Brightlord Schneclan

Mistborn Flight?

11 posts in this topic

So I was reading The Hero of Ages and a thought came to me.  Would it be possible for a mistborn to put two coins against each other and pull on the far one, while pushing against the other to essentially fly?  I could not think of any reason why a mistborn could not push harder on one coin while still pulling on the other to keep them close enough that they would be able to fly.  Is this a viable option for mistborn travel or is there a reason that this would not work that I am overlooking?

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This would not work.  It would be like trying to fly by standing on your own foot. 

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I believe you could use this method to hold the coins in place in the air, but I don't think you could use this to make yourself fly.

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How's your recollection of elementary physics? Remember that the effect of pushing/pulling is proportional to weight and follows Newton's laws. When you push a coin normally, it goes flying because you weigh so much more than it does. When you pull a coin, it moves towards you for the same reason. If you manage to line up two coins perfectly like in your situation, you're still not going to be able to pull yourself towards the far coin; The combined weight of the two coins is nowhere near enough to serve as an anchor you can draw yourself towards. Also, almost all the force you're exerting on the two coins cancels out and the only thing that you'll accomplish is to slow the rate at which your steelpush is moving the two coins away from you.

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While I agree that what OP is talking about isn't possible, I do wonder if there is a certain Investiture level where steel pushes and iron pulls are able to hit air. Obviously Vin hits this level when she takes up Preservation, but what about a Fullborn using nicrosil? I guess it would depend on whether or not they gain that ability before hitting "mistpoint". In a similar train of thought, if they do gain the ability to push on air, what about solar winds or the interstellar medium? Can fullborn travel through space under their own power?

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While a person with incredible levels of power like Rashek, a user of the Bands or someone fueled by the mists might be able to perceive metal atoms in the vacuum of space and push on those, the same mass issue means that the amount of propulsion you'd get from them would be negligible. 'Solar wind' is mostly subatomic particles, meaning there's no metal that an allomancer could actually push off. Air likewise is basically oxygen and nitrogen (ie, nonmetallic and thus not subject to pushing) and any trace metals in the atmosphere will have the same issues as trace metals in space, except that with gravity and air resistance in play you're not going to get any movement out of pushing on those. The reason that Marasi and Wax are able to effectively use Steelpushing for quasi-flight when using the Bands without a coin supply is that the trace metals they're pushing off are buried in the ground and thus anchored.

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10 hours ago, SwordNimiForPresident said:

While I agree that what OP is talking about isn't possible, I do wonder if there is a certain Investiture level where steel pushes and iron pulls are able to hit air.

We have never learned what makes a metal a metal for the purpose of allomancy. The only evidence we have is negative. It is not electrical conductivity. You cannot push on saltwater (or corpses for that matter). So a plasma may or may not count.

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11 hours ago, SwordNimiForPresident said:

I do wonder if there is a certain Investiture level where steel pushes and iron pulls are able to hit air. Obviously Vin hits this level when she takes up Preservation, but what about a Fullborn using nicrosil? I guess it would depend on whether or not they gain that ability before hitting "mistpoint". In a similar train of thought, if they do gain the ability to push on air, what about solar winds or the interstellar medium? Can fullborn travel through space under their own power?

"Allomancers Pushing on air" definitely fits into the realm of "It's possible! but you need a couple infinities of Investiture to do it!"

Quote

ChickenBites [PENDING REVIEW]

Can you soulcast aluminum into other materials?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Aluminum would strongly resist any sort of soulcasting.

Billy Todd [PENDING REVIEW]

Would that resistance be overcome? Could be overcome?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

This is the question. Everything can be, right? Aluminum, in the cosmere, was created. And can be created. So, people ask me this, "Can? Cannot?" Like, with a powerful enough magnet in our world, what can you do? Like, is water magnetic? *stammers* But, could you make water respond to a magnet? Yes! You can make anything if you really try hard enough. It's, like, this idea, that when people are like, "Can you, yes or no?" Well... yes! Would it take the power of six Shards of Adonalsium working together? Maybe! Can you? Yes, you probably can. Like, we're talking about a fantasy universe where almost anything is possible, and the impossibilities are contradictions, it's "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" sort of questions when you get into "can you?"

Now, could you soulcast aluminum using a reasonable amount of energy that an individual could conceivably have in a normal setting and situation? No. If that's what you're looking for.

JordanCon 2018 (April 21, 2018)

 

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This would not work, as the pull/push is applied to both user and the object. The push and pull would just cancel each other out, unless they're different in which case the coin will either move towards or away from you, so still no flight.

Easy experiment actually. Put your hands in front of you, overlapping. With the farthest hand pull towards you, with the closest push away. That's what the coins would do.

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Posted (edited)

13 hours ago, Weltall said:

'Solar wind' is mostly subatomic particles, meaning there's no metal that an allomancer could actually push off.

Sorry, I kind of missed the mark on what I was trying to describe with solar wind. I was trying to differentiate between the ISM inside the heliopause versus the ISM outside the heliopause. My thought process is that since the ISM is largely composed of hydrogen and helium, steel pushes may be able to affect them. Hydrogen and helium both have metallic properties at the right pressure and temperature, so I figured they would count as metals.

 

13 hours ago, Weltall said:

Air likewise is basically oxygen and nitrogen (ie, nonmetallic and thus not subject to pushing) and any trace metals in the atmosphere will have the same issues as trace metals in space, except that with gravity and air resistance in play you're not going to get any movement out of pushing on those.

I'm not sure what Scadrial's atmospheric composition looks like, but I guess its safe to assume it is similar to earth. That would likely make pushing on the air impossible since there are no metallic gasses in our atmosphere (or at least only trace amounts). In regards to pushing on the ISM though, I was thinking that since you would need to be ridiculously Invested in order even gain any purchase on the tiny amount of metal around you, you would also have exceptional range. This would let you make a large scale push in a 180 degree arc opposite the direction you wanted to move. It would effectively work like a parachute, only several hundred times larger.

Edit: It just occurred to me that if you can push you can pull. You could pull on the front 180 degrees and push out the back. This would create a sort of ram jet situation where you would have pressurized gas flowing past you in one direction.

Edited by SwordNimiForPresident
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No, this would not work. Have you studied the principle of conservation of momentum? The center of mass of the coins/mistborn system would continue falling at the usual acceleration, so this scheme could not remain airborn for long.

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