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I'm working on a "Science Fantasy" story and in my story I'm trying to approach magic from a different angle. I understand this is a fictional work but I'd like to get my facts right nonetheless. The concept of this "magic" is that, an individual can basically be able to break one specific fundamental law of Nature. For example, under normal circumstances, if you throw something up, it comes down. Now this is one fundamental gravity law that always comes through, with all things being equal. If I had the ability to break this law, that means that, whatever I throw up, can stay up indefinitely till I decide to let it come down. Now that I've explained what I mean, I'd get on with my question. Mind you, I have the least knowledge in physics and maths and all that I'm talking about is purely made up. A shot in the dark.

If an individual was able to break the "Newton's 3 laws of motion":

  1. Every object in a state of uniform motion will remain in that state of motion unless an external force acts on it. (This means he would be able to move and stop objects without physically applying force on them. I.e: Stopping a bullet by looking at it / moving a spoon from the table to his palm by just looking at it)
  2. Force equals mass times acceleration (By breaking this law, he's able to interfere with the equation and predict an object in motion within some certain metres around him. I.e: He's able to dodge bullets with his eyes closed or dodge that knife coming from behind without actually seeing it, provided the object is withing range )
  3. This here is the one I'm least sure about. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. (By following this law. It means if I punched a car with a certain force, say 10Newtons, I get the equal force {10Newtons} back on my knuckles that delivered the punch. If he breaks this law, it means that he could punch this car, negate the recoil(0Newtons back), and probably send the car flying.

I don't know if I got how it would work right. But if Im wrong, how would breaking these three laws be applied??

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closed as unclear what you're asking by kingledion, Alex2006, Don Qualm, Cyn, jdunlop Apr 17 at 17:12

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ To break physical laws, how would you localize the effect to just one person? Lets say you remove inertia from an object other than yourself. Why and how would the object then regain inertia? Or would it never have inertia again. Lets say you change an object's relationship between mass, force and acceleration; how do you decide what the new relationship is? How long does the change last? What prevents the character from accidentally removing Earth's inertia? You can't start breaking rules all willy-nilly; then you have no rules and your world doesn't even make sense. $\endgroup$ – kingledion Apr 17 at 12:08
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    $\begingroup$ This question is pretty broad. I would imagine it needs criteria for a good answer and a goal to be accomplished such as being used for villainy, superheroing or making money. Either way this seems like a scientists (or physicists) wet dream. $\endgroup$ – IT Alex Apr 17 at 12:10
  • $\begingroup$ As I said, this is a science fantasy work. The individual who can break this specific law can do so at will and can only use their ability within a certain range(I haven't thought about that to be honest). About the object regaining inertia, it all depends on the law-breaker. As I used the gravity example, If i threw a cup up, and broke the law of gravity to allow the cup to stay up, I could simply stop breaking that law to allow the cup to fall, as it should. About how long does the change last, once again, it depends on the ability user. $\endgroup$ – Nass King Apr 17 at 12:14
  • $\begingroup$ @ITAlex I am sorry but I tried to narrow it down as much as possible. $\endgroup$ – Nass King Apr 17 at 12:16
  • $\begingroup$ @kingledion As I said, this is a science fantasy work. The individual who can break this specific law can do so at will and can only use their ability within a certain range.(I haven't thought about a specific range yet to be honest). About the object regaining inertia, it all depends on the law-breaker. As I used Gravity as an example, if I threw a cup up, and broke the law of gravity to allow the cup to stay up, I could simply stop "breaking" this law and allow the cup to fall, as it should. About how long that change is gonna last, once again, depends on the ability user $\endgroup$ – Nass King Apr 17 at 12:20
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(Hi, physics grad student here!) Before I give my suggestions, I think you should strongly consider framing your concept in a different way. Think of fundamental physics less like a rulebook for the universe and more like a language. No matter what happens in the world, the language can describe it. So when you say you want to break an aspect of the language, what does that really mean? What within the universe are you actually changing?

That's the main issue here: it's needlessly vague (it's part of the reason that commenters have had difficulty understanding where to start). Rather than trying to 'break' a law of physics, make a new rule for what your character can specifically do. The theme you're going for of manipulating physics is still definitely doable, but it should be thought of as adding capabilities rather than removing existing laws.

For instance, when you say you want a character to violate Newton's Second Law, there are a number of ways that could work. They could arbitrarily increase an object's acceleration without applying any force, sending it flying. They could change the object's mass, holding it in place or causing it to be blown away in the slightest breeze or making other objects gravitationally attracted to it. They could push on an object with much greater force than the acceleration and mass of their muscles would suggest.

If you intended all of that, then you've just made a pretty general form of telekinesis, and that's not very interesting. In practice, all of your characters will end up with very similar telekinetic powers if you let them use any interpretation of what 'breaking a fundamental law of physics' means. On the other hand, if you meant for only one or two of those applications, then say that explicitly. In either case, there are better ways to describe what these characters can do than saying they break a law of physics.

As a counterexample, consider a character that can increase or decrease the mass of objects, say from 10% to 1000% of their normal mass. They can't move objects with their mind, but they can lift heavy objects or anchor themselves to the ground. This power is interesting because it's limited while still being fundamental. You could imagine similar characters that can change magnetic fields, momentum, fluid viscosity, local gravity, friction, and so on.

For those reasons, I'd highly recommend scrapping the Newton's Laws character, and the idea of breaking fundamental laws in general. I can't tell you what a character can do when they break the physical laws that govern... what they can do. What I can tell you is what would happen if your character can turn knobs relating to the physical properties of nearby objects and forces. If you're interested in a specific case of that, post another question and I'd be happy to help out.

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  • $\begingroup$ First of all, I'd like to thank you for answering my question. I really appreciate it and apologize about it being vague. I'd like to address what you talked about . $\endgroup$ – Nass King Apr 17 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ On a second thought, I think I'll go with what you suggested. Thanks a lot 😅 $\endgroup$ – Nass King Apr 17 at 17:48
  • $\begingroup$ Glad I could help! $\endgroup$ – Gilad M Apr 17 at 18:03

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