Can you burn cadmium to trap air and move in space like that?
Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)
That's a plausible extrapolation, but I'll give you a RAFO on that. You're thinking along the right lines.
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Can you burn cadmium to trap air and move in space like that?
That's a plausible extrapolation, but I'll give you a RAFO on that. You're thinking along the right lines.
When someone is inside a time bubble where time is going faster, do they age more quickly than they would outside?
So there's a sort of relativistic effect going on there?
Yes, I tried to keep it as close as possible to the actual effects. The only thing I didn't include, I think, is the red-shift of light when it leaves the bubble, because that would irradiate everything around it.
What's it like inside a time bubble on a windy day?
So, I've had to play around a little bit with the air. Air moves in and out, you would still feel it windy, but as I have it you will not feel it from the direction the wind is coming, it will be deflected a little bit. So you might be a little bit in a wind tunnel or something, probably a swirl.
So my quick question: Can you use Identity (I love the speed bubbles!) to anchor speed bubbles to yourself?
Uh, this is possible. That's less a matter of Identity. What’s gonna happen there, like, the more someone uses the powers, the more familiar and intermingled with their soul the powers become, and they are able to accomplish things that others can't. This would be like a Mistborn learning to hover a coin, right, which they can do, but most think you can't. That's the sort of level we're going with.
So a savant could?
A savant could totally do that. The problem is, things moving in and out of a speed bubble, there's a transference of energy. This is how we keep speed bubbles from irradiating people when light moves through them, right, red shift. And so there's a transfer of energy directly from the Spiritual Realm, which means that moving with a speed bubble, you're gonna run into that, and it's gonna be, it's gonna cause all kinds of problems, but it would be possible.
If you have a Slider that uses their power a lot, and I know bendalloy is very expensive, but do they need to live a fewer number of real-time years?
Yeah, yeah, that will affect them.
One other speed bubble question. Is the speed of light the same inside and outside a speed bubble?
Um, yes. The speed of light is the same. Good question, you're trying to figure out the FTL.
Also, it would eliminate the redshift if the speed of light…
If the speed of light were similar. That's one thing we considered, but it felt too unintuitive, plus it's just not how I imagined things working. So, no it is not, but that's a good question. It is something we considered.
What would happen--
Imagine I had-- imagine Wayne is standing near the end of an aluminium tube. He tries to set up a speed bubble such that he radius would go through the tube, what would happen?
Okay standing at the end of an aluminum tube, well I don't know--
Oh I see what you're saying. Yeah, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. I think that if it's trying to be set up through aluminum it's gonna' disrupt it, you're gonna' have that sort of the "backlash" that you get when-- yeah.
Oh so you can't even set it, it won't be there *inaudible*--
I don't think you can set it up, I think it's gonna' cause it to collapse the second that it tries to pop up around the aluminum.
Okay that makes sense.
Yeah, it's probably gonna' act like you tried to set up a speed bubble on something that's too small and moving.
Can Cadmium bubbles be nested if you have multiple Pulsers?
Bonus Question: add in duralumin/nicrosil to the equation.
The effects multiply.
I guess hiring 3-4 Pulsers before something you have to prepare for might be worth it. They create their bubbles one after the other at the same place, and boom, you have days instead of minutes.
Ok, lets calculate. We don't have exact figures for cadmium, but we have for bendalloy: 2 minutes into 15 seconds, that's a ratio of 8. 4 Pulsers mean 84 = 4096 ratio. So 21 second for every day goes by for every day you spend in there.
The outer Pulser burns this 168.75 second's worth of cadmium, the first inner one needs 22.5 minutes, the second inner one needs 3 hours and the innermost needs the 24 hours.
So basically for every day spent in these bubbles you need ~27.5 hours worth of cadmium, depending on how routinely they set up the bubbles one after the other.
Wait, are you mixing up sliding and pulsing? I also think you are nesting your bubbles but not your pulsers, so you are losing a lot of efficiency not to mention practicality.
Tell me if I'm misinterpreting what you're describing, but this is how I'm visualizing it:
I'm saying that you get 4 pulsers huddled together and the one that can open the biggest bubble goes first. Then the next largest one pops his. Then the next. And finally the smallest bubble fires.
In that scenario (unless there is something that prevents this) I picture it like this:
This method, 170 days pass only burning 4 hours worth of cadmium.
Well. I'm gonna do it. Gonna page /u/mistborn and ask: is this possible? Can time bubbles be nested like so and if they can do you truly get this kind of efficiency?
This one is a RAFO. :)
I've been rereading alloy of law and I was wondering about a few things related to speed bubbles.
Speed bubbles can't move once they're put up, but what happens if you put one up while you're in a moving train or something? Does it move with the train? What if the train stops/turns while the bubble is up? (This might have happened and I'm forgetting in which case just ignore me...)
Can an allomancer leave their bubble while it is still up (meaning it stays up with them outside of it)?
What happens to things and or people partially inside of the bubble? Like, if I swing a pole through the time bubble, do I feel extra resistance or acceleration on it? If I stick my hand through it does it get all messed up like in that episode of TNG(S6E25)?
Is the magnitude effect that causes bullets to go off course when entering a speed bubble proportional to the slowing/speeding of time in the bubble? For example, could I put up a very slight speed bubble (gaining me an extra second every few minutes) and get the same deflection as the ones used by Wane in the books?
If you change your weight with feruchemy, is momentum conserved? For example, if I am moving while I decrease my weight, do I start going faster?
You'd be surprised by how many of these questions I answer in the next two Mistborn books. I think I might have addressed every one except number four. (In that case, the deflection is indeed proportional.) This is a RAFO, but more a "I took all this time to explain it in the text, so let's let you read it there." :)
1)Would it be possible to invest a metal such as bendalloy so that it's "active" and create a time bubble? 2)Would an invested object creating a bubble move about the bubble like Wayne does inside his? Or would the bubble move with the invested object? 3)Wayne implies that it takes a couple seconds between dropping a time bubble and creating a new one. Is this a biologically related limit, or magically related limit? 4)Would more powerful allomancy/investment increase the size of the bubble, or change the time differential?
My theory is that if someone created a large bubble that sped up time inside of it (so time outside seems slower) You would cross the bubble faster than light would cross the same difference outside of it. Of course the journey would take the same time inside as it would without the bubble which would mean the need for a generation ship. To compensate someone could then create a smaller pocket of slowed down time (cadmium) which would cancel the sped up time and create a normal time flow. This would allow living humans to experience the same flow of time as someone on scardial itself while the ship still travels are FTL speeds. If the bubbles traveled with the ship then there wouldn't be any additional strain the structure. If the bubbles couldn't travel with the ship but if the time it takes to create a new bubble could be overcome you could theoretically turn on/off the bubble maker at a very high frequency to allow the bubble to be re centered with the traveling ship.
So I'm curious if my theory is feasible?
You've got some serious RAFOS in there, I'm afraid, but let's see what I can answer.
First, I'd love to have your contact info through my website for running calculations. We've got some people, like Eric, who know their stuff--but having more physicists to help out is important when I start figuring things like red shift and what not.
As for the other questions, I'm digging out answers for you, where i can. Might take me a little longer, though.
Guys, have you noticed this bit in the Bendalloy section [of the Mistborn Adventure Game]?
"A physical attack made through the bubble, whether held or thrown, is robbed of its kinetic energy, often with an audible 'pop.'"
Could this be what we are looking for when trying to figure the FTL space travel thing?
This statement seems to violate several things from Alloy of Law: first, Wax's "shooting the bullet" scene, and the danger of being shot while inside a cadmium bubble.
Not really. A bullet shot out of a speed bubble IS robbed of kinetic energy—not all of it, but just enough to slow it down to the speed it would have been moving at had it been fired outside the bubble in the first place.
If Marasi and Wayne are standing near each other, and made a speed bubble….
They’d cancel each other out.
Totally cancel each other out?
Well, if they make it the same size. If not, they will make like a Venn diagram thing.
If they overlap completely, the circle overlaps each other completely, it'd cancel each other out? I mean, they could walk forward freely?
Yeah, they could probably.
Because they are still burning the metals, so is there something still going on?
Yes, there is still something going on, but it is negating one another. But no, she’s got a point because you could drop one, well, I suppose you could just put one up. If there were a reason that were important, then yes, you could do that.
But otherwise nothing’s happening.
Yeah, you’re not passing the barrier, and having the jolt of power.
So something could really cross the barrier? Because it is there but not there.
Yeah, but if you are completely negating and running at the same power then yes.
Given how much they futz with time, why doesn't Wax continually reset his watch?
They really should have to, huh? That's a good reminder. I've never thought about that.
Would tapping Feruchemical speed cause you to burn metals faster as your whole body speeds up?
Yeah. I think it probably would. I don't know if we've gotten to that interaction yet, but it probably would. Good question. If it's speeding up... Yeah, I think it would. Good question. If you're in a speed bubble and doing it, it's totally going to do it, and there's some analogies there.
If a Mistborn burned both cadmium and bendalloy at the same time, would the bubbles default to the same size?
That's an excellent question that I'm not gonna' to answer yet; because a lot of people have been asking me it and I want to make sure it comes out in the right way.
If they made the bubbles the same size, would there still be a barrier between the space inside and outside?
That's the question. I'm gonna' RAFO these things.
In general the cadmium bubbles are bigger than the bendalloy bubbles, but you can influence the size.
Is there a simple explanation of why bullets and objects that go through the time bubble wall are refracted at such random...?
There's two reasons. One is the outside-of-the-books reason, one is the inside-of-the-books reason. Outside the books, it made time bubbles too powerful. Limitations, that whole idea about limitations. In-world, what's happening is, there is a transfer of power that's happening right there. Which is what keeps light from irradiating people when it passes through a bubble. So, there's a transfer of energy, there's actually a thermodynamic process happening when you pass out of the speed bubble. And energy is being lost. And that has to do with cosmere physics.
So, I was thinking how the third trilogy was mentioned as being in the future (as opposed to the second trilogy being contemporary to our time), and I wondered if the people from Scadrial would be able to visit the other shardworlds without using Shadesmar - and, if so, how would they do it?
The simplest (and most boring, and not germane to the topic) method would be FTL travel.
But then I got to thinking about Pulsers and Sliders.
My first thought was, "Hey, what if a bunch of Pulsers - or some Pulser-inspired technology - could put a bubble around the crew quarters of a starship? That would allow the crew to travel from one system to another within their own lifetimes." Just put the ship on autopilot, power up the Pulser Engine, and go have a sandwich.
Then I tried to figure out if something similar might work for Sliders, but the first bump I hit was that bendalloy bubbles - and cadmium bubbles - were stationary. Which, in turn, would probably rule out the Pulser starship.
But then I thought some more. These books take place in a universe which is, astronomically, pretty much like our own. It follows the same rules of physics. Which means that Scadrial is rotating on its axis, while it revolves around its star, while that star moves within its galaxy, and that galaxy moves within its universe.
Which means, technically, bendalloy and cadmium bubbles aren't stationary. They're stationary relative to one object - Scadrial - but they're perfectly mobile when one looks at the bigger picture.
This makes me think that a Pulser starship might be possible, provided the Pulsing can be anchored to the ship rather than Scadrial.
It also makes me wonder why the default anchor is the planet and why nobody has figured out how to anchor it elsewhere. Is it simply a mental block that could be overcome? Is a person too small to be used as an anchor (even though the bubbles pop up with the person at the center)? Can a bubble's size be altered, dependent upon the size of its anchor? (That is, could a small bubble be made around, say, a person's heart if the whole person were the anchor?)
I still dig the idea of Allomancers Iiiin Spaaaaace!, though I'm not entirely sure how it would work.
[Links out to WoBs about Metallic Arts FTL being a thing]
So FTL is confirmed
There's an issue with conservation of momentum with speed bubbles.
Have you ever heard of the Alcubierre Drive?
Yes, I know about the Alcubierre drive.
So, if we took two speed bubbles--mechanized, because Allomancers aren't powerful enough to pull it off--could we create a functioning Alcubierre drive?
You are theorizing in the right direction.
What happens when you direct a stream of water at the border of a bubble in Alloy of Law Mistborn?
Let's do a RAFO on that.
Is there- have you come up with a Realmatic explanation for why light isn't affected by time bubbles besides handwavium "please don't burn people with microwaves"?
Peter's got one for us. 'Cause we were going to do redshift: like the actual original writing for it had redshifts; Peter's like "Dude, you will microwave everybody" I'm like "Oh man". So the handwavium of that: there is a real- there is an actual explanation, but it...
*they move to outside the store*
What's the middle of this question?
Middle of the question was you were thinking about explaining the Realmatics behind light for time bubbles.
Oh right, right right right right. I can't because it spoils future books; like that's spoiler for Mistborn... 10?
So... if you count the four Alloys, so really gotta stay away from stuff like that.
If Wayne was inside of a speed bubble and punches somebody who's standing outside it, what's happening with his fist and them: are they like sucked into the bubble, or what?
So, I have... So exiting a speed bubble, while it's going, has weird ramifications on lots of things. It would be really hard to punch somebody through a speed bubble--
So would the surface like distend around his fist--
*Illustrates with fist "stretching out" invisible film*
It's going to steal your momentum, but if you actually managed to do it, then-- yes. Anything in the speed bubble that's touching through is counted as being as part of the speed bubble.
Okay, so his bubble would end here *Draws invisible surface in the air* and his fist would be out there *Illustrates by "punching" arm through the fake surface, demonstrating the fist extending past the bubble while he arm is within*, but still fast?
Oh okay, thank you.
That's how I've imagined it so far.
But the bubble does end at [the same place still, with the fist extending out past its boundary].
The bubble does end, yes.
*Makes pleasantries and goes to leave*
And when you're punching through, it's going to-- your momentum is gonna'-- you're going to lose momentum and get a ricochet, because you're lurching from-- *notices Kurkistan (very foolishly) acting like he's about to leave* anyway... I'll let you figure that one out on your own.
If a hermit were to take a whole lot of cadmium and go off and live by himself, how far within a lifetime, reasonably, could he get into the future by essentially time-capsuling himself? Assuming they live to be 70 or 75.
They could get pretty far.
What would the savantism do to them?
The savantism would probably allow them to get further… It’s completely reasonable… you can treat this like relativistic travel.
If I get a Slider, a Pulser, and a Nicroburst in a rocket with a lot of metal, do I have FTL?
Hehehehe. You're getting closer but you haven't figured it out yet.
So time bubbles... How much control does a bubbler have over the bubble before and after it's cast? Can they just grow and shrink it or...
Not very much.
So Wayne could flare his metals make time go faster--
But if he'd stopped flaring--
Yeah, but-- they have a bit of control over the speed of it, but once it's up moving it or anything like that, not much. The flaring of it and things like that, yes they can-- it's mostly set when they start.
But they have some discretion when they start it.
They do have some discretion, yes.
If a time bubble is raised in a vacuum, is the diameter larger than a bubble raised in atmosphere.
No, atmosphere has no effect on bubble diameter.
So when that cork [in The Bands of Mourning] was thrown above the train, if the cork had been thrown by someone who was standing besides the train, what would have happened when the bubble hit [the cork]? So the bubble's moving at 60mph and the cork [is not moving laterally relative to the bubble] and gets hit by a bubble...
Right. Right right right... So... this one's complicated. Let me see if I can... So anything that touches the bubble will immediately be lodged into the bubble, and be hit by that... So say you throw something up, the bubble hits it, is what you're asking?
But it does not have momentum the same as the thing? So it would probably be in the bubble for a short time.
So if I threw the cork straight, and then the bubble came from the right, the cork would shift to the right within the bubble as the bubble thought it was moving or something? So the bubble thinks the cork is travelling like 60mph North, the cork thinks it's not moving at all... So does the cork move the opposite direction of the bubble or something?
Ask Peter the math on that one, and I'll have him run the math. That one's kind of... it's kind of like the time travel train experiment stuff, with the flags and things. So let's go ahead and PAFO that one.
I've heard you say before that Mistborn was gonna be three trilogies?
It'll be three trilogies, yes.
So the technology advances to faster-than-light?
Yes. The FTL is built into the magic systems, so there will be something where they figure out how to do that with the magic, and spaceships will be propelled using that.
Expanding bubbles around the engines and around the ships?
You'll see. You will see.
Someone on the site has a very convincing theory.
They're missing a very big important piece of the puzzle that you won't get for a few more books.
What happens if you burn atium at the same time as cadmium or bendalloy?
That would be really cool to see. *laughter* Here you go, you can have a RAFO card.
If Wayne and Breeze, like if Wayne had a time bubble up and Breeze was inside Pushing on somebody's emotions what--
He could still make that work.
Would it affect it?
Not really. It wouldn't dramatically affect it. You're going to have one of these sort-of effects-- Yeah, because what he is doing is on another Realm, it's not going to affect it.
Is that the same with all of the *audio obscured*
Not necessarily. See what's going on is if you are affecting things on the Cognitive Realm--
It's kind of time-independent?
Yeah? It's not as-- Really it's the Spiritual Realm that is completely time-independent, right? All time and space are irrelevant once you reach the Spiritual. You're kind of going to go over the top a little bit, it's going to work just fine. In fact you can probably-- So he could use that to make his metals last a little bit better, probably. So that is a hack of the magic systems that you could probably do.
OK guys, help me out on this.
Let's take a bubble where time is sped up inside, maybe to 10x, maybe to 100x. I'm thinking that if there is no light source inside the bubble, but all light comes from the area outside the bubble, to an observer outside the bubble all light that goes inside and gets redshifted will get blueshifted back the same amount when it exits the bubble. So the outside observer won't see a color change at all. (I'm ignoring refraction for the purposes of this post, but someone else may elucidate.)
The person inside the bubble will see a redshift of all light coming into the bubble--but will also see far fewer photons per second, so the world will go dim or even black.
At low time-speedups, the person in the bubble will see UV light shifted into the visible range, so will start effectively seeing in UV. At very fast speeds he can see X rays or even gamma rays. (I don't know from Brandon what the max speedup is.)
If the person inside the bubble turns on a flashlight, this will be shifted into the UV or X-ray range when it leaves the bubble. You can fry everyone around you with deadly radiation this way.
When you have a bubble that slows time, the opposite happens. People inside can see in infrared or radio waves. And if they go slow enough, visible light from the outside is shifted into the X-ray or gamma-ray range and the person inside gets fried by radiation. If they turn on a flashlight, people outside get cooked.
Can anyone point out flaws in this analysis? Does anyone have magical suggestions for why any of these things wouldn't happen?
For practical reasons it looks like there will need to be a lot of handwavium burned.
Hello Mr. Sanderson, I have a question about bendalloy bubbles—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?
And, if yes, is the boundary of active bendalloy bubble effectively impassable for living organisms? I get that bullets shot out of the bubble randomly change directions, but what happens to, let's say, a person trying to jump out of the bubble (or, given enough time, a person trying to get inside)?
Any living thing touching the bubble is affected by the bubble.
Now, do things actually move unpredictable at the edge [of a speed bubble] or do they refract out? Is it just that geometry is hard?
No, I have a level of unpredictability, I mean we're Chaos Theory. The idea being, you could predict if you had a perfect closed system and things like this, but it's unfeasible for most technology and minds to be able to predict.
Cadmium or bendalloy with duralumin or nicrosil?
That's a RAFO.
Does burning cadmium actually slow down time or just slow down the perception of time? (there was a bit more to the question but I was on the opposite end of the room)
It does actually slow time.
Would [cadmium] function if it were affixed to a body smaller than a planet with its own source of gravity?
What do you mean by work [function]?
Like a spacecraft. My thinking is that it could be used on long space voyages, because you’ve said that you're going to eventually progress into the space age...
So are you asking if we can use that as cryogenics?
I actually give you some tools for figuring these sorts of things out in The Bands of Mourning, so I'll refer you to that, because I'm dolling the physics of these things out, and since I know it's coming in January, just read that one. You'll get some more actual concrete laws and rules so you can start extrapolating.
Okay, so I'm contractually obligated to ask about time bubbles one more time.
So what's up with frame of reference for time bubbles; in that obviously if you make a bubble and it's still it's not really still, like time moves differently but--
We deal with that a little bit in Era 2 Book 2 [Shadows of Self], where we talk about the fact that you know-- obviously the bubble is moving with the planet. So they're not-- the frame of reference is not absolute.
And so we talk about sorta' the idea of mass and momentum and time bubbles and things like that.
For instance you can make a time bubble on a train.
Oh and it stays on the train?!
Yes, but when you start catching stuff off of the train, it's gonna' jar each time, and it's probably going to ruin your time bubble, right?
So does it get it's "anchor" from-- it's asking all the things that are within it what they think "still" is?
Yes. That's a good way of looking at it. Frame of reference for the Cognitive things around. Make sense?
Okay, the things around or the things within it, specifically?
The things that it's cutting into, specifically, but yeah.
Yes. Ehhhh... these are the hardest ones.
We've seen them work and move with trains, we've seen them not work with carriages: is there a size requirement, or is it how they view themselves?
That's a good question. So I build in this thing, right? I'm like "Oooh, speed bubbles! Speed bubbles are cool!" but the Delorean problem, right? You're like "I'm going to go back in time: to the middle of SPACE", because the planet is in the same position, right? This is stuff that science fiction writers have been having fun with since the silver age of science fiction. So I'm like "Alright, I need to deal with the Delorean problem". And so I'm like "Alright, we're going to have to say that frame of reference is a big part of it: so perception and frame of reference is a big part of it; and also size of the thing that you're on". So it would be possible to use kind of cosmere cognitive training to get that speed bubble moving with you-- And someone asked me a question about this on tour, I believe, so it would be in one of the reports-- Not this exact same thing, but "Could they learn to move their speed bubble with them?" And yes you can.
So it is how the allomancer views it, not how the thing views itself?
That's a part of it. Partially how it view itself, *garbled* It's really also mass. Big thing-- The speed bubbles required all kinds of physics-gymnastics. I'm sorry physicists, but once you start playing with time the stuff you gotta do. It's just crazy stuff you gotta do.
We actually sat down and worked out what the metric would have to do to have a speed bubble-- Yeah, it was gnarly.
...We did run the math on these things, and stuff like that. And Peter, y'know, he rais-- "Redshift" and stuff like this we talked about. And all kinds of fun stuff about speed bubbles that I then had to--
Khriss asked about that?
Yeah. So this is-- This one and manipulating weight... Those are the math ones. So these are the ones where-- They create the fun things to talk about, but they are where this is fantasy and not science fiction. Like a lot of these questions I could answer and you'd be like "Alright, if there were this alternate power source, we could buy this" but in this case we're like exception-list-of-asterisks to make it work. But they're too fun to not do, right? And I knew I was doing gravity on Stormlight, so I'm like "I gotta do weight separately".
This, I'm unsure of exactly what's being talked about because I have not been reading the forum: What happens when a Pulser is burning cadmium and in a speed bubble? She'd be burning her cadmium 20x faster than usual—so far as her bubble and those in it were concerned—and her slow bubble would extend far outside the area made "normal" by the effects of the speed bubble, so what happens with the extra energy?
Um… Send me that one in writing and let me run it through Peter who's my physicist.
Okay, we'll do that.
And maybe run the math through Eric. He's probably asking that one.
That was actually-- I think it was Windrunner on the forum. I might be wrong I think that’s who it was though.
He's supposed to ask me the hard Way of Kings questions, not the hard Mistborn questions.
Speaking of interfering, if you shot an aluminum bullet through a time bubble, what would happen?
Ooooh, that's a good question. I'm gonna RAFO that one. It's an excellent question.
If you draw a line of forbiddance on a piece of on a chalkboard that’s sitting on the ground and then hit that chalkboard, will the chalkboard move?
This is the number one question I get, actually. The answer is, it depends on the size of the line and the amount of power that’s been put into it. This is actually relating back to Cosmere physics. If you look at the Cosmere physics, you can see exactly what happens with the speed bubbles, it’s the same sort of principle. It’s based on perception. So putting a movable line, oftentimes you will just have trouble engaging the magic on something that’s not stable enough to be viewed as stable. Drawing it on a chalkboard and then turning it toward somebody actually wouldn’t work, because you wouldn’t be able to engage that line very easily with the way the magic works. And if you did, it would disrupt the line, and it would be gone. Treat whatever I do with speed bubbles as the rule for Rithmatist magic, until I write the second book. If I decide to take it in it’s own direction, I will let you guys know.
Let’s say that the fires of industry keep progressing in Middle Earth, and someone builds a spaceship, they get in it and go up. What do you think happens?
In Middle Earth? I think it is heavily implied by the time that happens that Middle Earth has changed to a place where there is no magic, so I think it works just fine.
[Follow-up on if Middle Earth is in the same universe as the cosmere]
You’re not talking to a Tolkein scholar here.
Yes, the cosmere takes place in a place where there is another branch of physics that is investiture, and that is the big change.
Do you ever run into problems with that, does it break physics?
Oh, yeah. If you look too deep in a fantasy book we are breaking the laws of thermodynamics and we are breaking causality. Those are the two big ones. And those are very important things to be… very dangerous things to be breaking. And you could probably write a fantasy novel that didn’t break those two things. Maybe? I don’t know. The way I avoid breaking laws of thermodynamics is by saying, we’ve got investiture that things can transfer into as well. We’ve got matter, energy, and investiture, I’ve added something to the tripod and therefore it looks like I’m just bending the laws of thermodynamics.
When you actually get down into the nitty-gritty, it starts to break down. It just has to. Causality is the big one. Once you have people teleporting and things like this, run the train experiment. I mean, you just have to say “It’s magic” at some point in a fantasy book. For most of them. I think you could do it, but in mine, with a grand scale magic system I want to do, we just have to say, “at that point it’s magic.” And this is how I think a fantasy writer differs from a science fiction writer.
A SF writer takes today and extrapolates forward. I take what is interesting and extrapolate backward. Usually. For instance speed bubbles. “I want to have speed bubbles. This is how they work. Peter, tell me the physics.” And we work it out together. We work out physics and try to hit the big trouble points and build into the magic why certain things happen. But that doesn’t stop us from making speed bubbles where there is time passing differently without using mass or whatnot to create time dilation, and it causes all kinds of weird things to happen.
So as I was researching all the stuff for trivia, I must say I was-- I became intrigued with the idea of duralumin and bendalloy or cadmium and whether or not it might have something to do with your FTL?
It's a good theory. That's a really good theory.
Would you like to expand on that?
No, that's it. That's a good theory.
What happens if you create a time bubble in a time bubble?
Lots of people are theorizing about that. The time bubble would not collapse, I’ll answer that much.
I think that you said at the Alloy release that it was mul—de...
I may have given an answer to that or not. I’m not going to say anything about that. Time travel and find out.
According to General Relativity, there should be spatial distortion in speed bubbles. So, why does no one notice it?
There is spatial distortion in speed bubbles, that's why bullets are refracted when they enter a bubble. However, I played with it a bit, and ignore the redshift that should happen. The barrier of the bubble absorbs it, otherwise everyone would just be irradiated.
With a cadmium or bendalloy savant, would they be able to impact the amount of time that they can compress or expand?
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
So they could fit-- Theoretically they could make-- fit more time into the same amount of metal.
Oh, that's what you're asking. Yeee-- *pauses* So, yes, technically, because... Yes, but mostly what that's going to do is going to influence your strength and how much you can multiply--
The size of the bubble?
The size of the bubble and the amount of time, like when you flare, you are pressing more time into it and a savant is gonna get really good at that. They're gonna get good at changing the bubble and the shape of the bubble, they're gonna get good at some of the other things involving the bubble. It does technically, as you become a savant, does mean you're able to squeeze a little bit more out of your metal, because that's just how it works, but that's not the main effect.
What exactly- When an object enters a time bubble, how exactly does it determine- how does it know how fast and which direction it's really going?
It gets deflected a little bit when it enters, but then it adapts to the momentum that it would have going in.
Like Spiritual bonds to something or other?
Riiight *sounds hesitant* it's- so... I can't explain that because it has relevance in the future. But in that moment when it passes [into the bubble], something is happening with conservation of momentum. The trick we have to do with it in order to keep from irradiating people.
Going back to the technology issue, in some of your books, particularly the Mistborn books, you explain why technology hadn’t developed for thousands of years. [...] What’s happened to gunpowder and combustion? Why isn’t that there?
In Rithmatist the reason why we don’t use gunpowder and combustion is early on, people figured out how to wind springs into the aether, and if you can wind a spring into the aether you can get energy out of it. Basically the way we’ve got it working in the Rithmatist (I would have to dig out the exact notes, so be warned) but the way we have it working right now is if you wind a spring made the right way, you can wind it into the aetherial winds. And you can wind, and then twist it, and when you unwind it catches the aetherial winds and spins with it. So you can actually get more energy out than you put in if you wind it one direction, lock it, and then lock it into the aetherial winds and unwind it. It’s like hydropower, but it is unseen hydropower.
So my explanation is they learned how to do this, and because they had access to this easier source of energy, their experiments with gunpowder and combustion weren’t as…. You could still make gunpowder. You could go build a gun on the Rithmatist world, and it would work just fine. But since they’ve been focusing on this other line of technology and they can access this energy, everything’s gone that direction instead. And I kind of built on the idea of the difference engine and things like this. People were trying to make mechanical versions of computers and whatnot. And if they had found a way to get energy out of it, they might have gone this direction.
That said, I did not put the rigor into the science that I often do in the cosmere books. That comes in the revision stage when I give it to scientists and to my assistant Peter, who look at the actual science and raise some of the issues. So Rithmatist, I didn’t have to worry about that as much. In the cosmere I have to worry about things like redshift and breaking causality, and all of this stuff, and at least have in-world reasons why people don’t get irradiated by light when you speed up time, whereas in the Rithmatist I can say, “It’s a fun alternate history fantasy book. So we’ll just go with that and be internally consistent and not worry about the laws of thermodynamics quite as much.
So it said in the book that if Marasi and Wayne had it on at the same time-- Would it cancel it out all the way, or would it just cancel out where both of the bubbles were?
Where both of the bubbles were.
So it would be like a--
You could make a bubble in a bubble, yes. Third book of...[Era 2]...will have a moment where they try to do a time bubble in motion.
A bubble in a bubble.
Not that one, the motion one, so you'll finally get some views on what's going on. You get some rules on that.
What happens if you overlap time bubbles?
Usually, it is additive. I believe. That's a PAFO. That's really a Peter And Find Out. I've nailed this all down with him, but I know we went back and forth on this. I think it's additive. Or, if it's different types, they just cancel each other. I'm pretty sure they're additive. It's possible he vetoed that for certain reasons. My recollection is that he didn't, but for some reason brain is saying "Wait a minute!" So I don't know why my brain is saying that. All I'm saying on that one is, if you read later on that I contradict that, it's because of something my brain is telling me I don't remember.