Joe Umland, Teppenpaw
Breaking physics may break my brain.
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:56

I am a bad friend, thought Joe, mere seconds after Professor Wright mentioned that fire was a decidedly likely outcome of their early attempts at undetectable extension charms.

This was not a thought Joe had entertained before, at least not consciously, but as soon as it occurred to him in this context, he was forced to accept it for the unpalatable truth it clearly was. What else, after all, could one really say about hearing that fire was a likelihood and automatically glancing in the direction of probably one’s best friend at Sonora? That was not good friend behavior. Even if it was sort of justified. He looked away guiltily and back at his notes.

The lesson itself did not promise especially good things for his self-esteem, either. He was good with a wand, and even decent-ish with theory, of the sort that involved Latin grammar – there had, after all, been some practical aspects to having been given at least the first six years of a classical education at home before he had arrived at Sonora, however pointless and dry the daily lessons in Latin might have seemed at the time. He could spin out as good a paragraph as anyone about how the precise declensions involved implied this or that about the theory of how they used magic which was relevant to the spell in question. When it came to not only making things do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do but outright breaking the normal arrangement of reality, he – well, he had no objection to it, of course, but thinking about how it worked sort of made his head hurt.

Right. Gravity. Gravity was a force – the weakest of the Big Important ones, really, but it had the odd property of always being an attractive force. Space and time were…he was sure this had something to do with things which were simultaneously both a wave and a particle. The way Professor Wright had talked about bending them made him think that thinking of them as though they were matter might be helpful, though this led him to think about anti-time and anti-space and what in the heck those would be, as there was such a thing as anti-matter. From his religious and philosophical background, it made sense enough - he had been accustomed to think of time as a medium where a prayer said on a given day could be tied to the beginning of weather patterns leading to the prayed-for weather even if those beginnings were a million years prior – but there was outside of space and time and then there was the obliteration of space and time and the production of….

He didn’t even know what. He knew that matter and energy had some weird equivalence as a consequence of how matter could be neither created nor destroyed, that breaking it up somehow – setting it on fire, for instance, or he supposed the big flash of light if you shook hands with your anti-self – released energy, but he principally remembered these things in terms of Mom sitting around the living room with her more advanced pupils debating whether the matter/energy thing led to the invalidation of the idea of haecceity. Joe had not been old enough to participate in those conversations – Mom had largely stopped teaching by the time he was.

He could understand, however, that gravity was what held particles together, trying to force the box to keep its shape and internal dimensions. Magic was trying to force the inside to…bend while the outside remained the same. If space was an object, then he supposed he could think of it as a separate object from the box? That made sense. Sort of. So he was multiplying space (this consistent with the idea of an expanding universe, he guessed) but the process of multiplying by division would exert force or energy of some kind, and this would cause an explosion if it interacted too violently with the gravity exerting force on the object surrounding the space-object – specifically, the inside of the box – he was working with. Space was a thing, but a thing defined by its relation to something else, which he was pretty sure was a violation of haecceity but he wasn’t that good with abstract metaphysics and those weren’t the topic of the moment anyway.

He started to open his textbook to see if it could validate any of his thoughts before he tried this, but saw Jozua casting a spell and immediately shoved his book back inside his desk as a precautionary measure…a measure which proved unnecessary, as nothing exploded.

“Any luck?” he asked his friend.

  • Breaking physicsJozua Sparks, Teppenpaw, Thu Aug 16 09:50
    As a general rule, Jozua liked charms. It wasn’t his favorite or best class and he’d only gotten an E on his CATS, which his mom had frowned at him about, but mostly Charms was a good solid reliable... more
    • Breaking physics may break my brain. — Joe Umland, Teppenpaw, Mon Aug 20 10:56
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