(As of 2020, February, the 19th, 12:23, I have decided to use a different method than the one originally proposed. The method itself answers the question)

Imagine a spell an effect of utterdarkness. Such spell effect envelops an area which then acts as place where electromagnetic radiation (EMR for shot) coming from outside is nullified, and none can be generated inside.

Imagine an effect of utterdarkness. Such effect envelops an area which then acts as a place where electromagnetic radiation (EMR for shot) coming from outside the area is reflected back as gravitational waves, and EMR generated inside the area radiates out also as gravitational waves (first of all, can this be done without breaking conservation of energy?)

To be scientifically accurate, must this effect interfere with things like the cohesion of atoms? Electromagnetism binds electrons to the nucleus of an atom, but is it considered EMR? The carrier of the force is the photon, same thing that carries EMR through space as waves.

1) I have decided that virtual photons and radiant photons are not the same; virtual photons being purely mathematical entities, radiant photons being massless and observable

Is there a way to decouple EMR as pure radiant energy (infrared, x-rays, light, etc) from quantum level electromagnetism without breaking reality? I would also like to prevent ionic and molecular bonds from breaking.

There is enough evidence (in the form of papers written by scientists who disagree with the Standard Model and QFT) to support that such a distinction can be made and may even someday become part of actual Physics

If there is a way to stop EMR while radiant energy without the side-effects I've mentioned, what would happen to magnets, electric currents, and things like that?

I have decided that nothing will happen, to any aspect of the electromagnetic field other than the emission of radiating photons

Edit: I forgot to ask: how would such region nullify EMR coming from outside without destroying energy? Could it convert it to gravitational waves (the effects would be unnoticeable I think, wouldn't they?)

Edit2: Heat transfer via infrared radiation would surely be null inside the area, would heat transfer from electrons also cease? And if so, how would that affect chemical reactions? Would oxidation be possible (and thus, combustion?)

Edit3: I have decided that EMR coming out from the area is converted into gravitational waves and reflected back, and EMR generated inside the area is also converted into gravitation waves and radiates out. I imagine the effects of the gravitational waves would not even be measurable, unless by an magical device since gravity is a much weaker force. I have a doubt if conservation of energy would be maintained by such energy transformation. I have since then edited the question above.

I have decided that, by some neat trick using the electroweak interaction that our current understanding of Physics cannot explain, the area of space where the effect takes place will turn all radiating photons into neutrinos (one or more, I don't know). I have also decided that virtual photons are "not real" (duh) in the sense that they should not be treated in the same way by this effect, or, even if they were "real," the effect would simply not be able to affect them because of the briefness of the "existence" of virtual particles. The inside of the region would generally be cooler than an area outside of it, because thermal radiation would produce neutrinos instead of infrared photons, but besides that I believe everything else would remain the same. Any suggestions or objections?

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    $\begingroup$ What is the meaning of the phrase "radiant energy" (be it pure or impure)? And the very idea of a scientifically accurate spell is nonsensical. (Anyway, there is only one and only one quantum electrodynamics. Your universe eithe obeys its laws, and thus has things such as atoms and people, or it doesn't, and thus does not have such things.) $\endgroup$ – AlexP Feb 18 '20 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ Seems like a physics SE question: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/123055/… - but I look forward to an easier to understand explanation here. $\endgroup$ – SurpriseDog Feb 18 '20 at 16:38
  • $\begingroup$ I believe the short answer is "everything dies" but my knowledge of electromagnetic spectrum stuff and biology is not enough to truly answer. $\endgroup$ – Andon Feb 18 '20 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ radiant energy is the energy of a electromagnetic waves, I used the term loosely. It has to do with measurement of brightness and things like that. $\endgroup$ – Davi Feb 18 '20 at 16:41
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    $\begingroup$ There's a very nice answer here, given by an even nicer actual physicist: qr.ae/T3SFJR $\endgroup$ – Davi Feb 18 '20 at 21:04

A lot of questions in there, but I think overall it can work.

First, gravity waves and conservation of energy. When gravity waves act on the world the do so as a transference to kinetic energy (some debate on this in physics, of course). If that is the case, then EM waves transforming into kinetic energy transforming into gravity waves should keep conservation.

I think you are mostly OK with atoms still working.. The field only absorbs emitted energy. If it stopped ALL EM interactions, those atoms are going to explode dramatically. If if it is just absorbing emissions, then the atoms still work like normal. They shoot off their photons when electrons drop down a shell, and the photon gets absorbed by magic.

As far as the cold, if my mental image is working properly, it's not a disaster. As mentioned by another, you become a blackbody emitting infrared heat, and receiving none from your environment. BUT, friction heat from vibrating air molecules is still in place, both within the sphere and at the border between the sphere and the world. (see edit below for more info)

You also asked if chemical reactions can still take place. I had to look into this one and it might be a problem. Ionic bonds in chemistry are due to electrostatic force, which are mediated by photons. If the field absorbs all photons, ionic bonds break, and that means a human basically dies quick (maybe in a puddle of mush). BUT, if the field only absorbs EM radiation once it leaves a molecule, then it is probably fine and chemistry can still work normally (expect for the odd reaction that needs light obviously, no sunburns in there).

Whether new ionic bonds can form really also depends on how far away from an atom a photon can get before it gets absorbed. If not at least a few billionths of a second, I suspect that there would be so many newly failed ionic reactions going on in a human that your lifespan gets reduced to seconds.

EDIT: Some more info on loss of heat through EM radiation. Humans apparently lose about 60% of their heat through radiation. According to the link below, that means a corpse could take 18 hours to freeze solid Blackbody calculation, if they were perfectly insulated. But convection and conduction (vibrating molecules of air) are still a factor here. How hot the air is, and whether there is a breeze, are big (that's kinetic energy transfer). If no breeze, perhaps the air radiates IR quick and cools. But non-moving air is still a poor conductor, and wouldn't matter much at first. Also, even in the sphere a human is not a perfect blackbody radiating. Blood vessels can dilate to change the amount of infrared being emitted if it gets cold.

There was also the question of whether molecular physics work at all without the EM force. I submit that they largely do not because they are so reliant on photon mediation. Survivability in that spell only works if the field stops at the edge of your body, AND at the edge of atoms. Otherwise the air all ionizes so dramatically that...Well actually I was gonna say you would get all kinds of lightening and bomb sized static shocks, but those would also be absorbed. If the spell stopped at the edge of your body but not at the edge of air atoms, you might just smell ozone No effect from breathing ions. Carbon dioxide and oxygen are covalent bonds, so shouldn't fall apart.

  • $\begingroup$ You can't emit infrared, and nothing inside the area can since that's also EMR. Infrared is converted into gravitational waves instead, and no infrared can come from outside the area: it is converted into gravitational waves and reflected back, so the temperature question remains. Basically, the wave-like oscillations of the electric and magnetic field just don't happen inside the area, and are instead converted into gravitational waves. I'm not sure how that interfere with the other functions of the electric and magnetic fields, like charge, current, and the very structure of the atoms. $\endgroup$ – Davi Feb 18 '20 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ "friction heat from vibrating air molecules" will still result in blackbody radiation, and without photons, every atom is a black body, losing energy very quickly. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Feb 18 '20 at 19:43

This could work easily enough if all the EM radiation is not muffled but simply ends up somewhere else. Any light entering the area, or emitted within it, is not visible because it's not there.

Electric currents would still flow, chemistry would still function and atoms and molecules would not fall apart. It might be a little chilly, but reality should not be broken.

It would take someone more advanced than I to say in numbers how black-body radiation (rather than conduction) works within a warm object. If none of the radiation emitted within your body stays in your body, that 'a little chilly' may translate into freezing to death.

Worse, you'll lose your 5G, wifi and Bluetooth.

  • $\begingroup$ Since my comment about transforming EMR into gravitational waves and reflecting them back, it would still work, right? And yes, things would get pretty cold pretty quickly in such an area. $\endgroup$ – Davi Feb 18 '20 at 16:49
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    $\begingroup$ So, every photon emitted withing the "darkness sphere" immediately disappears? This will not be just a "little chilly". Every atom would become a "black body", losing heat. The resulting cooldown would go to absolute zero. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Feb 18 '20 at 17:19
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    $\begingroup$ However, if we allow photons a very limited run (they do not disappear immediately, but after running for, let's say, 10 micrometers), life in this sphere can be preserved. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Feb 18 '20 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Alexander What about electrons? Can I decouple the effect my hypothetical area has over photons from having any effect at all over electrons without things getting too fantastic? For example, an electric charge would exist, but would it produce an electric field? Wait... can I decouple photons as force carriers from free radiating photons without breaking Physics? If I can, I believe all problems are solved: radiating photons are converted into gravitons, force carrier photons remain untouched. $\endgroup$ – Davi Feb 18 '20 at 19:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Davi: Indeed, this answers assumes that the effect has the uncanny ability to distinguish between real photons and virtual photons; which is no mean feat, given that they are both quanta of the same electromagnetic field. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Feb 18 '20 at 21:25

You cannot do this unless you allow for some finite range of EM-radiation blocking. Check out Planck's Law and Blackbody radiation formulas. In short, unless you drop an object to absolute zero temperature, it's going to radiate. You can't stop this from happening.

I strongly doubt that current understanding of QED and gravity waves allow this sort of conversion process in any case, but so long as objects both with mass and above absolute zero exist, there's going to be photons generated.

  • $\begingroup$ I have decided upon the method: First, virtual photons are assumed to be completely different things than radiating photons, and they could even be called something else, like EM boson, or whatever. The effect I'm imagining doesn't affect them at all. Secondly, all radiating photons (including the infrared ones you're mentioning) would be turned into neutrinos by some neat sci-fi trick involving the electroweak force that the Standard Model can't explain. It's still sci-fi, but at least it's somehow rigorous. $\endgroup$ – Davi Feb 19 '20 at 17:00

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