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The Surges of Tension and Abrasion


DrakeMarshall

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So. I was thinking about the surge of abrasion.

And a similar idea.

 

So. What is tension?

Typically, in physics, tension refers to the force applied through a string or similar object. It is pulled taught, and there is a force there.

I've also seen theories where tension relates to increasing surface tension in a fluid, or making air molecules stick together to make a force-field.

But... It also occurred to me that, if we take a slightly broader approach, it might be said that tension can also include elasticity.

See where I'm going with this?

 

The surge of abrasion can change the frictional constants of objects (on a slight tangent, I'd like to point out that this can not only let you slide across the floor as if it were ice, but it can also let you scale very steep walls by increasing friction).

But... What about a power that manipulated the restitution (bounciness) of objects? It's right in the same them of manipulating basic, physical forces... And the effects could be pretty awesome, without being too overpowered or underpowered.

You could spring off of normal ground, and (especially with stormlight enhanced strength and speed), jump extremely high. You could slam into a wall and just rebound off it (would still hurt though since your body absorbs all the force... on the other hand stormlight seems to protect people from falling off heights so maybe it wouldn't hurt after all). You'd literally be bouncing off the walls. Think almost a bit like what the epic newton was capable of in reckoners, although probably not so dramatic as to let them reflect bullets back at the firer.

 

Just an interesting possibility for the surge, that I don't think anyone's thought of yet.

 

TL;DR: We know Abrasion lets you alter the friction of something. I am suggesting that Tension lets you alter the bounciness of something.

Edited by Drake Marshall
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Due to the correlation between surges and fabrials, my money is on tension producing similar effects to split ruby/amethyst (spanreeds and Navani's towers) because physics-wise tension is the redirection of force (yank down on a rope, and a curtain swings sideways). IMHO.

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9 hours ago, Drake Marshall said:

But... It also occurred to me that, if we take a slightly broader approach, it might be said that tension can also include elasticity.

Brandon has said that you can make something rigid with it, so it would stand to reason that it can make something less rigid. I don't know if that specifically implies elasticity, but it seems plausible at the moment.

Quote

Tension is the ability to take something flexible and make it rigid. Which sounds simple, but there are so many cool things you can do with that.


8 hours ago, john203 said:

Due to the correlation between surges and fabrials, my money is on tension producing similar effects to split ruby/amethyst (spanreeds and Navani's towers) because physics-wise tension is the redirection of force (yank down on a rope, and a curtain swings sideways). IMHO.

Granted, this WoB is older, but he speaks of it like surface tension and/or tensile strength.

Quote

I told them was surface tension. But it's not really surface tension. It's more like um, the people with this could take a piece of cloth and snap it out and it would become hard as if the cloth became steel. I'm trying to explain this scientifically, but it doesn't work scientifically. Imagine as if they could restructure the atoms so that they became a latticework like a crystal rather than being soft like...cloth. I'm calling it surface tension, but it's not really surface tension.

hoser

Tensile strength?

Brandon Sanderson

(hedging) It's kind of like tensile strength.

 

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9 hours ago, karsen said:

I'd thought about increasing friction before, but never about elasticity. Now I have an image of Radiants bouncing around the land like Gummi Bears.

TANGENT: Gummi Bears... that is my favorite kid's show ever. Now if only Disney would release the second half in the US.

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Here's my take on a scientific explanation (copy pasting from a Reddit comment, with some edits) of Tension and Cohesion:

Quote

Three WoBs:

1. I haven't actually written these magic systems yet, so they may change. But they are--Tension is the ability to take something flexible and make it rigid. Which sounds simple, but there are so many cool things you can do with that.

2. Like this one right here I told them was surface tension. But it's not really surface tension. It's more like um, the people with this could take a piece of cloth and snap it out and it would become hard as if the cloth became steel. I'm trying to explain this scientifically, but it doesn't work scientifically. Imagine as if they could restructure the atoms so that they became a latticework like a crystal rather than being soft like...cloth. I'm calling it surface tension, but it's not really surface tension.

3. he said that Cohesion involved being able to alter things at a molecular level, and his example was that you could push your hand on a table, and when you removed your hand there would still be a handprint

I believe the general assumption is that Tension is control over Young's Modulus (and similar stiffness properties) while Cohesion is control over strength. So Tension would allow you to make rubber as stiff as glass (and vice versa) while Cohesion would allow you to make steel fail like aluminum (and vice versa).

For anyone struggling to grasp the difference (because the technical terms mean nothing to you)... Tension could make a piece of rubber stiff like glass, but that wouldn't affect the strength. A rubber bouncy ball given the rigidity of glass would NOT shatter as easily as a glass marble, but it would definitely break more easily than a steel bearing. And on the other hand, Cohesion could make a piece of cloth as strong as a sheet of steel. This means it would be very hard to tear the cloth, but it wouldn't be as stiff as a steel plate (it would still flap in the wind, for example).

HOWEVER

I'm skeptical Brandon will define the terms this scientifically. These are the best explanations I can think of, based on what he's said. But I also get a sense that he's got particular ideas in his mind of how these powers can be used without having the science nailed down yet. And if that's the case, there probably won't be a nice, simple, scientific way to explain them in the end.

If I had to guess... Tension will allow you to control rigidity AND strength to a degree. I'm imagining he'll have someone take a rope and turn it into a staff to fight with, for example. Or use a coat to shield against projectiles. This would require making the materials more stiff, but it probably also needs to come with a bit of increased strength. And I get the sense that Cohesion lets you basically treat anything like clay. You can take any material and reform it with little to no resistance.

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