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Time bubble interaction and subjective burn rates


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I was going to append this to my Yet another FTL Theory thread, but it got a bit involved so I decided to make a new topic for it.

Update: More involved even than I thought it would be. Sorry.

I have some concerns about "Who bubbles the bubbler?"--okay, not really, but I couldn't resist. More accurately, what happens to the bubble of a Pulser or Slider under the effects of another time bubble? So:

How is a Bubbler's burning affected, if at all, by being encompassed by another time bubble?

Scenario: Wayne is inside the range of Marasi's bubble, and he throws up one of his own. Assuming the compression factors to be equal, Wayne will experience 1 minutes in his bubble for every minute passing in real time. So he'll burn however much Bendalloy he normally burns to sustain a bubble of X size with Y compression factor for 1 minute subjective.

The key factor is the subjective experience of time, I think: The MAG (<sarcasm> that wellspring of entirely accurate Realmatic knowledge </sarcasm> [but really, the MAG is great. Just not accurate on some rather critical parts) says you burn Bendalloy at 5 minutes per charge subjective, and this also makes sense intuitively.

But what if we put Marasi inside Wayne's speed bubble instead of the other way around? So time passes "normally" for those two while an area around the bubble is Pulsed. That's all well and good, but how is that exterior bubble being sustained?

Cadmium within Bendalloy:

Is Marasi burning less Cadmium than usual, since each second of her burning corresponds to many seconds when she would be burning if not affected by a speed bubble? If so, then what about the area corresponding to Wayne's speed bubble? That has to be sustained at a normal rate if she wants to properly cancel his bubble out and gain a "normal" passage of time, it would seem. But then we get a weird variable bubble-within-a-bubble-within-a-bubble effect, with the area that happens to correspond to Wayne's bubble getting special treatment.

I think, then, that encompassing Marasi in a speed bubble ought to have some rather dramatic effects. I would say that her burn rate stays constant--which it really should, when you think about it, rather than being lowered against her will--and her slow bubble is getting a ton of extra energy: tens of times more per second than usual, at the least. It is as if her burn rate has been multiplied by whatever the compression factor of Wayne's bubble is, a super-flare just short of the Duralumin.

Where to put this energy, though? As far as the part of her bubble within Wayne's bubble is concerned, everything is going normally. But the parts outside are getting an unexpected boost in energy, and need to put it somewhere.

Increased compression:

It could go into increasing the compression factor or Marasi's bubble. If so, Wayne's bubble would behave it was simply under the effects of one of Marasi's normal bubble, while the rest of the Cadmium bubble would be going crazy-slow. If so, then Marasi's time bubble would nearly smother Wayne's, with the the region encompassed by Marasi's entire time bubble moving at a the pace of a glacier with a bead of water moving alongside it, compared to the bullet of the rest of the world.

If the normal Cadmium bubble gives you 100s on the outside for every 1s inside, then this one will give 10,000s outside for every one inside, while retaining the 100:1 ratio within Wayne's bubble. If Marasi had enough Cadmium to make 10,000s pass outside in 100s inside, then this bubble will last for the full 10,000 seconds in real time. Marasi and Wayne will experience 100 seconds, while those outside of Wayne's speed bubble will experience 1.

Problem: This doesn't account for power gain. Assuming that Marasi is maintaining a constant burn, subjective, we're getting an absurd amount of time-distortion for free. This is because the increased compression factor of the slow bubble compounds back onto Marasi within Wayne's bubble, redoubling its longevity.

Increased size:

So we go to the other direction the energy from Marasi's "Bendalloy burst" can go: out. I would suggest that the size of Marasi's bubble would increase, while its compression factor remained constant. So Marasi experiences 1 second for every 100 seconds experienced within the rest of her bubble, as usual, but this 1 second is also experienced in real time. So her bubble dies out 100 times faster than usual, and all the extra energy goes towards increasing its size, encompassing and slowing more objects.

I'd say the second option is nearly necessary, at this point, given the alternative. Do any other possibilities spring to mind for anyone?

Bendalloy within Cadmium:

And now we get to where I was trying to get for the FTL thread. I do hope you understand why I thought this needed its own thread :P

What if Wayne was off to the side at the perimeter of Marasi's slow bubble: encompassed himself, but with about half of his speed bubble protruding. What happens to his bubble?

The parts inside Marasi's bubble are getting their normal flow of energy, so they ought to be fine. But the parts outside are getting 1/100th what they expect. Disparate compression factors still don't make sense, so it seems we're left to shrinking the real-time portion of the bubble to cover 1/100 the area it normally does.

But what if Wayne was standing on the outside of Marasi's bubble's perimeter?

In that case, the half inside the slow bubble would be getting 100 times more energy than usual. So what does it do? Balloon out to 100 times its normal volume, it would seem.

All of this is well and good, but things can get... weird.

Weird Scenarios: (WTLR?! FTL? Here!? HOW!!!!!???)

EDIT: Tell a lie! I got a bit ahead of myself. Overlapping regions that don't touch the bubbler should just cancel out, ala canon. Duh.

Although... maybe they "cancel out" because of bubble-extension, to a certain extent, or bubble-extension is still a factor. I'll leave the text here, because I wrote it and it may still be applicable, but it's by no means as sure as I erroneously thought a few minutes ago.


I suppose the cancellation is just a 1v1 battle for space-time-warping supremacy. In that case, the time distortion is an effect on an area, rather than the objects within that area...

But that doesn't mesh with the Cognitive nature of time-bubble occupancy, really, since bubbles seem to work on the level of objects. This does require some thought.


Scenario: Wayne outside Marasi's bubble, at the perimeter. Marasi has walked to near the perimeter of that self-same bubble, but is on the inside and out of range of Wayne's normal speed bubble.

Wayne casts his bubble. The half in the bubble expands drastically. Marasi is encompassed, now experiencing 1s/s--or she would be, if this didn't increase the size of her slow bubble. So Wayne is now encompassed by Marasi's slow bubble. His energy delivery to his own speed bubble normalizes, shrinking it back down to normal. So now Marasi is outside of its effects. So her bubble shrinks too. So now Wayne is outside her bubble's effects, so the half of his bubble inside Marasi's slow bubble expands. So Marasi is encompassed...

Yeah. And this all might happen in a split second each time, if not instantaneously. I suppose a slower-than-instant expansion/collapse of the bubbles would allow for a stable oscillation between states, but still, this isn't a good thing.


Or this stable oscillation between states just unlocked the real secret to FTL. Meaningfully, in such a scenario, we have a constantly expanding and collapsing Cadmium bubble. Expanding by tens of times in volume, mind you. Might do some funky things to space-time, I'd say. Maybe a way to actually achieve a warp field? We've now reached beyond the scope of my (pseudo-) competency. Physics dudes?


We still have nested Slider/Slider and Cadmium/Cadmium to consider... Maybe later. This is getting long enough as is.


Aw, why not. It should be fast.

Bendalloy within Bendalloy: Bubble of bubbled misting(s) expands. Could get oscillation with this as well, I believe.

Cadmium within Cadmium: Bubble of bubbed misting(s) shrinks. Also a chance of oscillation.

Wow, long. Sorry. Really. :rolleyes:

Any thoughts, anyone?


Oh yeah, I kind of forgot the reason I'd started all this. In my defense, it is an involved and fascinating topic. :)

So in my FTL thread, I have a ship within a Cadmium bubble within a duralumin/nicrosil-induced massive Bendalloy bubble. So both bubblers are encompassed by the other's bubble.

So by the logic I've outlined already, the Cadmium bubble should expand--a lot--when the Pulser is hit by the Bendalloy bubble. The Bendalloy bubble should then proceed to shrivel when it hits any area outside the influence of the Cadmium bubble, since it's getting less energy than it needs. So the full size and effectiveness of the Bendalloy bubble is only realized when it's in contact with the Cadmium bubble.

I guess we're lucky the Cadmium bubble is traveling with the ship, then. I think we're still good.

Edited by Kurkistan
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Personally I think partially overlapping bubbles don't exist. Brandon has said that something is either all inside or all outside of a time bubble and I lump the bubbles themselves into that rule.  There are hints that an objects cognitive aspect/soul/identity or something about how the object views itself determines if it is in the bubble or not. 


Gedankenexperiment 1:


Two sliders repeatedly take one step toward the other and put up time bubbles while we stand outside and watch what happens. Their bubbles will initially be separate spheres. They step close enough that the edges should overlap, but instead they form two completely separate time bubbles with a barrier at the interface. Just like with soap bubbles, I would assume the interface will try and minimize surface area by forming a perfectly flat wall exactly at the midway point between the allomancers. As the two sliders walk toward each other, the interface becomes larger, but no actual area of overlap occurs. One step closer and the two bubbles merge and compound, multiplying the intensity of the time-dilation effect and possibly affecting a much larger area as well. 


Gedankenexperiment 2: 


The same as above, except using two pulsers with identical results


Gedankenexperiment 3:


A pulser and a slider walk toward each other putting up time bubbles with each step. Initially the pulser bubble is much larger than the slider's, but otherwise they are both perfect separate spheres. Once they get close enough that overlap should occur the bubbles create an interface barrier. As they continue to approach the interface grows. They take a final step closer and the slider bubble appears for an instant before the pulser starts to burn at which point both bubbles collapse into neutral time. As soon as one of them stops burning the other allomancer's bubble appears. 

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Interesting, and it definately needed its own thread :P


A couple of things:

I guess we're lucky the Cadmium bubble is traveling with the ship, then.

Unless I missed something there is no reason it would travel with the ship. Bendalloy and Cadmium bubbles remain stationary relative to Scacdrial right?


The fundamental part of your argument here is that nesting the bubbles would result in essentially a power surge to one of them.

I'm not sure that I agree with that.


In the example situation where Marasi and Wayne are both burning (and we are assuming that they are having equal effects on time, say 10* faster and 10* slower).

I agree that her burn rate would not change relative to her. (going by the book from her perspective each charge would last 30 minutes and Wayne's for 5 by his perspective.) Given the overlapping bubbles in this case they would both be in "realtime".


Let's take a step back and talk about a "normal" situation with just the one bubble. If wax set his bubble to increase speed by 10* inside his bubble, 1 charge of his/5 minutes for him would be .5 minutes outside (30 seconds).


In Marasi's case her normal 30 minutes for her (slowing time by 10*) would be 300 minutes "realtime".


So back to the overlapping bubbles with them standing together in the middle. They would both be experiencing time at the same rate, which would be the same as realtime. So if they both burnt for 5 minutes, anyone outside Wayne's bubble but inside marasi's would only experience 1/10th of realtime, so 30 seconds, and anyone outside the bubble would experience the full 5 minutes.


I personally don't see there being a change in bubble size or strength as you suggest. (I could, of course, be compeltely wrong :P)

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Interesting. I doubt it, but interesting. Our current information on overlap comes from 3 sources:
A Brandon quote from a signing:

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

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.

-This is ambiguous as to whether both bubbles still exist as separate entities after an overlap, I'll allow.
AoL's Marasi-Wayne conversation:
Wayne: "See, you and I, we have opposite powers. You speed up time, I slow it. So what happens if we both use it at the same time? Eh?"
Marasi: "It's been documented: they cancel one another out. Nothing happens."
-Probably the only positive evidence for your interpretation, given that it can be fairly read as universal. Given that Wayne was asking if anything special happened, and Marasi was busy saying how useless she was, not the strongest evidence. But worth considering.
And then we have the MAG, which explicitly tells us that only areas of overlap are affected, bar none. While the MAG has been inaccurate on several points--sometimes as simple mistakes, more often on purpose for gameplay reasons--neither of those two options really presents itself here. The MAG gives complex instructions for what to do when areas of bubbles overlap, requiring all of these things to be tracked by the player. If they could simply say "bubble's who's centers are <= 1 radius apart collapse into one another, others don't interact", then I think they would have.
Even if that is also complicated, it is at worst about equally as complicated as the current system of calculating bubble overlap, so you'd think they would ere on the side of accuracy if choosing between the two.
That said, your thought experiments on how a world without overlap would function look to be accurate, though I question how we go about determining the point when the bubbles go from interference to joining together.
I go over anchoring in the FTL thread I link to at the top of the OP. Suffice it to say, for the sake of this thread's discussion, that I think anchoring time bubbles to ships to be possible. I have evidence and arguments to that effect on the other thread.
As far as "bendalloy flaring" goes, the problem lies in where all the extra energy from Marasi's burn is going.
If she normally produces 1 unit of energy per second (subjective) to maintain her 100ft bubble from the inside, then she will be producing 10 units of energy per second from the bubble's perspective if she is inside a speed bubble. If the energy just didn't do anything, then Marasi would burn Cadmium for 5 minutes subjective, but the rest of her bubble would only experience 30 seconds of time to 5 minutes outside the bubble--since Marasi, the Pulser, is only actually burning for 5 real minutes. This as opposed to the normal 5 minutes of time inside to 30 outside.
So we have a cremload of energy being produced by Marasi's burn, energy which is unaccountably wasted if we don't somehow up the energy consumption of her time bubble. Do you understand where I'm coming from here? :)

Edited by Kurkistan
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Ok, didn't dwell on the anchoring because I figured there was something you were thinking of and it isn't really the point here.


I can definately see where you are coming from. I'm still not sure I agree with it though.

Partly this relates to thinking of the time differences caused by the bubbles as waves. If you have a crest from a wave going one direction and a trough of equal depth going the other, when they overlap they effectively cancel eachother out without losing any of the energy of either.


Obviously that doesn't fully explain it due to actual time differences and time messery but that should help show how I envisage the consequences of overlapping.


Another element to consider is that the power is a bit of a nebulous concept. It's not a direct, Marasi has x power and she uses it at the same rate so it all has to be going somewhere. She burns metal at a certain value which acts as a pathway to use Preservation's power. So it's tapping that power as needed and it is perhaps concievable that it would use up less in that situation. Sounds unlikely to start with, but remember that compounding is a method of getting differing amounts of power from burning a set amount of metal/power.


(pardon me if I step over stuff you already covered in the other thread with this next bit, hopefully I'll have the time to read through it properly shortly)

Another point to remember is that the bubble notably doesn't fully tie to the allomancer once created. Sure it will collapse if they leave it, but it remains tied to a certain point relative to the planet (or to whatever else). This suggests that while the allomancer is responsible for creating the bubble its continued existance/function is partially dependant on something seperate to the allomancer. Which supports the idea above.


Don't get me wrong here. I'm not saying that what I have there is at all conclusive evidence. Just trying to explain the uncertainties which are part of why I don't think you are neccesarily correct. My gut feeling is that the bubbles won't oscilate, but it's still entirely possible that you could be on to something.

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The MAG is compelling in this case for the reason you pointed out Kurk.  It is more complicated in the MAG for bubble overlap where you would expect it to be simpler or more rigidly defined if off-canon for purpose of gameplay.  If it wasn't for this idea, I would posit that the size limit for the second bubble would be determined by the size of the first bubble.  So, if Wayne's bubble was up first, then Marasi's bubble would not extend further out than Wayne's bubble. 


The reason I would posit this is by forming a bubble you are creating a special pocket of space-time which provides the frame of reference for everything within the bubble.  I.e., the second bubble could not extend outward from the first bubble because the bubble would have to exist in two separate space-times.  While I seriously doubt that the bubble has its own cognitive aspect, the burner's cognitive self and the space-time reference that the burner is part of determines the space-time reference for the bubble.  To my mind this jives nicely with you either being in or out of a bubble, there is no halfway.  In other words, a single cognitive self can only exist in a single space-time.


So, as a tweak to what Isomere was saying, I think the interface between bubbles would be curved (convex on the 1st formed bubble and concave on the second formed bubble).  That is, of course, for the case where burner 2 is outside of burner 1's bubble.  For bubble within a bubble, the diameter of bubble 2 is limited to the diameter of bubble 1.


Edit: fixed some clunky language in 2nd paragraph.

Edited by Shardlet
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The wave analogy is interesting. I agree that there's no problem with "lost" energy when speed and slow bubbles cancel one-another, but Marasi being inside Wayne's bubble is more akin to turning up the pressure on your hose but not expecting the water to flow any faster.


So far as power's nebulousity goes, I'll have to disagree here: compounding, so far as we know, is a fairly regular process so far as its power output goes. Two bits of metal with the same charge to them should produce the same amount of energy if compounded, intuitively. We see nothing to indicate otherwise, and I think it more natural to think of Compounding as pouring on a known quantity of extra energy based on Feruchemical hi-jinks rather than being relatively arbitrary.


You burn a metal, you get the energy from it. And you just lose so very much energy if Marasi can burn up enough Cadmium to skip 30 minutes and only manage to have her bubble skip 5.


Yes, the bubble not being wholly dependent on the Allomancer is worth remembering. But I think it is still mostly dependent: if the Allomancer leaves the bubble, the bubble disappears. If he runs out of metals, the bubble disappears. If he stops burning, the bubble disappears. Wayne even had to maintain a flare at one point to give him and Wax enough time to talk: this means that the bubble doesn't simply require a minimum "maintenance" charge after being set up, and even suggests that the bubble would have "slowed down" if Wayne had stopped flaring.


The maintenance of the bubble, then, is highly dependent on its Allomancer being both contained within it and burning their metal.


Explaining uncertainties is good, especially in the face of a mondo-post such as mine. ;)




Just to be clear, you are saying that, given the MAG, the vast majority of your post is not how time bubbles actually work?


Given that, thanks for the agreement on the MAG, and I can see the merit of your ideas in a world where overlap doesn't occur. It all makes a fair amount of sense, intuitively.

Edited by Kurkistan
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Just to be clear, you are saying that, given the MAG, the vast majority of your post is not how time bubbles actually work?


Given that, thanks for the agreement on the MAG, and I can see the merit of your ideas in a world where overlap doesn't occur. It all makes a fair amount of sense, intuitively.


Actually, given the MAG, none of my post would work except where I talk about the MAG :) .  However, in the event that the MAG is incorrect, I am rather pleased with my other ideas there.

Edited by Shardlet
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Since we're in the process of discussing magical interactions in a fantasy universe, I think we can allow for small digressions into how that magic might otherwise have functioned. ;)

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Here is a happy illustration I have prepared which may facilitate a fuller understanding of your arguments Kurk (assuming, of course, I am interpreting correctly). 


Edit: Time A = Time B.  You are contemplating what the heck is happening in Time C, neh?



Edited by Shardlet
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Not to make you feel bad, but here's a slightly better one :P



Though both are inaccurate under my budding theory, given that I think Marasi's bubble should be exploding just about now.


EDIT reply: Yeah, time C is the tricksy one.

Edited by Kurkistan
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Yeah the wave analogy doesn't say anything against your theory =) It was just something I wanted to make clear. I will happily admit here that you have good evidence for your theory and honestly I have little against it. Isomere and Shardlet could be correct. But that would be kind of limmiting (and slightly boring, sorry :P) if they are correct.


I really hope we get a little more evidence to work with in Shadows of Self.


Edit: To most people this probably is a discussion for simple academic interest. Ah the disadvantages of playing a game in a system that we don't know a lot of details for yet :P

Edited by lord_Ffnord
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Not to argue with you on time bubbles, considering you've put many many more hours of thought into them than I ever have, but I don't think those two are exactly the same. In the second image, if you're in the center circle, sure you're moving faster than those guys in the outer circle, but you're also moving at the same speed that the people outside the two circles are. So, if you're waiting on someone's intervention from outside the circle, it's gonna be a lot more effective. Am I missing something?


And I could have sworn that I read somewhere that Brandon wanted to make use of the two bubble thing, but if it is real, it was a long time ago and I don't remember where I read it xD

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Sorry if the drawing is confusing (actually, now that I'm looking at it, it confuses me too). It's from a guy over on the Crafty forums, and was really just meant to show a very clear "Venn diagram" example of what I'm thinking in plain terms of bubbles canceling one another out.


I think the idea of the drawing is that you can achieve the same benefits of a Bendalloy bubble--going faster than those around you--by casting a Bendalloy bubble inside a Cadmium bubble. I agree, though, that the situation is only identical in the very local scale.


I don't agree, though, that it's very useful to cast a Bendalloy bubble if you're waiting for outside aid: presumably you want it to happen fast, but using a Bendalloy bubble means it takes the normal amount of time for aid to get to you, from your perspective. You just experience more time without being able to interact with anyone else in the bubble.


Now perhaps if you were pulling a Wayne and trying to pick a few people off, but doing this while also waiting of outside aid, then it would be helpful.


Not that any of this matters, since the end result is just some confusion because I couldn't resist the urge to pull in a pretty pretty picture as part of my explanation.


And what's this about "the two bubble thing"? Color me intrigued, Windy...  B)




What flat-out doesn't make sense, bubble-math-wise?

Edited by Kurkistan
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Partly this relates to thinking of the time differences caused by the bubbles as waves. If you have a crest from a wave going one direction and a trough of equal depth going the other, when they overlap they effectively cancel each other out without losing any of the energy of either.


I'm truly liking nord's theory about wave interactions canceling each other out. In fact, I'm quite jealous that he thought of it without any contribution from the waveform conspiracist. I've got some posts running around that suggest the power of creation is itself a waveform. If the two time bubbles are both created by manipulating a waveform-based magic it seems perfectly reasonable that the areas of overlap would simply create negative interference and perfectly cancel out. My Tanavallah theory uses this same principle to explain voidbinding. 


Thought experiment inside the spoiler that doesn't really relate to this thread, but includes decapitation and suspended droplets of blood: 

That said, I'm still favoring non-overlapping bubbles, but I think the boundary may have quite a bit of plasticity. Take the following quote which seems to imply a bubble can expand around someone touching it from the outside:  

Klokkan: ... what happens to a human that is partially in and partially out of the bubble when it's placed? Does the difference in the flow of time kill him?

BRANDON SANDERSON: Any living thing touching the bubble is affected by the bubble.


Lets try another thought experiment: A soldier with an 8 foot spear is standing outside a slider bubble trying to kill someone 5 feet inside. What happens when he jabs the spear through the edge of the bubble? Nothing living is touching the bubble, so we can technically get around the above quote, but isn't the spear tied to the cognitive identity of the person wielding it? A few of the many possible outcomes: 

  • As soon as the spear tip touches the bubble the soldier is fully brought into the slowed time of the people inside. In this case the bubble expands out to include a person beyond the sphere.
  • The spear gets partially into the bubble before the soldier is brought into slowed time.  The bubble initially created a pocket inward to keep the spear in normal time. But eventually the spear entered the bubble and then it snapped out to include the portions of the spear outside the bubble as well. Since the soldier is touching the shaft, he would then be touching the bubble as well and join the reference frame of those inside. This scenario could occur any time from the moment the spear tip enters to the moment it connects with the pulser.
  • The spear gets partially into the bubble and then becomes incredibly difficult to move. Over a minute or so he manages to kill the pulser. The soldier remains in normal time, but the spear eventually joined the slowed time frame. Since the outside force continues to apply pressure on it, it would move very quickly from the pulser's perspective, but very slowly from the soldier's view. 
  • The soldier swiftly cuts the head off the poor pulser inside the bubble, and watches with wonder as the body sprays blood in ultra slow-motion, the head suspended in mid-air. Spear and soldier remain in normal time, a pocket forms in the speed bubble for the spear to enter while attached to the soldiers reference frame. 

The reason I bring any of this up is to support that the shape of a bubble can change even after it is created.


The main idea of this thread though is how the power of creation would react to being used in a pocket of altered time. Subjective burn rates is a reasonable way to work this out and Kurk lays out some mind bending possibilities. However, I suspect the Power of Creation shares some attributes with light, namely that it exists outside of time.  If this is the case, time bubbles do not affect the power of creation since it occupies all time frames simultaneously. Rather than have the inside bubble burn with respect to the outside bubble's time frame I suspect that both of them would burn with respect to the absolute reference frame of the Power of Creation itself, then merge into a single unified bubble that either cancels out or amplifies. 

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As to your thought experiment: Yes, I've had some thoughts on the elasticity of bubble surfaces. Option 2 seems to most clearly run in parallel to the "Distension theory", but option 1 seems a natural extension to account of the flawless inclusion of living things.

I highly doubt option 3, though, since it runs afoul of the obvious problem brought by option 1: if the spear is enveloped by the bubble, and the soldier is touching it, then he will be touching the bubble and be brought in.

Option 4 is also highly doubtful, if only because it runs afoul of the rather solid "nothing outside can affect the inside" paradigm that both the book and the MAG emphasize.

As for the spear being part of the Cognitive identity of the wielder: perhaps. Arguments can be made (in real philosophy, no less) as to the extent to which objects we wear, possess, or wield are truly a part of our selves. But, sadly, that is only a side issue here, as the spear being included in the bubble necessarily brings the wielder into contact with the bubble's surface.


The bubble springing out to eat people who touch it produces some odd results, though. First of all, it makes the bubble very very active, its confines changing drastically and with relative ease. Second, and more pressingly, it opens up the door a daisy-chain effect:

Say you have a chain of ten people holding hands. One of them touches a speed bubble. The surface jumps out to envelope him. Now the next person in line is holding the hand of someone in a speed bubble: in they go too. And so on. Until the bubble has extended out to encompass all 10 people, or all 100, as may be. This doesn't seem right, does it? But how to get around it?

We may have to discard the idea of the bubble's surface being the thing that changes to accommodate for people and things being swallowed by it, or at least modify it.

We may have to do my least-favorite thing, then: consider why exactly "jostling" happens when you enter or exit time bubbles. Sigh.

The bubbles could, I suppose, actually be physically pushing or pulling people across their natural boundaries: so the elasticity of the bubble is such that it actually has some physical force as it tries to snap back into place. So the bubble doesn't really reach out to envelope daisy-chainer #0, but instead pulls him in over the natural boundary, with a rather violent yank. If that yank happens to yank in more people, then oh well. At least the bubble isn't extending half a mile out now.

Thoughts on that?


Aaaand back on topic. :)

I hesitate to attribute any fundamentally "special" behavior to light: its exclusion from the effects of time bubbles is a contrivance that was decided upon well after Brandon had already pitched the triple-trilogies with FTL coming from the magic system. This demands that light's exclusion ought not to be given as any real clue as to the fundamental nature of time bubbles, or anything in the Cosmere, really.

I'm a tad unclear as to what scenario you're talking about with "inside bubbles" and "outside bubbles" "burning".

Are you saying that, if someone played a practical joke on Marasi and she woke up inside another Cadmium bubble, her burn rate would unaccountably be ~20 times slower than usual, if she tried to burn Cadmium?

The concern of the thread is more on where the power from the burning of the metals goes. Making the rather natural assumption that subjective burn times are constant, you are burning X metal and getting Y power per T unit of subjective time, regardless of what bubbles you're in or out of.

Simply saying that the Power of Creation exists "outside time" does not help us here, since it obviously goes about interacting with the flow of time on quite a regular basis.

Also, what have you to say on claims that the weight of evidence is rather firmly skewed against the idea that bubbles cannot overlap?

Edited by Kurkistan
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The rub with the spear being pulled in (and perhaps this is the rub with a lot of this discussion) is the floor is part of the room.  Part of the floor is on the bubble part is out.  How this works I couldn't say.  It seems that the floor would have a collective cognitive aspect comprising the cognitive aspects of its constituent parts (i.e., boards, nails, etc.).  Each individual part having cognitive aspect which would view itself as being a part of the cognitive whole.  Either the setting hasn't been considered in creating/defining time-bubble allomancy or there is a key thing we are missing.

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That's not a problem, I don't think. It just seems that some proportion might be needed in deciding whether an object is "in" or "out" of the bubble. So a small shack that's 90% in the bubble gets included, but a mansion does not. A nail that's part of a floor primarily considers itself as a part of the floor (ala Forging a wall), and so is only included in the bubble if the entire floor is, not the other way around.


That's part of the point of my distension theory: so a bubble on a flat plane of grass isn't actually spherical, but is instead flattened out where it touches the ground, since the ground isn't part of it. We go into more depth on this thread.

Edited by Kurkistan
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Just something I think is worth mentioning by your theory. You have talked about the situation where a pulser is extending a field with a slider's field inside. However it is *theoretically* possible to have a bendalloy bubble larger than a cadmium bubble. (Really powerful slider really weak pulser). In this case by your theory the bendalloy bubble would actually be getting substantially less power than normal, so might collapse inwards until it matched the radius of the cadmium bubble, or get collapse partially and oscillate like the cadmium bubble in the other situation but inwards instead of outwards.


Isn't a problem, just worth mentioning I think.

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@Kurk: You seem to forget that bubbles, to begin with, do bad things with energy. For example, if your "energy concentration" hypothesis is correct, then the Pulser in sunlight would get 10x the amount of energy and roast. Even if we exclude light, the same thing occurs with air pressure: molecules go in, they don't go out as fast :  there is a pressure differential. About 63x for 8x bubble, actually. It should suck in the air from outside and crush everything inside. Reverse that for bendalloy.

Obviously, this doesn't happen, so the excess energy gets sucked somewhere. Some of it never gets recovered, either (releasing the bubble releases some energy, but not all).  So the excess burn energy might just go the same way.

I have played with some possible models for that, but so far the only thing that could make sense would be for a bubble to stop existing for a while (while being subjective, since no time passes inside pulser bubble during that period), and everything (microscopic) during that period that crosses the boundary getting sucked... somewhere. Which is insane. Crossing back would then require something to be sucked back out of that limbo. Well, missing pieces of something.


Edit: For clarity, consider a solar panel charging a battery inside and outside the bubble.Same amount of sunlight goes into system, but the battery in pulser bubble is charged less.

Edited by Satsuoni
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A fair point. I'm uncomfortable applying the same solution we give for air and light (whatever it may be) to the power that actually keeps the bubble going, though.

Edited by Kurkistan
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