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What can surges do?

King Cole


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7 minutes ago, King Cole said:

I was looking at the surges at the back of WoR, and when I looked at them I realized I had no idea how tension and cohesion worked. Do we have any idea of what you could do with these?

The short answer, as far as I know, is no. We do not know, yet, exactly how these surges work. There are some WoBs floating around with vague descriptions of changing bonds, tensile strength, surface tension, etc. but until we see these surges in action we probably won't know the extent of their effects.

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Here's an interesting WoP on it


16 Botanica
Main problems in the list of the Ten Surges (Science! Help! Unfortunately, I am not so good at physics, but I try my best!):
I believe there are three Surges we don't know much about: Division, Cohesion and Tension. After doing some research and checking some WoBs, I drew the following conclusion and wanted to ask if my understanding is correct.
1. Division: The Surge of Destruction and Decay
Does Division break things apart somehow? You revealed that what the Releasers can do is to █, then how to release it, and is this process in need of Division, may I ask?
2. Cohesion: The Surge of Strong Axial Interconnection / Tension: The Surge of Soft Axial Interconnection
How to understand the "axial interconnection"? Someone asked if it is a reference to strong and weak force interaction, and Brandon said yes, at least partially.
Just a note, in our world, cohesion is the property of like molecules sticking together (definition found on Wikipedia). So I came to this:
1) On Cohesion

Brandon's example: You could push your hand on a table, and when you removed your hand, there would be a handprint.[请求来源]

Do the Surgebinders manipulating Cohesion alter/morph things at a molecular level (Decrease the molecular cohesion of a certain object together, then weaken/melt/vaporize a certain object)? This makes it possible to walk though walls perhaps?
2) On Tension (Similar to surface tension)

Brandon's definition: Tension is the ability to take something flexible and make it rigid.[请求来源]
Brandon's example: You could take a piece of cloth, and when you snap it out, it would become hard as if the cloth became steel.[请求来源]

So the Surgebinders manipulating Tension can solidify things (maybe increases molecular cohesion)? I imagine it will be easy for Bondsmiths and Stonewards to walk on water and make everything flexible a weapon =) Dalinar must not bear Shards, though in this way, he is still a badass.

1. So, they divide █ from each other. Or it might even be dividing the █ and █ from each other. (But I’m a bit confused because why doesn’t that involve the strong axial interconnection force? This will probably be clarified or contradicted in future books.) The █ stuff is the technical explanation of what they’re doing. “division, destruction, decay” is how laypeople interpret that (though decay is also indicative of █).
2. Yes. The █ theory comes from the book Dragonsteel. █ are essentially just another name for █. These names were based on the strong force and the weak force, when Brandon was building his list of fundamental forces. However, what the Surges do does not really line up with what these names imply, as you can see from the Tension explanation below.
1) I think this is how it works, though it may not vaporize—that’s getting too close to the Dustbringers. Brandon has been wanting to do a power where you can push through walls ever since he was writing Mythwalker.
2) Yeah.

And some food for thought



Can I tell you when you will see Cohesion and Tension Surges? Will, will you see it in Stormlight 3?


You are unlikely to see very much of it at Stormlight 3. That is dealing more with characters on the, in the back five, but you will probably see a little bit of it.



Can you tell me something about Tension and Cohesion?


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



(Speaking of the division surge) Is that a re-framing of, at one point in time you were talking about weak/strong forces?


Um, weak/strong forces, yes, that's the one that sent me there partially. Like, I'm not actually... the idea of the fundamental forces is a cool thing to me so it's not like I'm actually trying to use the weak and strong forces, the idea of there being fundamental forces. I wanted to go off on it in a fancy way. 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.


Tensile strength?


(hedging) It's kind of like tensile strength. I have to go through Peter and say "Alright Peter, come up with what we should really call this." He does the hard science a lot better than I do. I do the armchair theories and then he goes, "Ok, now this is the math if someone were to actually fall off of this and 0.7 gravity and the weight of the bridge...". (looking back at the chart) So what can I give you that I didn't give her? Um, one of the orders is called Bondsmiths.


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