1
$\begingroup$

The Volt Dragon is an incredibly dangerous beast that reeks havoc on any attempted air travel. This dragon generates many small but powerful magnetic fields whose strength can be varied voluntarily by the dragon, and its scales are reinforced with metallic compounds. As this dragon moves the magnetic fields induce currents in its scales, and when the fields are very strong, current jumps between the scales creating visible sparks. This means that touching or even getting near the dragon messes with electrical systems and can cause very painful shocks.

So how could the Volt dragon generate these magnetic fields? If this isn’t even possible, (remember it doesn’t have to be likely, just possible) then is there some other way I could get the same effect? Any extra info on how strong these currents would be or some strange secondary effects would be appreciated!

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe the dragon could influence the quantum spin of the particles in his hide somehow? Highly implausible, but still a start. $\endgroup$ – Budhaditya Ghosh Mar 9 '18 at 16:52
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Won't work that way. Currents are induced due to relative motion of a conductor through a magnetic field. Since both the field and motion are generated by the dragon there is no relative motion. $\endgroup$ – nzaman Mar 9 '18 at 18:45
  • $\begingroup$ @nzaman What if the dragon could move either the magnetic fields or the scales independent of the other $\endgroup$ – Nick Mar 9 '18 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ You don't need to go to all that trouble. Apparently your dragon can control the strength of the magnetic field it produces. A rapid change in magnetic field strength counts as motion. All it would have to do is rapidly cycle the strength and direction of the field to generate a current $\endgroup$ – nzaman Mar 10 '18 at 4:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "reeks havoc" So it smells so terrible that havoc ensues as people try to get away from it? =P $\endgroup$ – Steve-O Mar 10 '18 at 21:27
6
$\begingroup$

Look at the electric eel for inspiration.

The electric eel has three pairs of abdominal organs that produce electricity: the main organ, the Hunter's organ, and the Sach's organ. These organs make up four fifths of its body, and give the electric eel the ability to generate two types of electric organ discharges: low voltage and high voltage. These organs are made of electrocytes, lined up so a current of ions can flow through them and stacked so each one adds to a potential difference.

When the eel finds its prey, the brain sends a signal through the nervous system to the electrocytes. This opens the ion channels, allowing sodium to flow through, reversing the polarity momentarily. By causing a sudden difference in electric potential, it generates an electric current in a manner similar to a battery, in which stacked plates each produce an electric potential difference.

In the electric eel, some 5,000 to 6,000 stacked electroplaques can make a shock up to 860 volts and 1 ampere of current (860 watts) for two milliseconds (ms).[citation needed] Such a shock is extremely unlikely to be deadly for an adult human, due to the very short duration of the discharge.

By the description of your dragon in the question, I think the lizard would be well served by having multiple organs such as the eel's electrical ones.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Basically, it's much easier to create an electric field rather than a magnetic one. $\endgroup$ – Pete Kirkham Mar 9 '18 at 17:40
4
$\begingroup$

The moving magnetic fields would generate eddy currents in the plates; circular currents with very low voltage. Low voltage means no arcing. Especially not to adjacent objects as there is no build-up of charge to discharge via arc. All the eddy currents are doing is generating magnetic fields that oppose the magnetic fields they're moving through. That is, the dragon will be slowed to a stop in the air and be incapable of flight.

How to solve this? Give the dragon the ability to electrically separate the plates. With high enough eddy currents and some small inductance in the plates, opening the path for current will generate a very high voltage very quickly. However, the arc will only occur between the now separated plates, still not to the ground or to other objects (unless that object is close enough and conductive enough that it represents a lower impedance path than the air between plates).

So, the dragon would be flying, fix some magnetic fields to fly through, suddenly come to a halt due to electromagnetic breaking, then burst into an arcing ball of lightning. Useful if the dragon likes the smell of ozone or has a pesky armored knight riding on his back, but that's about it.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

We can approach this problem from another angle. say the dragon creates electricity from its organs similar to the eel.

The electric eel has three pairs of abdominal organs that produce electricity: the main organ, the Hunter's organ, and the Sach's organ. These organs make up four fifths of its body, and give the electric eel the ability to generate two types of electric organ discharges: low voltage and high voltage. These organs are made of electrocytes, lined up so a current of ions can flow through them and stacked so each one adds to a potential difference.

now we have 2 descriptions of the dragon:

  1. it wrecks havoc on air travel(which can be caused due to EMP) and
  2. it has metallic plates.

now as the metallic plates get charged, they can produce emps when they keep touch though the charge produced must be really great. even if the charge keeps switching it can produce an emp.

EMP

Electrostatic discharge (ESD), as a result of two charged objects coming into close proximity or even contact. -wikipedia

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ EMP is a very general term, so don't confuse ESD as having similar effects as a NEMP, which is the thing most people think of when saying "EMP". That would be akin to thinking a Harlequin Shrimp is as dangerous as a Lion because they're both predators. $\endgroup$ – Samuel Mar 9 '18 at 20:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.