I have been thinking about a magic system that is about "e=mc²". Main concept is it transforms certain kind of ink to energy it does this via runes and tattoos.(They could extract this ink from a special type of Cristal as an essance.) I know how e=mc² works but I don't have any idea about its details.

This 'magic' could used in different purposes:

  • Lightning and fire for armors, swords, shields, etc.

  • Heating for smithing tools, swords and armors etc.

  • Energy shields for armors and castles

  • Pushing objects and making winds

  • Power ups like strength,speed and stamina etc.

  • Tattoos

  • Teleportation

    My main problem is about energy. What would be the total energy of a fantasy lightning etc. How many times could you use it for a energy that equals a gram of matter. How much would teleportation cost.

Explanation for tattoos: They are very similar to others. they basically puts tattoos that represents certain actions like fire, lightning, stamina, strength etc.

  • $\begingroup$ The basic conversion in MKS units is that for every kilogram of matter, you get (299792458^2) = 8.98755 * 10^16 joules of energy. So if you convert 1 milligram of matter to energy, that's one one-thousandth of a gram or one one-millionth of a kilogram, so you'd get one one-millionth of that energy, or 8.98755 * 10^10 joules (by comparison a bolt of lightning is typically about 10^9 joules, so you may want less, but you could convert less mass) $\endgroup$ – Hypnosifl Sep 26 '19 at 19:27
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    $\begingroup$ Could you explicitly state what the question is, because at the moment we're faced with a great deal of possibilities to explore, but no determinate direction. 7 Bullet points of possible directions in-fact. Care to narrow it down? $\endgroup$ – Tantalus' touch. Sep 26 '19 at 19:30

Good idea, but that's an equation that applies at the atomic level.

Einstein's Mass-Energy Equivalence comes into play at reaaaally small intervals or super-high energy situations. This equation is derived from the theory of Special Relativity after all. For that reason, I wouldn't want to be using it on my skin. If you want one gram of mass in terms of energy:

$E = mc^2 = 0.001*(299,792,458)^2 = 8.99*10^{13}\,Joules$

As humans, we know that we can turn mass into energy through fission and fusion (read into mass defects). Atomic mass is lost during fusion and fission as it's converted into energy. Lots of this is just speeding the particles up, but some energy is released in the form of gamma radiation. In the form of a diagram:

enter image description here

There's a lot going on, but I hope you get the idea. It's an explosive, near-uncontrollable mess that would likely disintegrate you if you ever tried it.

However, in the interests of being helpful and not (totally) blowing holes in your ideas, there's been a fair few questions on here about using energy from 'the quantum realm' (oooo). If your ink can somehow stabilise particles in superposition (these blip in and out of our reality), you could harness some serious energy through particle-antiparticle annihilation. Look into it- it sounds cool, doesn't need to be explained to death, and with a little magic it might just work.

Hope it helps!


How I understood your question:

When constructing a magic system how would I measure the energy needed for certain spells to create something of an "equal energy exchange". Correct?

You wouldn't. For my current project I created an extensive system with the prime principle of equal energy exchange.

You cannot do it in any scientifically exact way and I explain why below.

I can recommend the following approach (That's how I have done it):

Rank you spells by how you FEEL would be an accurate energy in RELATION to the other spells. Example:

Heating a bottle of water is 1. Fireball is 1250. And so on.

Now, that you got that, think about what you want to happen.

All magic systems are narrative tools, since magic in essence is narration. How powerful do you want your mages to be? Think about all implications with regard to food, travel, warfare and so on.

Now you can scale your (energy) cost to the level of the spellcaster. Tune your numbers until it fits your desired scenarios.

NOTE: Why you cannot do it scientifically:

While the numbers for heating spells would be relativly straightforward, the cost of something like Power-ups is not quantifiably (You could calculate the energy cost of the increased metabolism, but not of the effect itself).

You can look some numbers up (for example heat spells) and use them as sound bones for the system. That's generally a good idea. But to try and quantify energy needs for a complete made-up-system (a story basically) might be fun, but will not be possible to the degree you want to do and has no added narrative benefit for going too far into science.


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