I'm looking into magic systems for my fantasy world, and among other things, I want to make sure that I have the effects right.
One such magic system allows the user to create a small 'bubble' of space nearby. All objects within this bubble (including the ground and air) have their mass reduced or increased. This works on an atomic level. The magic isn't adding new atoms or removing them, just increasing/descreasing their mass, and therefore increasing/decreasing their gravitational pull.
To the best of my knowledge, the mass of an atom is governed by how many neutrons it has, and changing that number would actually change what the atom is. Disregard that for this question. All atoms somehow stay the same with a new mass. Note that this effect only lasts as long as the objects remain within the bubble of magic. So if the mage stops the effect or the material leaves the bubble, mass returns to normal.
Question: I wanted to be sure I have the effects of this magic right, as in what would happen when the mass of objects was increased/decreased. I've listed my theories below, and would love to hear if they are right, or if they are wrong, why (and obviously what the right effect is). And of course, if there's an effect you know of which I haven't considered, I would like to know that as well. For the theories below, assume there's no limit on how far you can increase/decrease the mass of an object. I'm just trying to get a feel for what would happen; limitations come later.
- Increasing the mass of objects would make them get heavier. Due to the increased gravity of the atoms, I would imagine they would also get a bit smaller if the magic was powerful enough.
- Decreasing the mass of objects would make them lighter. I'm not sure about increasing size.
- Extreme: You could potentially (assuming you had enough magic) increase the mass of an object (and thus shrink it down) to generate heat due to pressure. Thus you could possibly heat things up, turn them into dim lights, or if you go far enough, cause them to explode. Would I be correct in this?
- Extreme: If you decrease the mass of an object far enough, the gravitational bonds of the molecules will be unable to hold onto each other, and the object will simply float apart as particles. I know atomic bonds are very strong, so I'm assuming the molecules would stay intact (and thus the material would remain the same), meaning something like a brick would just float away as a fine dust. Am I correct in this?
- Assuming the previous is true, what happens when a low-mass dust leaves the bubble, and mass returns to normal? It won't reassemble into a brick, but would it reassemble at all? Would a rock form in mid air and fall to the ground? A bunch of pebbles? Nothing?
Note: This isn't a comprehensive 'would this work' question for this magic system. I just want to be sure I have the effects of it correct. How it works and related questions are separate and may be asked later.