So I'm just wondering about something that was on my mind. I am writing a story that is inspired from the comic book genre and takes place in a hypothetical Marvel Universe. Now let's say one of the characters has technology that can "absorb" the kinetic energy of those within a 50 meter radius.

How would someone be able to combat that? And does telekinesis fall under kinetic energy? An explanation of kinetic energy and scenarious or solutions would be much appreciated. Thank you. Note: "recognizer" from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Stack Exchange suggested I ask my question here instead, and a lot more other people who marked it as off topic.

Edit (in-depth explanation of ability): This application allows for X to drain the kinetic movement force out of moving objects within its usual 50 metre radius. X can slow a speeding meta human to a halt, reverse attacks right back at enemies and even immobilise enemies completely. Alternatively, X can do the opposite and charge objects with kinetic energy to make them move quickly across an area, like a bullet, even charge them up with enough energy that X can cause them to be turned into improvised bombs. X is able to manipulate the directional momentum of anything that moves within reason. X can make it move incredibly fast or incredibly slow to even a complete halt. This allows X to defy the Laws of Inertia and Centrifugal Force. X can also control the impact of kinetic energy to allow X to disperse attacks and mitigate damage to almost nothing with concentration, or X can do the opposite and make attacks have increased force and impact. X can create a null field in which no form of kinetic energy can be used within the dome, except for X, basically making anyone in its radius drop completely motionless. This works on robots, people, aliens & monsters.

Allow "X" act as the character I stated before.

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    $\begingroup$ Can it ignore thermal energy? Thermal energy is disordered kinetic energy, and the ability to use that for work is far beyond physics (I typically assume characters that can do that will be treated as gods by the scientific community). $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon - Reinstate Monica Sep 5 '16 at 15:58
  • $\begingroup$ for good answer it needs more observation how that power works, in therms of observable facts. How selective can that personage to be in applying his force, how it looks like, are there some limitation how much it can stop, is it applied as full sphere. More observations. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Sep 5 '16 at 16:40
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    $\begingroup$ How does it work? at a distance? at an instant? at will? at the atomic scale? BTW it is impossible to have zero energy as long as you are above ground... (hint: GPE) $\endgroup$ – user6760 Sep 5 '16 at 16:48
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    $\begingroup$ I think that’s magic, not science. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Sep 5 '16 at 17:07
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    $\begingroup$ It sounds a lot like Molecule Man, the most powerful being in the universe. $\endgroup$ – Tony Ennis Sep 5 '16 at 19:15

Absorbing kinetic energy is the same as freezing it. Everything stops moving -- things, people, air. TK might not be kinetic energy, but it converts to kinetic energy as soon as a thing starts moving, so it is stopped.

To combat? Well, how much can the person absorb? Can you overload their battery by throwing lots of stuff at them?

It's a mostly defensive power if you stay outside its effect radius, so just bury the person with stuff. Their power doesn't help them escape, and if it is involuntary it may make their situation worse.

Also, you combat it by diplomacy, just like any other power. Professor X taught me that.

  • $\begingroup$ I'll give a more specific example and in depth explanation of this ability in just a bit. Gotta edit this post first. $\endgroup$ – Marvelous Spidey Sep 5 '16 at 17:49

To add to SRM's answer, everyone in the area dies. Quite quickly. Nothing can move, including their lungs or hearts, so they die of lack of oxygen. This sort of undesirable result is common with comic-book attempts at scientific explanations.

The best way to deal with them is to realise that "comic book science" could hardly be less accurate if it was deliberately trying, abandon attempts to reconcile it with real science, and decide the question by genre convention. That's how the writers work.

  • $\begingroup$ I'll give a more specific example and in depth explanation of this ability in just a bit. Gotta edit this post first. $\endgroup$ – Marvelous Spidey Sep 5 '16 at 17:49

A description of something similar takes place in Joe Haldeman's book "Forever War". The Stasis field only allows any object to move at an arbitrarily slow pace (only a few m/sec, I don't have my copy of the book anymore for the exact figure), so the described effects should be similar to what you are asking.

Firstly, it renders any explosion or explosive device inert, since the expanding molecules are only movie at the speed the Stasis field allows.

Energy weapons like lasers and so on are also rendered useless.

Unfortunately for the user, if you are inside a Stasis field and the special insulation of your spacesuit is breached, you die (all the molecules of your body stop moving at the usual speed and you are pretty instantly frozen, long before any biological effects would manifest themselves (chemical reactions running at very reduced rates).

This also means in terms of the story, only edged weapons like swords, bows and arrows and polearms are effective inside the field. Outside the field, soldiers in powered armour duke it out with lasers, nuclear weapons and other high tech devices.

Given these parameters, it is difficult to see how you would "defeat" someone possessing these devices or similar powers, other than to enter the field and physically disable it or turn it off. If it is a physical device or uses "physics" principles like the conservation of energy, then there will need to be some means of storing or converting the energy that is being stopped or absorbed by the field. This is the only plausible means of defeating it, overloading the device and causing it to explode, melt down or otherwise be destroyed.

Of course, depending on the nature of the absorption of energy you may be creating an insoluble problem. The energy needs to go somewhere, and the only semi plausible means of doing this would be to create a pocket universe.

enter image description here

Since the energy being extracted from the incoming object, person or attack is being sent to another universe entirely, there is effectively an infinite "heat sink" to dump it into. The only way to defeat that is to choke off the neck of the pocket universe and prevent the energy from leaving this universe. If that is the case, the energy is never removed from the incoming attack. Mr X has a smug look on his face until your fist hits it at full speed.......

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ only a few m/sec - not the ops situation, in that case it is easy to eliminate treat from that x-person. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Sep 7 '16 at 13:58

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