So, in my setting, telekinesis is divided into two sub-fields:

  • Soft telekinesis allows for precise manipulation of objects but doesn't pack a punch. Newton's third law is negligible for this type.
  • Hard telekinesis is a quick burst of force that can accelerate an object in a certain direction, but also creates an "opposing force" of the same magnitude in the opposite direction.
    • Because of this, hard telekinesis "force bursts", usually originate from the side of the wizard, not the wizard directly, save for a few examples.
    • Force bursts dissipate over longer distances, at around 50 meters, the opposing force dissipates much faster.
    • The burst itself is invisible and can only be detected through the air turbulence, it generates and its mechanical interaction with other objects.
    • The burst has a "recharge time", but doesn't seem to consume material components, and can be cast as long as sufficient energy is available.
    • Though somewhat scalable, the only time Anon (the strongest wizard in the setting) used hard telekinesis at its full potential, it sent an adult human male, weighing 89 kg, flying for 4 meters before crashing into a rock at 3.5 m/s (I guess. It may have been faster). The guy survived, but his spine was done for, and now he has to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
    • Note: Hosch250 did the math, and it came out to be at around 610 newtons.


  • Magic: Magic is a mysterious art, that involves robots, chemistry, physics, and is nearly synonymous with science.
  • Telekinesis is the basis of so-called spells. Despite the word's origins, it doesn't involve woo, nor is it the sole doing of the mind. The mind commands an unspecified type of robot, or groups of robots, to execute its will. It's that you can't really see them, that's why it appears to be classical telekinesis.

You're free to use nanomachines, superconductors, and even James, as long as the laws of physics aren't violated.

How could my hard telekinesis work? The rules have been established, but I don't know what mechanism should I use.

How can I generate that much force?
How can I keep it concentrated?-In the next question

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ By James, are you refering to the King James Bible? Or perhaps James Randi? Because there may be a slight polarisation there. $\endgroup$ – Agrajag Mar 8 at 17:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Agrajag The inventor of Glarnak. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Mar 8 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ By it's definition, telekinesis "as long as the laws of physics aren't violated." is a contradiction. Using technology (nanomachines, superconductors, etc) to make stuff move is... nature not woo. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Mar 8 at 17:47
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH Done. And now I go and shout profane words into the darkness for several minutes. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Mar 8 at 19:10
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. Profanity understood. I've retracted my VTC and deleted my comments. $\endgroup$ – JBH Mar 8 at 19:38

Assuming you are wanting to use an existing force within the realms of known physics today, I can think of two ideas.

The first idea uses your soft-telekinesis to rearrange the electrons in two objects or areas -- like a knight and the air in front of her or him. Or between the wizard and an arrow|bullet|club

Assuming I have two things A and B separated by the distance d, then IF you concentrated a fraction of the electrons in A and B you would create a coulombic force that would repel A and B from each other by the equation

$F= k\frac{Q_a*Q_b}{d^2}$ where k is coulombs constant ${Q_a}$ is the charge on A ${Q_b}$ is the charge on B

the trick is d can be arbitrarily small. The smaller the gap between A and B for constant values of charge on A and B, the greater the force.

There is a real-world limit since high charge densities seek out low or opposite charges. Examples are lightning and static zap from touching a doorknob wearing your socks.

And another real-world limit would be that things made out of metal would be "easiest" to effect with this method. Things like wood and stones would be harder. It's because of how free electrons are to move around in the object.

The other mechanism would be to base it on the Lorentz Force, the interaction between magnetism and the flow of electrons. Its a lot more abstract so I'll give you refer you to the Wikipedia link Lorentz force - Wikipedia

I am sure there are other ideas, but those are two that occurred to me.


I’m not sure how well my answer will apply to your system but, rather than violating the laws of physics, i suggest merely side-stepping Newton’s third law as i have in mine.

In my magic system, magic is another type of energy, like kinetic or chemical energy, that a magic user converts into other kinds of energy (in keeping with the conservation of energy). For example, if you wanted to push someone across the room, you would convert magical energy into kinetic energy while pointing your hand at the target.

The way i side-stepped Newton’s third law is by ‘cutting out the middle man’ in his second law. Rather than getting an object with mass and accelerating it to get some amount of force, magical energy has been directly converted into kinetic energy. So, because we are directly generating the energy rather than generating it via f=m*a, there is no equal and opposite force acting on the caster. The energy is directed and generated facing away from the caster and no energy is directed towards them. Its a strange technicality admittedly but i don't feel any laws are being violated, whilst we have kinetic energy, i don’t think we have force until that kinetic energy connects with an object with mass (such as the air or a person).

This allows us to side-step Newton’s third law without violating it and although force is not being generated via traditional means, this method still conforms to the conservation of energy and works from a theoretical stand point. Both Newton’s second and third laws are intact and still apply to everything in the world. When the kinetic energy we generated touches something with mass, it accelerates it and generates force (thhough still conforming to the conservation of energy).

Applying this to your setting, these nanobots you’re using could be designed to convert magical energy into kinetic and the level of force generated is determined by the caster’s thoughts (in the same way you could light tap someone’s shoulder or try and push them into the floor).

  • $\begingroup$ So, a reactionless drive. Not trying to be mean but that brutally violates the rear end of physics. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Mar 10 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles I am not sure how this idea would violate physics. Can you please explain? As it is the conversion of one energy into another, my understanding is that it will maintain the conservation of energy as energy is being generated, not created. From a quick search, i think that what i described might be more of a propellantless drive than a reactionless one. Addmitedly i do not have enough knowledge of physics to know what those two terms mean in reference to what i descibed. $\endgroup$ – Liam Morris Mar 10 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, okay. I see it's propellantless, as long as it's not happening in the vacuum of space, free of external fields. But that still leaves the question of generating that much force. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Mar 10 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles This is true and i can’t give you a quantifiable number (eg you need ‘x’ number units of magical energy to get ‘y’ number units of kinetic energy). To use my system as an example again, i just say that the conversion of magical energy into kinetic energy gives you a lot of kinetic energy. It may seem like a handwave approach but it helps avoid complicated math and potential inaccuracies. $\endgroup$ – Liam Morris Mar 10 at 15:18

Since anything goes... And for the record I fully expect my suggestion will still be too far.

  1. Build a mecha of appropriate size.

  2. Make it "self-driving" and give it "face lock" and gesture and voice input.

  3. Give it telescoping legs that can kick targets within reasonable range with significant force.

  4. Give it really good stealth.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm not Creed, I can't hide baneblades behind a telephone pole. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Mar 10 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles Really good stealth. It hides behind empty space. Active optical camouflage that good is in theory possible. We even have the technology, it just is not mature enough to actually work because we can't make it anywhere near compact enough. Or fast or cheap or accurate... Still assuming such technology certainly breaks no laws of physics. $\endgroup$ – Ville Niemi Mar 10 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ Can't we apply it to something smaller than Liberty fckin Prime? $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Mar 10 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles Yes, "of appropriate size". It is essentially an invisible servant. It can be the size of an elephant, or human, or a small child. Whatever works. And you can have more than one of different sizes. I am just pointing out a general approach, the details are wide open. $\endgroup$ – Ville Niemi Mar 10 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ Can I hide something else? Like high explosives? $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Mar 10 at 17:38

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