Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > Roleplaying in General

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-27-2020, 08:39 AM   #1
Anders
 
Anders's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Default What could I do with magnetic monopoles?

I'm thinking about a science fiction setting where one can manufacture magnetic monopoles. Now, what can I do with such a toy?
__________________
"Is this not your natural state? It's the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life's joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity. You were made to be ruled." - my cats
Anders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2020, 09:07 AM   #2
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: What could I do with magnetic monopoles?

By coincidence, the Royal Institution put up one of their popular lectures last week on the physics of magnetic monopoles. You might be interested in what they're currently doing. It's nearly a hour long (they have a whole series of hour-long talks), and mostly about the physics, but the very last bit, 45:00 in, touches briefly on potential applications.

The short version: improved computational density and energy efficient, more sensitive and far smaller and more directed MRI machines, not to mention other magnetic detectors. (The lecture mentions using a SQUID in their experiment to detect their monopoles; SQUIDs used to be a thing that would pop up in 80-ish SF and speculation for doing things like reading the data that used to be on your hard drive before you reformatted it and overwrote all the bits with your sanitization algorithm.)

Kind of a hard question to answer, I think, something like asking Ben Franklin to imagine computers, radio, and electric cars when he was doing experiments with static electricity. Right now, we do some stuff with magnetism that's fairly analogous to those early experiments with static electric. We can do some things like static fields, make stronger and weaker magnets, and so on. Monopoles would let you have magnetic charge, so you could move it around like electric current, store it, have magnetic batteries for your "magnetricity", create a whole series of analogs for electronic components (capacitors, resistors, inductors, transformers, diodes, transistors) for manipulating magnetic current. But it's harder to say how that translates into novel adventurer toys. Since magnetism is the other half of the electromagnetic force, it doesn't seem unreasonable to assume that being able to manipulate it would give us a lot of improvements and control over everything we use electricity for -- not forgetting that includes the whole electromagnetic spectrum. Do we get completely new tricks? What about improvements in basic science -- if we built gravitational wave detectors with electrical tricks (lasers), what does magnetic astronomy let us learn or do?

There were some recent papers on about causes of sunspots and the 11-year cycle, including one showing a correlation with planetary alignment (Earth / Venus / Jupiter) suggesting that tidal forces move enough penumbral gas to affect the Tayler instability in the magnetic field to reverse its oscillations, even those those tides are far too weak to have any effect on the interior of the sun. Better magnetic detectors would certainly let us study the Sun's magnetic field better -- but if it's a matter of tipping points, perhaps there could be tech that lets you shift the cycle a little, or accelerate or delay flare eruptions, which might be good for anything from making your satellite fleet live longer to making an interplanetary flight safer to cinematic effects like sparing the planet from Carrington Events (or causing them, for the Bond villains out there).

What could Magneto do, if instead of being a mutant with powers that just work, he was an industrialist a la Tony Stark, with future-tech leading the world in the manipulation of magnetic fields and currents?

Last edited by Anaraxes; 05-28-2020 at 06:57 PM.
Anaraxes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2020, 02:48 PM   #3
Anders
 
Anders's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Default Re: What could I do with magnetic monopoles?

Thank you. I'll look into that video.
__________________
"Is this not your natural state? It's the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life's joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity. You were made to be ruled." - my cats
Anders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2020, 08:35 AM   #4
Daigoro
 
Daigoro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Meifumado
Default Re: What could I do with magnetic monopoles?

A lot of the Orion's Arm setting technology is based on magnetic monopoles and their derived super-material, magmatter. This allows megastructures like Niven Rings and such. It's very dense technobabbble, so I'm not sure how much is supported by real physics and how much is their invention, but it's a fairly hard science take on it.

Their ideas on monopoles here, and magmatter here.

PS: The magmatter text was written by a Luke Campbell, who I believe is on here as lwcamp, so you could ask him directly.
__________________
Collaborative Settings:
Cyberpunk: Duopoly Nation
Space Opera: Behind the King's Eclipse
And heaps of forum collabs, 30+ and counting!

Last edited by Daigoro; 05-29-2020 at 11:56 PM.
Daigoro is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2020, 09:43 AM   #5
Pragmatic
Ceci n'est pas une tag.
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Vancouver, WA (Portland Metro)
Default Re: What could I do with magnetic monopoles?

The novel Dragon's Egg has the use of magnetic monopoles to compress asteroids into superdense material (to provide tidal compensation as the spacecraft orbits a neutron star).
__________________
I'm a collector, not a gamer. =)
Pragmatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
science fiction, worldbuilding

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.