What circumstances would be required for a world in which human emotions directly affected the physical world. For example, if a person grew angry, releasing a burst of electrical energy which would turn into heat - the heat would warm air molecules, causing them to rise creating a wind current. What would the attributes of the world or an evolution of the human body need to become in order for human emotions to create storms or other phenomena?

According to a book by Dr. Guy Brown, "If two people, standing an arm's length apart, were each to have 1 percent more electrons than protons in their bodies, they would be blown apart by an electric force sufficient to move the weight of the entire earth". However, I am assuming that even the slightest imbalance of electrons and protons in humans would result in our death.

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    $\begingroup$ That sounds like an interesting and unusual way to kill someone using magic: put an imbalance in electrons and protons in separate halves and watch them fly apart. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Nov 30, 2016 at 13:00
  • $\begingroup$ It's kind of unclear what your asking, is it about human emotion effecting weather or causing electrical discharges? They seem like very different questions. $\endgroup$
    – Josh King
    Nov 30, 2016 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the question. It is about human emotions directly affecting the immediate environment due to the turbulent output of their energy (emotional outbursts for example). As far as my knowledge concerning energy is at this time is that on an atomic level, energy is electrical, turning into other forms such as heat. What would need to change in order to have a world in which human energy output/emotional output have minor and major effects on the immediate environment? $\endgroup$
    – Kim
    Nov 30, 2016 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ To 'unclear what you are asking' voters, the question is clearly in the title line. The title must be considered an integral part of the question statement. $\endgroup$
    – kingledion
    Nov 30, 2016 at 20:06
  • $\begingroup$ I like your question, very interesting. May I suggest that in your world, for whatever reason, emotions are (or can convert into) energy? Perhaps they are spiritual energy, and if the emotion is sufficiently powerful and focused enough, they can manipulate the world around the person feeling the emotion? $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Mar 12, 2021 at 2:17

3 Answers 3


Let's separate out the emotion part of it. Emotions might be needed to cause the effect in your world, but basically you are asking about the energy needed for a human to be able to effect the world with just their mind--which is in most systems called magic.

Currently we cannot achieve this particular effect and neither can any animal on earth.

As to tech controlling it, we also don't exactly have any models which can control weather, so it's difficult to use science as a basis. The U.S. air force apparently has something that can but this takes triangulation. See too this wikipedia article on weather control. As you can see, the models we do have are tenuously science-based.

Heating the air will cause a change in pressure locally, but the question is really, how many degrees will it need to be changed in order to cause any noticeable effect?

Temperature and pressure are directly proportional to each other. This means that as the temperature decreases, the pressure also decreases, and as the temperature increases, the pressure increases. One way to think of this is if you increase the speed of the molecules –by increasing their temperature- the force of the molecules hitting their container increases and this increases the pressure. This relationship is called Gay-Lussac’s Law and makes up part of the ideal gas law. Theory When the speed of a gas’s molecules increases, the gas molecules hit their container more often. The more frequently the gas impacts the container walls, the higher the pressure. So, as temperature increases, the pressure also increases. If the gas cools, the impacts are less frequent and the pressure decreases. This relationship can be described using mathematics as well. Mathematically, Gay-Lussac’s Law states that P/ T = k

I have been unable to find any equations that determine the exact difference in temperature needed to cause a localized effect like the one you are talking about. However, the amount of energy needed to agitate air molecules to cause this would be high.

Think of it this way--your house might be heated 20 degrees higher than the outdoors, but when you open the door to the cold, how much wind is created? Anything? A small effect? Until we know how much the temperature has to rize, and indeed, how the person in question is supposed to keep it localized without losing heat to the environment around them, this is a difficult question to answer.

But, to start you off, if you are using science, look at the laws of thermodynamics. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It has to come from somewhere, so your humans must have a power source within them--something that can be quickly converted to output the massive amount of energy you are talking about.

So the very first thing your human will need is a power source. We do have one animal which does convert things to electricity. The electric eel.

The electric eel has three pairs of abdominal organs that produce electricity: the main organ, the Hunter's organ, and the Sach's organ. These organs make up four-fifths of its body, and give the electric eel the ability to generate two types of electric organ discharges: low voltage and high voltage. These organs are made of electrocytes, lined up so a current of ions can flow through them and stacked so each one adds to a potential difference.

If you are looking for an evolutionary push, I would look to the electric eel and why it developed this ability. To hunt prey and for defense, basically. Notice though that this isn't anywhere NEAR the energy output of what you would need to get your effect, but it is a place to start. Your humans would have to have had an advantage and efficient system/organs to use this ability. That likely means tougher predators and prey, as well as, perhaps animals in this biosphere that can achieve similar effects of energy conversion. (It's likely, but look at the eel, which is an outlier and unique).

That's about as scientific as I can make it. Hopefully other posters can determine the amount of energy needed for such an effect.


If the question is about real humans living in the real world, then the answer is that human emotions do directly affect the outiside world, but the effects are too small to be practical. For example, if a person is emotionally stressed, they will often blush. Blushing is produced by the vasodilation of the capillary blood vessels under the skin, resulting in the characteristic reddening -- 1st physical effect, changing the spectrum of the reflected light. The increase in blood flow enhances heat exchange -- 2nd physical effect, warming the environment. In the absence of a butterfly effect the world at large will not care. But a skilled writer may introduce a situation where small causes have large effects.

If the question is about magical humans living in a world with magic then everything is possible and the sky is no limit.

  • $\begingroup$ You are correct that I am exploring a situation in which small causes have large effects (or humans produce larger causes) - but I'm seeking a situation that is based in as much hard physics as possible. $\endgroup$
    – Kim
    Nov 30, 2016 at 15:28

Sounds like you could be talking about a type of magic or a super power of some kind.

You could have people just born that way. Maybe some of them have wind emotions or earth emotions. Either way they would need to be a lot tougher if any kind of attack was to happen to one another.

If you want people to control the weather or shoot out burst of electrical energy maybe they would be more in touch with the planet instead of having modern technology.

all in all i don't think this could happen unless magic was involved.


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