So, I was looking at what defines the most interesting type of forcefields, and there came an interesting kind of forcefields that, rather than deflecting or dispersing energy, seems to absorb energy. Niven calls it the Langston Field, while Traveller calls it the White Globe.

Now, a forcefield that can freely absorb energy, is useful not just for defence, but for stealing power to power one's own engines. To be slightly restricting and not be too vague, it is obvious for both cases that the energy in question is just standard radiation, light, heat, electricity and such.

Obviously, I ask for its feasibility, but that would be too much in regards to our world. To give some room for less hardness in its feasibility, we can assume we have mastered lots of particle physics by at least a millennium's worth, where we properly control matter from subatomic particles down to its quarks, and even their antimatter or supersymmetric counterparts. Maybe we even collect dark matter and fundamental force bosons. What ideal particle or force should be used for such a shield?

Or, if that won't work, then we could go back to our multiverse theory I have been making multiple questions of. If some of the four fundamental forces were different in someway, could it be more possible?

Note that it also has to be a particle-based field if anything. Though the one who talked about solar panels, yeah that was really funny.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ All those questions about "force fields" lack a fundamental piece of information, namely, what is a force field? It is most certainly not something that exists in our physics, as it stands at present. In order to even begin speaking about the feasibility of something, we must first have definition of that something. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jun 19, 2020 at 9:49
  • $\begingroup$ A force field is essentially a field made by a strong burst of any of the four fundamental forces, or their correspondent particles. Most force fields are basically a field of heated plasma. $\endgroup$ Jun 19, 2020 at 10:05
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    $\begingroup$ (1) There is no such thing as "a field of heated plasma". The phrase is meaningless. (2) The phrase "a strong burst of any of the four fundamental forces" is also meaningless. (3) Given that both attempted definitions are meaningless, you should try a phenomenological description. For example: a force field is a region of space ($\leftarrow$ all fields are regions of space) [optional: <of such and such shape>] where <such and such phenomena> happen. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jun 19, 2020 at 10:14
  • $\begingroup$ Seriously, I was thinking in the lines of Boeing's patents. You might want to look at that to see what I mean. $\endgroup$ Jun 19, 2020 at 13:01
  • $\begingroup$ @CYCLOPSCORE what patents are you referring to? Boeing has many, but I'd expect them to be relatively mundane compared to a force field. $\endgroup$ Jun 19, 2020 at 21:30

5 Answers 5


Microscopic black-holes fabric

You want something that absorbs any kind of energy? It's a black hole!

Now, you want a small one, shaped like a surface, and that you can move around.

A solution is to have a "fabric" of microscopic black holes, organized so that radiation, energy or matter coming from any direction cannot get through. Black holes are not required to have all the same size, so a disposition like the following can do if it's thick enough, for example:

Packed spheres

(Make sure to keep some room between them so they don't merge, though.)

Now, how do you keep them organized, prevent them from merging, and move the whole shield around?

Use electrically charged black-holes such as Reissner-Nordström black holes, and confine them with a very precisely crafted electrical field.

I'm sure creating them won't be a problem with your tech.

Now, be sure to tune the electromagnetic field dynamically, as the black holes will grow when absorbing energy. They will evaporate if they absorb nothing, so you will need to "feed" them when they are not in use. Alternatively, depending on your tech, you can create the fabric on-the-fly when you need it, and let the shield evaporate when you're done. Microscopic black-holes evaporate way faster than big ones.

Hawking radiations will be the energy form the absorbed energy will be released into (basically heat). Make sure to radiate it away from what you wanted to protect. You can even redirect it to the assailant, but at a lower rate on average.

Edit: Source of the idea to move a black hole here.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hey, my verse already accepts Reissner-Nordstrom BHs. Why not? You just got the right answer! $\endgroup$ Jun 19, 2020 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ A shield that can absorb "everything" has the problem that it absorbs whatever is trying to control it. In this particular case, you've made it controllable by electromagnetism, so it can't reliably absorb eletromagnetism, so something like an EMP can take it down (but maybe that's a feature). $\endgroup$
    – Brilliand
    Jun 19, 2020 at 22:13
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, the first "layers" are vulnerable (the attack should be absorbed by the front-facing layer). The outside black holes will grow and the electro-magnetic field will be disorganized, but you can "eject" the damage layer and regenerate a layer from inside the field on-the-fly (or consider that the shield is damaged with each impact if you don't have something to produce black holes, effectively creating to class of armor: regenerative and non-regenerative). The IEM can't be triggered effectively from the outside. Desactivating the shield means ejecting the whole shield outward, I guess. You d $\endgroup$
    – Akita
    Jun 19, 2020 at 22:57
  • $\begingroup$ ...You don't want black holes floating freely near you after use. $\endgroup$
    – Akita
    Jun 19, 2020 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ Well, given my race is advanced enough to even make 1 black hole and another charged one, sure they have it covered. $\endgroup$ Jun 19, 2020 at 23:21

Energy-absorbing shields that allow use of the energy already exist

They are called solar panels.


The Langston Field can be discovered only by accident.

No to be more serious: You want to have the shell of a soap bubble with certain properties. Any property you want to have applied in a shell of a bubble will likely need a material bubble.

Then you can think of superconductors, high heat compressors, high efficiency solar panels, all in combination.

If you handwave the physical shell, you can go on and handwave the entire physics just as far as you need it for your story.


Plasma shields/windows are currency being researched as a means of deflecting or containing various forms of energy/matter. One example is research into using a short sharp burst of intense plasma to deflect incoming attacks by high velocity projectiles (specifically those involving H.E.A.T. rounds). Plasma fields can also be configured to act as physical barriers to physical objects i.e. plasma windows which hypothetically would for instance could act as 'air locks' which allow physical objects to pass through while confining atmosphere on one side (so a sort of force field).

It might even be possible (input from a physicist required) to design a plasma field that would absorb/deflect a specific frequency of radiation, say a laser frequency or a specific type of particle beam (based on the constituents of the plasma being used) at the cost of ignoring other frequencies.

Your problem is creating one that would do everything i.e. defect ALL physical attacks and ALL frequencies of radiation from ALL directions at once - plasma shields/windows etc aren't 360 degree constructs.

So as long as you are sticking to current physics in theory you create a device that would repulse or deflect a specific type of attack from one direction but not all types of attack form all directions.


As already suggested by another user, use solar panels but also shock absorbers

In our universe force shields are made of solid matter....otherwise you have to use magic or change the meaning of words so that force shields mean something else.

Regardless, if you combine polycarbonate or bulletproof glass together with solar panels and shock absorbers you have an "invisible" shield which can absorb both light and blows to transform them into usable energy, mostly heat.

Here's a guy testing a polycarbonate shield, it's so clear that it's almost invisible and after many blows it remains almost perfectly clear.video

Please stop using magical shields made of energy or whatever... Solid matter is cooler anyway... All matter matters.

If you don't want the shield to be almost completely transparent, use led lights so it glows in the dark like some magical shield or something....


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