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I am Alicia Dimetrescu, better known to my subjects as Lady Dimetrescu, a reality warper with dreams of world conquest. As I have proven to you that my claims of godhood are perfectly justified, I am now entitled to use my powers for good by conquering planet Earth and becoming ruler of the human race. In solid matter, the atoms of molecules are arranged in an ordered pattern that is repeated throughout the entire object. Reality warpers can alter the physical structure of objects on a sub-atomic level. This allows them to change the size, shape, and properties of matter to suit their own purposes. Warping works by constructing a reality bubble around the object, containing it in a temporarily created space subject to the individuals own physics. The object can then be broken down into its basic structures of atoms and rearranged into different positions to form new objects with new qualities. This allows the person to create anything they can think of and are only limited by their imagination, such as creating literal tanks from kitchen knives, or a Apple MacBook from a pencil. A warper can even manipulate the atoms within empty space around them, creating things out of the air from nothing. However, the latter is more difficult and comes with restrictions.

Since I have mastery over atoms in solid form, It should be possible for me to control atoms that are in other states, such as gas, liquids, or even out of thin air. By taking control over the atoms in the air, I should be able to compress them into solid form, forming the crystalline structures that make up solid matter. This would allow me to make objects seemingly out of nothing. However, matter created spontaneously from no original material is not permanent, as the structures that make them up are unstable. These structures fall apart at the removal of the reality bubble, with the item disintegrating immediately. To keep the object from breaking down, a warper must maintain the bubble placed around it. This drains the warper as it requires them to continuously expend power to keep the object stable. This drain on power increases with time, making it harder to maintain until the warper must ends the spell. This is a significant problem because it limits the capabilities of the user. The individual is not creating something out of nothing, as atoms in the air are just as viable as any other form on the planet. The person is simply transferring them from one state to another, similar to energy, which never truly dissipates but simply changes.

How can this be the case?

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    $\begingroup$ To clarify: do Alicia's reality-warping powers affect ALL solid matter, or only solid matter in which "the atoms of molecules are arranged in an ordered pattern that is repeated throughout the entire object" ? What about something either semi- or completely noncrystalline, like eg. glass, wood, or clay...? $\endgroup$
    – Qami
    Commented May 29, 2021 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ Because solid bodies atmotms stick together and do not run out all the times, all like in reality, look up for scanning microscope and how they move things athom by athom, your guy is just mkre advanced version of it, who can't go magic meaning make impossible to be possible, but sticks to realm of physics. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented May 29, 2021 at 16:04
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    $\begingroup$ Please note that Dimetrescu, while possible as a Romanian family name, is (or rather, would be if it existed) very rare; rare enough to make me believe it was chosen for a speciifc reason. The usual form is Dumitrescu; Dimitrescu is rarer, but still common enough; Demetrescu is rarer still, but not completely unheard of. On the other hand, I don't know of any Dimetrescu. (Using possible but extremely rare surnames may make the one family with that name believe you really mean them.) (Both Alice /a'lis/ and Alisa are way more usual than Alicia /a'litʃija/.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented May 29, 2021 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP I think the Lady's name come from this game. A lil' bit of eraser, you replace a few letters and you're done with a new name :). Just be careful to not release your world out right now, people will mistake the two names! $\endgroup$ Commented May 30, 2021 at 0:59
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    $\begingroup$ @Tortliena: In that game she is Alcina Dimitrescu, with a perfectly reasonable and reasonably common Romanian family name. What startled me is that the form Dimetrescu is really strange; Dumitr-u, -a, -escu is inherited from Latin; Dimitr-ie, -escu is received from Modern Greek in the Early Modern period, centuries ago; Demetr-u, -a, -escu is reconstructed in the 19th century directly based on Ancient Greek: but Dimetrescu is aberrant, showing two different reflexes of Greek η (eta, long e). $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented May 30, 2021 at 2:38

7 Answers 7

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Atoms in a solid oscillate around their rest position, the higher the temperature the wider the amplitude of the oscillation, but the position is more or less well defined.

In liquid or solid instead, atoms move around without being bound to a certain position.

Compare the tasks to checking a class of kids when they are sitting at their desks with checking a class of kids when they are running around during break time, with the additional complication that collisions between kids leave them crying on the spot, while collisions between atoms leave them bouncing elastically around (and kids usually don't run at about 300 m/s, unless you give them too much sugar...)

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Reverse crystallography

In an ordinary X-ray crystallography experiment, a beam of X-rays is shot at a crystal and produces a lovely pattern of dots, which can be deciphered to determine the location of every atom in the unit cell of the crystal.

enter image description here

You have developed the ability to release X-rays approaching a crystalline object from all directions. Tracking backward along the precise path by which they would normally be emitted in a crystallography experiment, with the appropriate phases (which we don't capture in a classical photo like this one), these rays regenerate a single X-ray beam on impact.

But --- you do this for X-rays moving in directly opposite directions and also with directly opposite phases. The combination of photons produced concentrates a large amount of energy moving in one axis of the crystal, but the photons then cancel each other out (destructive interference)! The energy they contained is transmitted to the unit cell structure of the crystal, giving it the precise vibration that you intended. When this process is repeated to generate wave trains and other high level patterns, the net effect is that the crystal can expand or contract in one direction, which can allow it to push off from a surface or shatter completely.

The chaos of liquids, solids, glasses and other amorphous structures prevents you from calculating the precise pattern of X-rays needed to generate these localized effects. Fortunately, X-rays have a very short wavelength, so objects made of imperfect tiny crystals are still easy for you to manipulate, by bombarding each individual crystal with its own well-calculated set of X-rays.

The X-ray energy involved is of course quite lethal, helping when necessary to persuade your recalcitrant subjects toward greater patriotic fervor on your behalf.

Postscript: But how do you produce the X-rays in the first place? Well, this is perhaps something best not mentioned. Becoming a Reality Warper involves some sort of ritual or pilgrimage. You stood at a spot at a special moment of invocation. At that spot, unknown to you, was anchored a Dark Matter Dreadnought, a vast machine invisible and intangible to our eyes that had been matching its speed and position to a spot on the surface of the Earth for hundreds of thousands of years. In that moment it used an exotic matter bridge to penetrate into many sites of your bones and nervous system, giving it constant awareness of your thoughts and making it work as one with your body. Still invisible to all eyes, it now reinforces your flesh, guarding it from harm, moves with you, using unknown, unseen physics and machines to calculate your will and to generate the X-rays. The bargain is simple enough: those that have moved their minds into the Dreadnoughts, whose universe of dark matter has almost entirely vaporized into a burning plasma that only a few relict machines can withstand, are seeking a new mode of existence. They need to spy on a human, see what a human would do with access to great power, understand the thought processes by which they operate. When they have learned enough, they will find a way to upload their personalities into human bodies. Most likely starting with yours.

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You can't violate too many physics laws.

Reducing a gas to a solid means subtracting a substantial amount of energy, and that energy has to go somewhere. The nature of your psi power allows energy to be channeled in only one direction at a time, so while you can produce large amounts of energy and direct it outwards, doing the reverse would mean effectively burning alive.

Another possibility is that you don't have enough control - solid matter has, as you said, an ordered structure that allows it to be manipulated in bulk. Gaseous matter is too chaotic, so "condensing" an object from thin air is doable, but it will take hours or days depending on its mass.

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Let's assume that you power works like the following : you know, at a given time, the exact position of each atom. You need to order to each one how to behave, like rotation, tranlation, maybe also merge with another atom.

  1. When in solid form, atoms are not so "mobile". So, it's more practical when visualising the object you want to create, hence the start-statut of your solido target.

  2. You need the atom to enter into a kind of resonance state to obey your will. Since only the solid form allow the "creating waves" to travel from an atom to another, solid matter is the only state that you can control.

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Your power is telekinesis, with psi hands.

These hands are about as capable of manipulating objects as flesh hands would be, with the advantage that they are not limited by mass or distance. Case in pointing, grip and grasp.

Have you ever tried to hold a lot of water in your hands? How about holding actual air? I rest my case.

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Materials are your issue. The elements that make up the air, mostly oxygen and nitrogen, don't bind into a solid in their molecular form. In order to create solid objects out of nitrogen and oxygen, you must first recombine them into other materials, such as nitrogen tetroxide. This is a very high energy process, and somewhat out of the scope of what was described as your power.

What's more, the power didn't deal with managing temperature, therefore substances that might be solid at some subcooled state are irrelevant. Nitrogen is solid at 60 kelvin, but you haven't the ability to bring it to that point.

Finally, different materials have different qualities, with most subcooled substances being extremely brittle, sometimes to the point of being unable to sustain their own weight. If you attempt to make anything of significant size out of such things they will simply disintegrate under their own weight.

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Speed is your problem.

More precisely, targeting very small objects moving over significant distances at great speed.

In solid matter, the atoms/molecules are well behaved, and STAY PUT while your matter-control ability latches on to them and start affecting the bonds.

In liquids, and especially in gasses and plasmas, those pesky molecules are just whizzing around SO fast (at speeds of up to 15 km/s, for red-hot hydrogen!!), that your ability simply cannot target and start to affect a specific atom, before that same atom has scampered off over the horizon, run into another atom and caromed off it like a pinball on steroids.

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