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I am creating a world where the creation of matter through magic is possible. Right now I am leaning toward the creation of a new subatomic particle that can directly convert energy in the form of mana/magic. Each individual has a set limit of this energy that can be manipulated by will.

Other than that, other things don't make sense. This magic seems to be messing up the law of thermodynamics, Mass cannot be created or destroyed but clearly, that is not the case in this universe" What did not make sense is that there were no obvious changes in the other things around him. The most intriguing aspect was that in a closed environment such as this planet, the matter/energy gain still seems equal. If any hobo around the block could create matter, matter would just keep on accumulating but it seems that the net-loss, net-gain still applied in this universe. Of course on earth, there were ways of creating matter but not in such an incredible way. The creation of matter involved mainly particle accelerators, and huge amounts of energy. The particle accelerators would try and smash photons (units of Electromagnetic Frequency also thought of as elementary particles that light is composed of) and if it was successful this, in turn, would give an antiproton or antielectron with their equivalent proton or electron pair.

Edit: I just wanted to add that the said character saw water gushing out of a woman's palm like a high powered hose with no recoil. Also planning to make the mages mainly elementalists. Water, Air, Fire, Earth

The said individual observed magic for the first time, and there was sort of a creation of matter. I know that there is something wrong with the text above but I can't put my finger on it. Please kindly point this out.

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    $\begingroup$ The quote is from a story of yours, and you want it to be a scientifically correct pondering on an event that seems (to the observing character) to be 'impossible' - is that a correct rendition of your question? $\endgroup$ – bukwyrm May 20 '18 at 19:25
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    $\begingroup$ Umm apart from editorial help, which would be better pursued on Writing Stack what are you asking? $\endgroup$ – Ash May 20 '18 at 19:26
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know if we can help you, without the context of the entire book with which to identify where the issue lies. A paragraph on it's own is rarely wrong. If I may recommend, however, two things. First is to read Sanderson's Laws of Magic which are central to the kind of thing you are trying to create. Second, is where there's light, there's dark. If there's creation of matter, there should be the dissolution of matter. If there isn't, then that's interesting. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon - Reinstate Monica May 20 '18 at 19:26
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    $\begingroup$ This question has been voted to reopen, but I don't see any clarification as to the OP's intent or need. If you want to justify what only appears to be the creation of something from nothing then you only need to remember that e=mc^2 can be reversed to read m=e/c^2. Your magic is simply lowering the energy state of, well, energy, such that it materializes. Your example woman could be described as having a Clarkean replicator in the palm of her hand, nothing more. But to actually justify it we need you to describe the rules of your magic, otherwise this question must remain closed. $\endgroup$ – JBH May 22 '18 at 0:11
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    $\begingroup$ I took a swing at editing the question title to be clearer. It is possible that I am misunderstanding the question. If so, feel free to roll back or preferably edit forward into something that people can understand better. $\endgroup$ – Brythan May 22 '18 at 2:12
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Not Actually Creating It

In the Dresden files the main character witnesses a number of creatures from another dimension where magic creatures and magic users come from/are metaphysically tied to. Some of these creatures can perform conjurations, or shape shifting. He cannot wrap his head around how a man could transform into a horse and gain the appropriate mass from nowhere. The man/horse shape shifter later runs into a wall at full gallop and clear goo splatters everywhere then dissipates leaving the guy behind unscathed. It is discovered that Matter from the parallel universe cannot cohere in out universe unless supplied by a constant stream of energy (magic of course) that is being directed by the concentration of the conjurer/shape-shifter. Without the concentration needed to maintain the magical control over the matter's properties it quickly de-coheres and is dissipated back to its original universe.

Obviously this is hand-wavey scifi and not science, and it seems like you are trying to go for more plausible sounding pseudo-science. Mass is NOT in fact being created or destroyed by your magic users; your magic users simply have control over enough energy that they can turn it into mass. It's theoretically possible, we don't know how it would be done mind you, just that if you have access to and control over a literally astronomical amount of energy you could theoretically convert it to mass and back again. This has some unsettling implications however, since converting only a few grams of matter back into energy at 100% efficiency would obliterate the eastern seaboard and send tsunamis across the planet that devastated the opposite coast lines before drifting dust and ash started a mini-ice-age. Any individual who could through sheer contrivium powers manipulate enough energy to form it into even a small object is quite literally a walking talking apocalypse capable of shattering the planet in such a spectacular way that the aliens we haven't met yet would see the light show from many light years away and write Nobel space prize winning dissertations on what the hell just happened.

You would need to hand-wave up some kind of limitation that allowed these magic users to control and direct enough energy to perform these feats but not reverse the process and turn matter back into energy, for obvious reasons there needs to be limits placed on how they can channel this energy too.

My proposal is that these magic users are kind of like human electrical circuits. They can tap into and direct a current of energy in one specific direction and for one specific purpose but no system is 100% perfectly efficient. If you are trying to channel too much energy too fast the percentage of wasted energy will be transferred to them and burn them out like an overloaded electrical fuse. People getting too hubristic might explode violently or spontaneously burst into flames and be incinerated. Obviously its a one way ticket so once this energy has been made into matter it cannot be converted back again.

Obviously is all still very hand-wavey, but if written properly it has enough sense in it that suspension of disbelief could be achieved. Ironically in writing trying to provide too much exposition can actually ruin this effect.

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The matter moves in from somewhere else.

Suppose the matter is moving in from an alternate reality. Considered as a whole, with all possible realities together, no matter/energy is created or destroyed, just moved from dimension to dimension.

This then lends itself to devising the rules by which magic operates. Suppose the different states of reality are like water towers. A given state of reality has accumulated an excess of matter / energy. One could imagine a sort of pressure building up there such that it is easier to take from that reality - it has excess pressure and so "wants" to give away its material / energy. If I open a channel to such a place it might be like drinking from the firehose - I get more than I expected. Likewise with the converse - a state of reality which has been depleted will have a sort of negative pressure - it gets hard to take any more from it. Perhaps a mage opening a channel to that dimension will be surprised that a powerful suction exists, and matter/energy from her dimension might be sucked across.

The key to magic in this scenario is to know what alternate planes exist, what is there that might be useful, and how to sound them out to make sure you do not get a surprise when you reach across for something. The hobo might not be so careful - he has a limited skillset and so does not generally ask or receive much. Serious mages who perform big doings are the ones who need to be careful. And there might be powers higher yet whose actions are the ones responsible for relative imbalance across the dimensions.

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  • $\begingroup$ Cyclops (from x-men) beam is powered this way $\endgroup$ – Felipe Pereira May 20 '18 at 22:59
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Ask the universe to not look too closely

No, really- you can do this. It’s explicitly required by quantum mechanics and justified by the difference between the rest mass of a proton relative to the mass of the quarks that compose it. These are called virtual particles. They pop into existence for minuscule amounts of time as disappear just as rapidly.

Virtual particles are the mediators for many kinds of forces. Virtual photons are responsible for the activity of magnets, virtual W-bosons are responsible for most beta-decay, and so on. These particles are everywhere.

Why is this allowed? This sudden “appearance” of matter and later disappearance? It’s because we have Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. Generally, this is used to declaim that we cannot know both a particles momentum and position at the same time, but it also describes a relationship between time and energy. The smaller the time frame, the more variable the energy in that time frame. These “virtual” particles are so called because they’re essentially statistical fluctuations in the background of spacetime.

How does this apply to your question? Well, if your magic users ask the universe especially nicely to not look, they’ll be able to create mass from nothing but the statistical fluctuations in spacetime. They’ll have to give it back eventually, of course, but the matter produced could be “stabilized” via magic for a while until it’s served it’s purpose. In this way, your magicians could produce virtual water molecules or rock particles, or the photons derived from fire, if not the fire itself.

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I'm sure you are familiar with alchemy, and its law of equivalent exchange. In case you aren't, it states something cannot be created out of nothing. You have to give to get. So when you think about a universe where something can just materialise out of thin air, alchemy definitely comes to mind. In the air there is a certain amount of elementary particles not just from the things that make up our classic mixture of air.(i.e. nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen etc.)

GSI Particle accelerator has been able to accumulate gold by crashing molecules with one another at crazy speeds. Granted it is a very slow process (very, very slow), but if you are somehow able to explain why there is a much higher percentage of different materials in the air of your world, you might be able to justify why you are able to create things out of ''nothing'.

Also reading Sanderson's laws of magic as suggested above, is a good idea to help balance the unlikely and magical with the scientific justifications you give in your writing.

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Is there a pop of increased air pressure when something is conjured? If no, it may be that magic consumes a portion of the matter that is in the place it is being brought into. Air is still a physical material, although not as dense as others. Maybe magic converts air into the created object, with greater efficiency than the particle accelerator. Additional mass and energy costs could either be drawn from the nearby physical mass, or the energy behind magic as a force could fill in those gaps. By this explanation, magical creation would be impossible in the void of space.

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No need for a new subatomic particle or violation of the laws of thermodynamics...

We already have the ability to create matter / antimatter from energy. We only do it for antimatter because it is so energy expensive to create.

Your individual just needs access to tremendous amounts of energy and the ability to focus that energy in the way cern does to create antimatter.

If I was to suggest a sci-fi or fantasy method for this... Have you individual be an expert at folding and manipulating space. This would give that individual a wormhole creating capacity to pull the energy needed from a distant star. It would also give them the means to focus that energy in a way to turn it into matter.

If you want something subatomic, then have the wormholes be subatomic. Thus your individual is creating say a wormhole for each atom of the object they are bringing into existence. If they create all the wormholes at once, the object would appear to pop into existence.

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For some reason, the protagonist is stumped by the production of matter, but has some kind of gods-eye view of the energy/mass balance of an entire planet, or possibly universe?

Any technology advanced enough is indistinguishable from magic... The character would observe matter created, without much brouhaha. Like a 1900-person observing a microwave oven (doesn't get hot inside??) or a laser pointer (where does the light come from, how can it be so focused?) the observer may ponder effects known at the time, but seeing a birthday cake (or whatever object) appear in midair, my last thought would be about particle accelerators, because they are obviously absent. Also not featured would be ruminations about the laws of thermodynamics - who am I to say that very cake did not just disappear in the bakery next door? I'd probably be more eager to ascertain I did not miss a beat (check timepiece) or that it is not some visual trickery.

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