there might be gaps in knowledge. Feel free to point them out).

Here's some extra information: (that anyone who deals with these should have bookmarked)

If you are on mobile, be prepared to have the page loading for a few minutes. It's a big post

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33 minutes ago, The One Who Connects said:

I'm glad to see that you gave this its own separate theory. Most of my concerns got dealt with during the conversation over here, so I don't have too much to say.

You would not actually need a 2:1 Cadmium:Bendalloy bubble ratio. You need a 1:1 to have the crew quarters reach normal time, but most extra should be phased out as you increase the number of Bendalloy Bubbles. If you get enough bubbles that the "real-travel-time" is say.. 10 seconds from Scadrial to Roshar, then you don't really need the people inside the ship to be slowed down any, since 10 seconds is quite literally nothing.
Disclaimer: I will admit that that would be a lot of bubbles to make the trip that quick, so the ratio will probably be more like 9:13 than 1:2, but the point stands.

I don't think both bubbles affect time at the same factor of change, but have no proof to back that up. (it just doesn't feel right to me for some reason)

I think the biggest issue with this entire theory is the fact that Cadmium Bubbles are normally the bigger of the two, and for this idea to work we need massive Bendalloy Bubbles.

Here's some extra information: (that anyone who deals with these should have bookmarked)

If you are on mobile, be prepared to have the page loading for a few minutes. It's a big post

Wow, big post indeed... Infact, it covers most (if not all) of my theory. 

I agree, it probably wouldn't be a 2:1 ratio, but I also think its unlikely that they would be able to pop up that many Bendalloy bubbles, as you said in the disclaimer. Also, we don't really know how large the cosmere is, so even FTL travel could take a while (years maybe?). Cadmium would be most useful there. 

I think that Cadmium and Bendalloy most likely have the same factor of change, because they cancel out. So B speeds up time by 8, but C reduces it by the same factor, meaning time is at normal levels. Unless the cancelling out effect is due to something else like investiture interference. 

As for size, WoB says that size can actually be manipulated, but it doesn't correlate with strength.

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Q: If a Mistborn burned both cadmium and bendalloy, would the bubbles be exactly the same size?
A: That is an excellent question that I am not going to answer just yet.
Q: If they were the same size, would there still be a barrier between the area of normal time and the area of (maybe) distorted time?
A: RAFO. In general, cadmium bubbles are bigger, but you can influence the size.

To what extent though, is anyone's guess.

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The wiki page on bendalloy is, in my opinion, very misleading.

In a round-about sort of way it claims bendalloy speeds time up by a factor of 8 by citing a quote from Wax who was doing off the cuff calculations regarding how much bendalloy would be required for a slider to compress time enough for 5-6 men to unload a train car filled with pallets of iron before guards could arrive on the scene.  I won't delve into the math of the scene here, but suffice to say that it is, at best, quite peculiar.  The 8x speed boost factor probably shouldn't be treated as gospel (despite the fact that it was clearly stated by the main character) as it seems to be somewhat erroneous or lacking vital supplementary information.

For example: we've seen Wayne stand within at most 10m of a bundle of dynamite (and probably between 1 and 5) that was exploding at about the same time that he threw up a speed bubble.  He then proceeds to exchange dialogue with Wax for at least 1 minute from my analysis of the scene and probably closer to 2 while flaring his bendalloy.  The explosion of a stick of dynamite propagates at around 7,000 m/s.  Meaning Wayne compresses at least 1 minute (and probably 2) into approximately 0.0014 seconds.  Roughly a 40,000 x speed increase.  That's a conservative estimate for the scene, more likely, the speed increase was closer to 100,000 x...

The rate at which bendalloy burns, the factor of speed increase, and the ability of a slider to manipulate the size of their bubbles is often left deliberately vague in scenes to avoid outright contradictions.  Sometimes when Wayne is in a bubble he can see bullets moving slowly through the air, an increase of roughly 100-1000 x.  Oddly, we also see him barely able to maintain 2 minutes of dialogue with Wax in a speed bubble over the course of several seconds at one point (When Wax first meets Steris and she is looking over her shoulder at something Wayne points at as a distraction).  A factor of something like 10 x.

I generally advise against trying to analyze time bubbles, as they're somewhat screwy.  All that said, I like your theory of anchoring massive time bubbles to a ship's center of mass as a means of achieving a sort of "warpdrive" effect.  Very interesting!

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