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I'm writing a children's book where there is a force field over a park. I need a way for my characters to get through the force field without them totally shutting it down. I'm thinking something like a large ring (about the size of a hula hoop) that they can stick into the field that would somehow loop the energy around and keep the ring open and clear so they could get through. Is this possible? Can you think of another way? Thanks for your time and thoughts!

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    $\begingroup$ This is pretty broad as it stands. Force fields are completely fictional entities; they can work any way you want them to. Maybe they break down in the presence of that weird hula hoop. Maybe you can dance your way through. Maybe if you just shout at it enough, it will let you pass. Without more information about your particular brand of force field and how it operates, literally anything could work. $\endgroup$ Feb 26, 2018 at 20:14
  • $\begingroup$ Okay. I didn't know if there were generally accepted rules for force fields, and I'm not a scientist, so didn't know if there were particular physics principles (even if FF aren't real) that they had to follow. I appreciate your answer and I know what to do now. Whatever I want :) Thanks $\endgroup$
    – K Johnson
    Feb 26, 2018 at 20:26
  • $\begingroup$ i would use a en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage if you wanna sound sci-ency after all most force-fields are in someway based of electromagnetism in sci-fi. as for not being detected, if the kids did this while it was raining or storming then the change in the FF would be masked in the white noise from the rain. it's also a good excuse for thematic weather if you need it. (a faraday cage can easily just be a big coil of copper btw) $\endgroup$
    – Ummdustry
    Feb 26, 2018 at 20:34
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    $\begingroup$ There aren't any generally accepted rules for force fields. They don't exist, but they're common enough in sci-fi/fantasy that they don't really suspend disbelief anymore. $\endgroup$ Feb 26, 2018 at 20:44
  • $\begingroup$ Fantastic! Thanks, everyone. I appreciate your response and direction. $\endgroup$
    – K Johnson
    Feb 26, 2018 at 22:11

3 Answers 3

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Since this is a children's book, I'm assuming that the Cool Factor is going to be more important to the target audience than scientific rigor!

In terms of things a kid could easily understand, there are a couple possibilities.

Option 1) Fighting force with force

If your force field is static and unchanging (like a magnet), you could use a second force field that emits a field exactly equal and opposite to the field in the location it is placed. This way, it is being "pulled" just as hard as it is being "pushed", making the net force on an item zero.

In a children's book, one possible metaphor for this would be two identical fans blowing directly at each other--a piece of paper put exactly in the middle would end up not moving at all. It's not the best analogy out there, but at least it could be easily illustrated. (You could also use opposing magnets to explain this, although that could be a bit less intuitive.)

Option 2) Force-canceling "headphones"

If you want your force field to seem a bit more like a dynamic, oscillating energy barrier--which might sound a little more futuristic--you could introduce a device that works a lot like active noise cancelling headphones. It would detect the field around it and spit out a field of its own that is exactly out of phase with it, nullifying it. One good thing about this is that it would work on all force fields--not just the one--and only let the wearer through.

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Here is an idea.

The characters known you cant run through it or walk through it. Birds hit it and bounce off. Rain runs off of it.

But big flakes of snow go through it. The force field is like a motion detector. If you move very, very slowly, it will not offer resistance.

There is a parallel if you want to get sciency. Electromagnetic induction is an electrical force produced by a conductor within a changing magnetic field. The faster the change the more the force. The force produced opposes the force producing it.

Your field taps into the kinetic energy of an object hitting the field to generate a proportionately large force that repels it. An object which is just barely moving only gets the tiniest repulsive force produced.

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  • $\begingroup$ Oh, my goodness! Such cool ideas. You all rock. I like this one too. Could add some great comedy. Thanks!! $\endgroup$
    – K Johnson
    Feb 28, 2018 at 16:35
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Burrow under it. Assume that your technobabble force field does not extend underground, but it will extend the shape if somebody removes the earth on which it rests. So the trick is to tunnel in such a way that the roof of the tunnel does not collapse.

Lift it up. As a variant of the above, assume that if you can put your hand under a piece of sod beneath the force field, you can lift the sod and the force field will adjust itself to the new "ground" contours.

Find a drainage pipe. Nothing to explain.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice! I can see how that would work very well, and when they get chased out, they could collapse the tunnel and the bad guys would be caught when the FF extended itself. thanks! $\endgroup$
    – K Johnson
    Feb 28, 2018 at 16:35

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