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To specify, one person cannot generate multiple forces and are born with only the ability to generate one of them. They cannot generate enough of any force that it could cause widespread mayhem, as I want this magic system to be a secondary feature of the world.

This force can be generated from any body part, meaning it could be radiating from a hand or your entire body all at once. However there would be a maximum range that this ability could effect, as in, the distance from a body part that the force would be able to reach.

In relation to the real ranges of the forces in reality, I believe the ranges would be:

  • Strong nuclear force 1ft,
  • Weak nuclear force 2ft,
  • Electromagnetic force 20 feet, and
  • Gravitational force 20 feet.

Their abilities would reflect the strength of the force they generate, meaning a person who can manipulate gravity would find it easier to draw closer things to the gravity they generate than further things.

If they battle earth's gravity to stop an object from falling they might win at close range, but at long range the earth's pull will be stronger.

Again, each person can generate each aspect of a single fundamental force. It's okay if one force or two are hardly noticeable or unusable.

So my questions are, within these parameters, how strong of an effect would the person be able to generate? I would like this answer to relate directly to how much energy it takes to produce a certain amount of strength from the force, and how much energy would that take from the human body.

What kind of abilities would be possible with each force as those forces affect the real world? What kind of side effects would occur from each force, for instance radiation produced from using the weak nuclear force, and how could a person using these abilities avoid harm to themselves?

I should also specify that the force gets stronger closer to the body part that is generating it, and weaker further away until it is virtually undetectable.

I do have a basic idea of what each force does but I am no physicist. I am willing to hand wave any negative side effects if they are too detrimental to the story. It is meant to be a science based fantasy story, so I am willing to exaggerate what is possible.

Thanks

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  • $\begingroup$ In reality, of course, the range of the strong and weak nuclear forces is very very very much shorter, and the range of the gravitational force is very very very much longer. It is not at all clear what you mean by "generate the weak nuclear force" at the range of 2'. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Jun 13 '20 at 23:17
  • $\begingroup$ Yes I am aware that the ranges are far different than what I have listed. The reason I made it the way it was is so that the short ranged abilities would be easier and safer to implement, and so that the infinite ranged ones do not become overpowered, though now that I think about it I wouldn't be opposed to giving it an infinite range so long as it is not strong enough to affect any heavy objects. $\endgroup$ – Zenith Jun 14 '20 at 0:24
  • $\begingroup$ By generating forces I mean that their bodies produce the force, in a range around them, so for a basic example if they produce gravity, they are the center of that gravitational pull. By the range I mean the max distance at which the force is capable of affecting the momentum or state of an object in a way that matters. $\endgroup$ – Zenith Jun 14 '20 at 0:24
  • $\begingroup$ What is the Weak Nuclear Force? $\endgroup$ – Daron Jun 14 '20 at 2:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Daron the Weak Interaction, / the force that holds fundamental particles in one form (or doesn't as the case may be). I'm not sure how projecting it from a macroscopic source would work, since it's mostly only understood in terms of particle sources. Maybe it'd sort molecules by neutron count? Transmuting elements might work, but they'd be transmuting their body more than anything in near it, because neutrinos? $\endgroup$ – CAE Jones Jun 14 '20 at 12:40
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As mentioned in comments, the length scales and "strengths" of the 4 forces are vastly different. It will be hard to put them into a self consistent framework if you go from the bottom up and try to build from the fundamental physics precisely.

It seems really you are more concerned about the observable effects. You could try to build something that is self consistent from the top down, while still having an world that still resembles our own.

One way to do go from the top down and still consider factors like range and conservation of energy is consider having an additional force or forces (or potentials) that modify the the 4 fundamental physical forces. Keep the physical laws of the universe the same as ours, but only allow a tiny perturbation in the area around a person.

Forces are kind of hard to visualize sometimes, so often physicists will draw potential diagrams instead. Mathematically, force is the negative derivative of a potential. The potential around a charged particle goes as 1/r, but the magnitude of the force goes as -1/(r*r) with some constant. Or with gravity you can talk about a spaceship leaving the gravity well of a planet etc. The gravity well is the potential. The same for the early models of the nucleus. Even though the details were not precisely known the physicist could sketch a potential well where the particles could be kept together keeping the positive protons together, but a hard repulsion potential kept them combining if they got too close.

So for your case, you might be able to describe a set of "magical" potentials for each of the forces you want to create, and have them extend over human scale ranges with mathematical dependence on range that you want. It could also mirror some aspects of the actual physical potentials if you wanted.

If each person walking around had a different charge or potential, I suppose opposites could attract, people could orbit each other etc. But more seriously, I think doing something like this could still handwave the physics some and essentially end up with bubbles of influence around the person where they could modify the physical laws in the way you would like. Within the range of that influence you could have the effect you want.

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About 10 Newtons per Watt of Energy.

The thing about the fundamental forces is they don't really cost anything to generate. A bar magnet remains a magnet without needing energy fed into it from anywhere. The Earth exerts gravitational force by virtue of having mass. And it keeps exerting the force as long as the mass is stil there.

If anything the cost of the force is the equal and opposite force. For example if you place a piece of metal near the magnet, the metal will move across the table towards the magnet; but the magnet will also move towards the metal until they meet. For the Earth this means that, while you are pulled towards it, the planet is being pulled towards you with the same force. You just don't notice because that force doesn't move the planet a lot.

That said there are ways to simulate a magnet by running electrons through a coil of wire. This is called an electromagnet. It works like a magnet except you can turn it on or off. Looking at a few online the claimed efficiency is something like 10 Newtons of force per Watt of power. For comparison a lightbulb is about 50W. Of course efficiency tends to drop off with scale so I'd imagine a big electromagnet is less efficient.

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