That insolent lightning mage Zyzzx has claimed that he'll be promoted before me because his lightning magic is superior to my heat magic. Preposterous, I know, but to show that smarmy bug-zapper who's who around here, I need to demonstrate to the university that heat magic can do anything lightning magic can1. How can I create electricity with heat magic?
You mere scientists may not be familiar with my awesome powers, so:
- I can add as little or as much heat to something as I want, from less than a picojoule to a gigajoule and more
- There are effectively no limits on how far away I can summon heat
- I have excellent precision: I could selectively heat just the oxygen atoms in a bucket of water if I wanted.
- I cannot, however, move or remove heat. So if I heat up a chunk of metal, the air around it will get warm and there's nothing I can do about it.
One of the ideas I had was to use heat to create massive updrafts, which would carry moisture upwards to form clouds and eventually lightning. This isn't a horrible fallback strategy, but here's what I think would really impress the Provost and Board of Trustees:
- Fast. If the Board of Trustees has to wait several hours for the lightning to form, they may get bored, and that would count against me.
- Control. I would love to be able to point to a single spot of ground and have it be zapped
- Limited special circumstances or equipment. If I really need an atmosphere of pure argon or a massive coil of wire, that can be arranged, but it won't be nearly as impressive. Something like a steam-driven generator would hardly do.
- Not needing large amounts of energy or precision. As a master mage, I have very few limits, but if a mere heat apprentice could create electricity, that'd really show Zyzzx what for. Still, this is less important than the others.
It's not a deal breaker if I can't achieve all of these, but the more I can do the better my odds of advancing up the academic ranks.
1 Lightning magic can be used to create a voltage difference between two arbitrary points. I don't expect to be able to do this perfectly, but the closer I can get the better.