Nepene

How to make iron feruchemy more scientific. Minor spoiler from WoR.

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I was reading the alloy of law annotations and I read this.

 

At the same time, I acknowledge that the weight manipulation aspect of Feruchemy is one of its more baffling powers, scientifically. Is he changing his mass? If so, he should become more dense, which I don’t actually make the case when it plays out in fights. (Otherwise, increasing his weight enough would make him impervious to bullets.) So, if it’s not mass manipulation, is it gravity manipulation, like Szeth and Kaladin do? Well, again, not really—as when his weight increases, his strength and ability to uphold that weight increase as well. Beyond that, Wax can’t make himself so light that he has no weight at all.

 

 

Then, I was, as a Chemistry degree holder, thinking of a way that this could play out and be considered relatively consistent and scientific.

 

These are the challenges.

 

1. You have to be able to break things with your weight.

 

2. He has to be able to move about normally.

 

3. It has to focus on mass.

 

4. He can't be bullet resistant.

 

I think I know a way he could do that and have the science remain consistent to all of the agreed upon conditions.

 

This is a non spoilery quote from WoR

 

“If I toss something upward, it comes back down.”

“Except when it doesn’t.”

“It’s a law.”

“No,” Syl said, looking upward. “It’s more like… more like an agreement among friends.”

 

Rather than storing mass, what if feruchemy stored the signal of mass? The agreement of mass between the tiny preservation and ruin building blocks of the world? Because it wasn't storing real mass when a human or a bullet under the influence of a human hit it, their innate investiture and spirit would resist the feruchemy, as it would resist an iron push, and they would feel the weight increase or decrease to a lesser degree.

 

An object or the floor would feel the full influence of the iron feruchemy as it lacked much spirit and had no reason to think the person was lying about their weight.

 

A bullet, shot from a human, would be filled with the human's intent to kill, perhaps a small part of their soul, and would resist the feruchemy increase in mass and kill.

 

This could be scientifically tested in a future book.

Edited by Nepene
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Rather than storing mass, what if feruchemy stored the signal of mass? The agreement of mass between the tiny preservation and ruin building blocks of the world? Because it wasn't storing real mass when a human or a bullet under the influence of a human hit it, their innate investiture and spirit would resist the feruchemy, as it would resist an iron push, and they would feel the weight increase or decrease to a lesser degree.

 

An object or the floor would feel the full influence of the iron feruchemy as it lacked much spirit and had no reason to think the person was lying about their weight.

 

A bullet, shot from a human, would be filled with the human's intent to kill, perhaps a small part of their soul, and would resist the feruchemy increase in mass and kill.

 

This could be scientifically tested in a future book.

 

I like the explanation of how weight storage works in respect to the agreement part i'm not sure that i agree to intent to kill of the bullet. 

 

your bullet explanation implies that an object flying at high speed needs an intent given it by something to be able to overcome the feruchemical effect. 

 

It would be better i think to say that the agreement extends to the the body's ability to support its self. In effect saying yes you weigh x and your body can support x. Similar to how pewter works to improve the body but not really make bullet proof or even resistant to piercing or slashing wounds.

 

Also I don't think that a super weighted feruchemy user can move all that well without other powers such as speed and strength.  

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I like the explanation of how weight storage works in respect to the agreement part i'm not sure that i agree to intent to kill of the bullet. 

 

your bullet explanation implies that an object flying at high speed needs an intent given it by something to be able to overcome the feruchemical effect. 

 

It would be better i think to say that the agreement extends to the the body's ability to support its self. In effect saying yes you weigh x and your body can support x. Similar to how pewter works to improve the body but not really make bullet proof or even resistant to piercing or slashing wounds.

 

Also I don't think that a super weighted feruchemy user can move all that well without other powers such as speed and strength.  

 

That is very much intentional.

 

Suppose an iron feruchemist wanted to stop a speeding car, or train. It would be good that an object flying at high speed could effect them. It would make for good storytelling. I'm trying to make it so that you can do all the things associated with high mass without making them an unstoppable killing machine.

 

The issue with giving a person an enhanced ability to support themselves is that it also gives them super strength. If they can support themselves at 200 weight they can hit with muscles that can support 200 weight. That leads to problems. It is very awkward, in physics, to have the power give you enhanced musculation and durability but have it only apply to the power.

 

It's like saying "I want them to be super strong and super durable but I don't want them to be super strong and durable when it doesn't work for me."

 

With this, your muscles and the muscles of other humans both ignore the iron feruchemy because they are invested. This makes it all consistent.

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With all due respect, I'll just go with my simple scientific explanation of Feruchemical iron (what else do you want to call, it, Chaos?)   :)

 

On the molecular level a knife is little different from a club anyway. Thousands of atoms. You smash some bonds in the substance you are cutting and force your way inside. There isn't a massive distinction between a knife and a club.

 

And you are also not more resistant to objects with a larger surface area. A club will still hurt you, a hammer likewise. Iron feruchemy grants you no special resistance to blunt weapons or anything wielded by humans. It has a much lesser effect on humans than would be expected from its power. As such to work on a scientific level it needs an explanation that includes why it influences humans differently. 

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And you are also not more resistant to objects with a larger surface area. A club will still hurt you, a hammer likewise. Iron feruchemy grants you no special resistance to blunt weapons or anything wielded by humans. It has a much lesser effect on humans than would be expected from its power. As such to work on a scientific level it needs an explanation that includes why it influences humans differently.

I admit I am far from my top firm when it comes to theories these days...

But, do you have confirmation on club, etc? I don't recall iron feruchemist being hit by one... I seem to recall Wax resisting smashing through ceiling, though. At the very least, the blows shouldn't throw one back when he is tapping...

Also, does it have lessened impact on humans only? Could you still smash though a rock wall with your fist if it weighted like city block?

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We have no evidence that iron feruchemy grants you any extra resistance from combat damage. The rpg says it helps you resist falls, though says nothing about increasing your combat durability, and there has been no in book suggestion of such. It's possible. But as of the moment we have no evidence it does that. It's a hypothetical power with no evidence for it.

 

Generally we would assume physics operates as normal. So if you can crush a floor by standing on it, you should be able to do something similar to a wall by falling on it.

 

It's only for people that it is often directly mentioned that for some reason the amount of damage is reduced. You can stop an armored car with your bare hands, but for some reason you can't hit people as hard as an armored car with your fists.

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Sanderson has noted that iron does not increase one's resistance to penetration. So it doesn't make one more resistant to damage. He has also noted that it does increase mass, and pretty much breaks the laws of physics. http://coppermind.net/wiki/Iron#Feruchemical_Use

 

However, i reckon there is a relatively simple explanation: One's apparent mass is changed, specifically by changing one's mass in either the Spiritual or Cognitive Realm.  It is, after all, implied that changes there affect the physical world.

Alternatively it could affect the Higgs-field or something like that...

 

Interestingly, if i'm right, this would mean Iron is not actually a physical Feruchemical metal... but then the thing doesn't follow the same rules as Allomancy, as evident by Brass storing warmth, yet being listed with otherwise "Cognitive" metals, originally this was a mistake but Sanderson didn't want to retcon this* so it was canonized. http://coppermind.net/wiki/Brass#Trivia

I reckon the groupings have to do with their realms and effects, something that has actual physical effect (like pewter and strength) is classified differently from something that is purely cognitive (copper and memories).

 

*And it was a good change really. Had he swapped brass for electrum as originally meant, this would have had the side effect of electrum being much more commonplace, especially with the Terris. And most Keepers would likely know that Allomantic and Feruchemical metals are the same, thus figuring out electrum has Allomantic use... the RPG suggests highest levels of the Empire knew of this and thus suppressed the fact, as it would have devastated the Atium-economy. Even if the RPG is not correct there, skaa-Mistings or perhaps skaa-Mistborn could have gained access to that knowledge, with serious consequences. Obviously electrum isn't unknown in the Final Empire, but it being one of the metals for the Metallic Arts is unknown. Was.

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I always considered Feruchemical iron to be boson interaction (boson fields)

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Most of the confusion on this topic comes from the intuition that denser objects should "resist" forces better, in the sense that it should be harder to cut, slice, or puncture.  However, in the case of iron, this does not appear to be the case.  Instead, there are two main effects:

 

1) Skimmer has a modified interaction with gravitational forces

2) Skimmer's body adapts to compensate for the change in gravitational interaction

 

Let us first note that the second effect is purely so that iron is usable by humans without catastrophic damage, and isn't particularly interesting.

 

The "simplest" way to modify one's gravitational interactions is to change mass.  Note that I mean gravitational mass here, which in our universe is the same as the mass in F = ma.  If a similar principle holds in the cosmere, then this would amount to a change in density of the constituent particles of the Skimmer.  This increase in density would give rise to increased durability as in our universe since a force (see below).  This is not observed.

 

Instead, I propose that iron modifies the gravitational constant G instead.  This means that only the strength of the gravitational force is modified, not the mass of the Skimmer directly.  Since the constituent parts of the Skimmer are not more massive, they don't dissipate forces as well and thus do not grant increased durability.

 

With this in mind, I am not aware of any contradictions.  The gravitational force can change without having to change the mass.

 

EDIT:  The more massive an object, the smaller the acceleration granted by a given force.  Since this acceleration is what determines bodily damage, we expect that if the Skimmer's cells were much more massive than normal that she would experience less bodily harm.

Edited by FirstSelector
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The "simplest" way to modify one's gravitational interactions is to change mass.  Note that I mean gravitational mass here, which in our universe is the same as the mass in F = ma.  If a similar principle holds in the cosmere, then this would amount to a change in density of the constituent particles of the Skimmer.  This increase in density would give rise to increased durability as in our universe since a force (see below).  This is not observed.

 

Instead, I propose that iron modifies the gravitational constant G instead.  This means that only the strength of the gravitational force is modified, not the mass of the Skimmer directly.  Since the constituent parts of the Skimmer are not more massive, they don't dissipate forces as well and thus do not grant increased durability.

 

With this in mind, I am not aware of any contradictions.  The gravitational force can change without having to change the mass.

 

EDIT:  The more massive an object, the smaller the acceleration granted by a given force.  Since this acceleration is what determines bodily damage, we expect that if the Skimmer's cells were much more massive than normal that she would experience less bodily harm.

The contradiction is that the effect of Feruchemical iron also changes inertial mass, as evidenced by the body response to forces in mid-flight, Sazed using himself as a doorstop, etc. One may try to argue that increased gravitational mass increases friction, but friction has the upper limit insufficient to explain observed phenomena, and is not applicable in mid-flight. Etc.

Edited by Satsuoni
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Could it possibly be storing the adhesion or Gravitation Surge?

What I mean by this is it's not storing anything that has a direct effect on the body but that has an effect on the space around the body. So yes they now weigh more/less but they aren't carrying the weight.

This means that though when they land on things they crush it, because they aren't carrying the weight when they get hit they still act normal.

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