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Is Magneto a wizard? Inspirational rant.

Discussion in 'World Building' started by TinyHippo, Jul 10, 2016.

  1. TinyHippo

    TinyHippo Scribe

    So I'm writing this thread, because I need to do a few posts to get access to the full forum. And I have some amazing knowledge from my education, that some people might find cool and could be used in both science fiction and fantasy.

    Magneto can control metal with the force of the magnetic fields he can generate. The magnetic fields he generates are extremely powerful, and big. In one movie he lifts a bridge. This of course takes a rather strong magnet/magnetic field to lift this much weight, but it will also require for the magnet/magnetic field to be rather large. The larger it is, the easier the lift would be. Even more impressive, he can create magnetic fields so strong that he can BEND metal. He can throw a car in the air and curl it like a piece of paper. This requires a whole lot more than liften the bridge in terms of pure force. And lastly. He can make Wolverine fly due to the adamantium in his bones. Now I don't think that adamantium is magnetic, however it is possible to make non magnetic materials or so-called diamagnetic materials act magnetic aswell. This is the part where he really shows his strength, although the bridge lifting seemed to be the hardest time he had.

    So how do he do it?
    Is it possible to create magnetic fields this BIG?
    Is it possible to create magnetic fields this STRONG?

    Ehm.. yes... kinda.
    Not the part with creating big magnetic fields. Magneto might be able to do it, but we cannot. Generally a magnetic field will only stretch a meter beyond it's medium. So if we say we made a 100 meter long magnet, we will have a 102 meter long magnetic field. I don't know how long the bridge is or how long a magnet one would need to lift it steadily. But I cannot see that happening.

    Here comes the science stuff. In my days at collage, I got to do a project where I did my experiments using a NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) scanner. Kinda like the MR (Magnetic Resonance) scanner at the hospital, only with a SMALLER magnetic field, and therefore much STRONGER.
    The MR scanner is, as some of you probably know, used in hospitals to do head scans. It can tell if your brain has a clot, a bleeding or a bullet within it. And with it's smart computer programs, it can draw an image of this, very detailed in fact. The MR scanner has a very strong magnetic field. So strong that it was feared and tested for it's reactions with iron-ink based tattoos and screws in bones after fractures. It has no effect though. Atleast not the modern types I have come across. However, the magnetic field is strong enough to act on diamagnetic materials like water, tissue, cells, fat... All that sorta stuff we have in our head, and it will deflect the magnetic field in a certain way according to this. The shape of the magnetic field is then captured by a sensoring screen, kinda like x-ray imagery, only digitally and computed into an image.
    So yeah. It is possible to create magnetic fields strong enough to act on diamagnetic materials. And Magneto probably use magnetic resonance to do his thing.
    But how strong will it have to be?

    Magnetic force is measured in Gauss and Tesla. Both scientific units to describe something called magnetic flux density. It is basically the strength of a magnet.
    Planet earth has a magnetic field, stretching from the northpole to the southpole. Guess you didn't know that huh? Well it is about 0.25 Gauss strong at it's surface and 25 Gauss strong at the earth's core. Pretty strong right?
    NO! The magnetic field on earth is not strong. It is big. It will effect your compass needle because it is big, nothing more. The typical fridge magnet is around 50-100 Gauss in strength.
    Now the unit Tesla on the other hand is a whole other world. 1 Tesla = 10000 Gauss.
    Can we make a magnet with the power of 1 whole Tesla? Yes. And more.
    Back to NMR. These are Tesla strength magnetic fields. Starting at around 0.5 and most can reach around 4. The current record is 45 Tesla. They are typically used to detect chemical compounds in liquids, but there are other fun things to use them for.
    Now safety first. A NMR machine is so powerful, that it can potentially kill you.
    It can rib out the screws and metal plate in your arm, from the time you fell on the playground. And it will give you a rash if you get your tattoos too close. And if you crank it up, you will sweat blood. Oh yes indeed.

    Here is a video where the labchef has left the room, so a bunch of students shows that a 4 Tesla strong NMR machine can pull with the force of 300 pounds from 1 meters distance. This proofs that Magneto might have been able to bend metal. Although clearly his strength is more than 4 Tesla.
    How dangerous are magnetic items near an MRI magnet? - YouTube

    If you turn up your NMR machine to 10 Tesla, you have make a frog levitate. Water mostly, is repelled from the coil, thus making the frog float midair in the center of the coil. Due to the shape of the frog, it bounces back and forth. Was the frog harmed during this experiment? Maybe. However, the frog was chosen as test subject, because it is mostly made of water, it can breathe on land and he has a quite unique skin, that allows it to not die from having all blood drained though the skin.
    levitating frog - YouTube

    And lastly. Induction heat.
    Your stove might be an induction stove. If it is, your pots and pans are heated with a strong electro magnet, which is rather clever in my mind. It is also very effective and can be brought up a level or two.
    Welding devices and blowtorches are these days getting replaced by induction based tools and further more, if you trap a piece of iron in the center of a coil like the frog was in the video before, it will heat up to the point where it MELTS. Here I have found a video where this is the case. In the end the liquid drops, this is not because the magnetic field is shut off, but because the magnet isn't strong enough to levitate the liquid metal at that exact tempurature. (Far beyond the Curie point if anyone might object).
    melt metal with magnets - YouTube

    To sum up:
    I had a though the other day. Magneto's abilities could be the base of some really cool magic in a fantasy story. If you had wizards who could use this. They could bleed a main full bloodmage style. Like literally taking his blood, draining it though his skin, collecting it in a one gallon floating red orb, just above a pale white corpse the world's biggest suction mark. Or it could be taking down a notch and be used to slow down a running man/horse. Maybe only due to the armor he was wearing. Or you could boil a man living, in his metal suit with induction heat. If you are powerful enough, induction might even work on diamagnetic materials aswell, and you can boil him without his armor on.
    It can be used to deflect arrows flying towards you, or parrying swords midair.
    You can use it in so many ways. I don't think magneto know how strong he really was. He limited himself (well the auther did). But remember. Rules and limitations makes the story better.
    For example. In real life, you would be able to make a man levitate in a strong and big enough NMR machine. BUT! He would die from his injures. (No frogskin).

    Hope some of you liked my rant. Feel free to ask me any questions, my understanding goes well beyond this. And if you have corrections, throw them in here too. Have a nice sunday everyone!

    TL;DR. Magnets are so ****ing cool!
  2. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    Get right down to it, most 'superpowers' are essentially magical abilities.

    Hence, 'superhero' is roughly equivalent to 'wizard with limited abilities.'
  3. Magic and science fiction are not two seperate things, but exist on a continuum. Most superpowers exist in the middle of that continuum.

    My magic system is based on the concept of superpowers. Each person has one power, which they are born with. When writing it, I've found out that over-analyzing powers leads to disaster, either in the form of powers becoming extremely overpowered, or just plain not making sense. So, I have to define what each power can do (for example, create heat) rather than how they do it (agitating atoms to create heat)
  4. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

    Just don't forget that superpowers and magic fill two different conceptual spaces so "Manipulating Metal" as a form of magic is going to be interpreted differently by your audience than it would as a form of superpowers.

    In other words, no Magneto is not a wizard because the Marvel universe has established magic and magic users of which Magneto is not one. I agree that his powers are not scientifically accurate and that superpowers can serve as cool inspiration for magic, but they are not magic and could easily cause problems if you just translate it one to one to a fantasy setting.
  5. TinyHippo

    TinyHippo Scribe

    I'm glad so many read my post. Didn't know what to think of it myself. I agree with DragonOfTheAerie that magic/superpowers should never be analyzed too much. Especially not in a scientific direction, because at some point you will have to lie, and readers will know..
    ThinkerX and Queshire, I don't know if I'm reading two different opinions here, but I get your points. Personally I would never use powers like Magneto's in a setting. Any setting. Mostly because I have thought about how overpowered it would be to do some of the things he can, plus it would be hard to explain why he cannot do other "easier" things with these abilities to set limitation.
    However, I would read the story. I'm sure most people didn't know how powerful magnetism can be and how extremely powerful a superhero/supervillain/wizard Magneto really is, so if anyone find this thread useful or got some inspiration I would like to know where they took it. A chapter or two would be awesome to see!

    One question though.. Do people like this kinda stuff? I have for a long time wanted to do something like a blog. I'm not a great writer, but I'm quite the researcher and I think I have a good knowledge on some subjects. So basically, would you read it if I wrote about how stupid (in my opinion) Hollywood is to always let the girl handle the bow, would you read about medieval fashion, how heavy Mjolnir is, PTSD through history and so forth?
  6. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Troubadour

    Some people do like reading other people's opinions on blogs. I found that writing a blog was liberating in a way, and the few people who found my little corner of cyberspace and enjoy it became secondary to how I feel writing it. If it's something you're considering, I'd recommend it.
  7. vaiyt

    vaiyt Scribe

    I find it funny that many superheroes feel more wizard-y than actual wizards in many fantasy books. Magneto and The Flash being prime examples.

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